Associate Professor of English and Assistant Chair of Programs
My teaching responsibility in the English Department includes undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). My role as a teacher is to provide a perspective on language issues that helps my students apply their knowledge towards their careers and their lives. A common misunderstanding my students have towards language is that it is a fixed set of rules rather than a means of communication. By introducing different factors in language acquisition, such as linguistic, psychological, and sociocultural factors, I help my students to understand the fact that language acquisition involves complex processing and is more than simply learning a set of rules. My philosophy applies not only to classroom teaching, but extends to one-on-one interaction with graduate students working on theses and dissertations, another important part of my teaching.
The long-term goal of my research is to find a psycholinguistic mechanism of second language vocabulary learning from reading to provide theoretical and practical improvement in vocabulary instruction for English learners. My primary research activity is to examine hypotheses generated from visual word recognition, reading comprehension, and lexical memory research, focusing on the role of phonology in lower-level processing, using quantitative methods. My secondary research activity is to investigate vocabulary learning strategies using qualitative and/or longitudinal methods. My current focus in this topic is to examine strategies used in word-meaning inference. Meaning-inference (or lexical inference) is a method in which learners guess the meaning of unknown words that they encounter during reading. Although this method has become very popular, it is unclear what specific strategy actually helps increase the accuracy of guessing. Throughout the studies that I conduct within this topic, I plan to provide findings directly applicable to teaching and learning.
Areas of Specialization:
Second language acquisition, Psycholinguistics of reading, Learning to read, Vocabulary acquisition, TESOL, Cross-linguistic influence on reading and vocabulary, Lexical memory, Writing system and orthography, Japanese linguistics and pedagogy.
ENG 220 Language and Society
ENG 321 English Linguistics
ENG 436 Theory and Research in TESOL
ENG 616 Introduction to Theories of Language Learning
ENG 624 Foundations of Second Language Acquisition
Megumi Hamada's curriculum vitae