Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Second Language Teaching (MSLT)


World Languages and Cultures

Committee Chair(s)

Maria Luisa Spicer-Escalante


Maria Luisa Spicer-Escalante


Karin de Jonge-Kannan


Doris McGonagill


This portfolio is the culmination of two years of study in the Master of Second Language Teaching and represents not only the development of the author’s teaching philosophy but also her professional development as a teacher over that course of time. The teaching philosophy is built on the three pillars of 1) use of the target language, 2) copious use of authentic materials, and 3) teaching the use of the mechanics, or rules of the language. Although understanding of the rules facilitates second language learning, they cannot be learned without using language and language will not really be understood without understanding the attendant culture(s)—which is what makes the use of authentic materials so valuable. Included in support of the author’s teaching philosophy and professional development are three artifacts. The author showcases her research in Dual Language Immersion: Truly Bilingual, Biliterate, and Bicultural Education and what’s in it for US. In the artifact Zwischen Ehrenmord und Familiendrama: Is the call for Integration in Germany one for Transculturation or Cultural Selbstmord?, the author illustrates how the various voices within a culture interact in ways that are constantly remaking the living culture, and how these authentic voices can be used to create a dialogue about not only the evolution of the cultures tied to living languages, but also how they view each other. Finally the author describes what she has learned from the literature and experience about what a teacher can do to foster a language learning environment in Where to Go from Here. Also included are two annotated bibliographies. The first, titled My Three Pillars, covers literature that has been helpful to the author’s development of the three pillars of her teaching philosophy. The second, titled English as a Lingua Franca, elaborates on literature that was part of a background study by the author to better understand the current role of her first language, English, in the world, so that she could be a better ESL and EFL teacher. This study led her to ask the questions that motivated her development of her Language Learning and Culture artifacts.