TESOL Faculty Highlights

Faculty highlights from Dr. Alan Seaman, Dr. Cheri Pierson, and Dr. Pam Barger of their work serving around the world.


Dr. Alan Seaman

Director of TESOL
Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies

Dr. SeamanDr. Seaman spent the summer teaching in the TESOL summers-only MA program on Wheaton’s campus and finishing up the Passport to Adventure textbook series. The summers-only and ELIC MA programs brought English teachers to campus from all over the world. Alan taught two courses: INTR 617, Principles of Assessment, in June, and INTR 630, Descriptive English Grammar in July. In the Grammar course alone, 22 of the 25 students were from teaching positions outside of the United States, creating a wonderfully cross-cultural teaching context. In late July, Alan also served as part of a research team of professors who reviewed an agency’s pre-field TESOL training program for 100 teachers heading to positions in Europe and Asia.

Alan also finished writing and editing the final level of the Passport to Adventure series, Explore C, which included many hours in the recording studios at Wheaton College. In addition to recording dialogues and stories with voices which reflect the varieties of English found throughout the world (British, Australian, South African), Alan worked with Sara Vroom to write and record a number of original songs for the series, using musicians from the Conservatory, Community School for the Arts, and the Wheaton area. These songs reflected musical styles ranging from pop to rock to bluegrass and folk – all intended to enthrall children as they learn the English language in creative ways. If you’d like to hear some of the songs, stop by Alan’s office (BGC 210)!

Alan also spent two weeks in the Chatlos TV studio with a camera crew filming 14 teacher-training videos to support the textbook series. He created a classroom in the studio and brought in seven local ELL teachers and a number of immigrant and refugee children to serve as students. These videos were embedded in a global survey (sent via SurveyMonkey) of methodology which was sent to EFL teachers in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The survey is currently being analyzed to determine EFL training needs throughout the world, and the videos will be provided to teachers in many countries to help them adapt to the innovative methodology of the series.

Dr. Cheri Pierson

Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies

Cheri PiersonCheri Pierson taught 2 courses this summer in the Intercultural Studies MA program: INTR 611 Theoretical Foundations for TESOL Methodology (June 10-28) and EVAN 573 Qualitative Research (July 25-27). In addition she met with her co-authors, Will Bankston and Marilyn Lewis, and made progress on their book, Exploring Parables in Luke: Integrated Skills for ESL/EFL Students of Theology. She traveled with Steve to China and Cambodia for the ELI program in August.


Dr. Pam Barger

ELIC Program Administrator

Pam BargerDuring the summer, Dr. Barger directed the ELIC/Wheaton partnership program and orchestrated administrative logistics pertaining to the summer modular students in the Summers-Only TESOL program. She also taught a TESOL graduate course, INTR 615: Teaching Reading and Composition to ESL/EFL Learners. 

Dr. Barger recently submitted an article that she presented in the Comparative and International Education Society conference this past Spring. She also received notification that her dissertation will be published into a book.

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