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Current Courses

Current English courses are described below and future course descriptions are available as schedules are finalized. For descriptions of all English graduate courses, refer to the Graduate Catalog

Spring 2014 Course Descriptions 

ENG 604: Teaching with Technology  - Technology in English Studies 
ENG 605: Teaching in English Studies - Creative Writing
ENG 605: Teaching in English Studies - Rhetoric and Composition
ENG 618:  Materials Development for Teaching English Language Learners
ENG 623: Phonetics and Phonology
ENG 624: Foundations of Second Language Acquisition
ENG 626: Morphology and Syntax
ENG 628: Language and Culture
ENG 641: Early American Literature
ENG 668: Early Twentieth-Century British Literature
ENG 684: Topic in Second Language Acquisition – Second Language Vocabulary: A Cognitive Perspective
ENG 686: Bilingualism and Language
ENG 695: Medieval and Early Modern Rhetoric


Section 1: Tuesday 2:00-4:40 pm 

Professor: Jackie Grutsch McKinney 

Depending on your point of view, the teaching of writing is either enhanced or complicated by the convergence of ever new technologies for instruction and for composing. This section of English 604 will explore digital technologies for instruction and for composing paying particular attention to how issues of access and privilege--as related to gender, race, nationality, and age--are intertwined with issues of technology. Students will complete a digital writing assignment plan, a philosophy of teaching with technology, various presentations and reading responses, and a seminar paper. Though the course focuses on the teaching of writing specifically, students from all areas (creative writing, linguistics, literature, and composition) may find the pedagogical discussions useful and will be encouraged to pursue a topic related to teaching in their area for their final projects.

Section 1: Monday, Wednesday  5:00-6:15 pm 

Professor: Cathy Day   

This course is open to all graduate students in English Studies who wish to examine the pedagogical issues specific to the teaching of creative writing to college students, with a focus on both theory and practice. Each week, we will examine a different question: Can creative writing be taught? How is it typically offered at the college level, and how do we prepare ourselves to teach it? How do we evaluate works of imaginative writing? How do we teach our students to identify not as students of writing, but as writers? You’ll articulate your answers in the form of a Statement of Teaching Philosophy, and then plan a multi-genre introductory course and a single-genre intermediate course. The semester will conclude with “micro-teaching” demonstrations in which you devise and put into practice lesson plans of your own design. You’ll leave the course with a useful portfolio of teaching materials, and (if desired) a panel proposal for the 2015 AWP Conference in Minneapolis, MN. 

Possible Texts:
Mark McGurl, The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing,
Kelly Ritter, Can It Really Be Taught?: Resisting Lore in Creative Writing Pedagogy
D.G. Myers, The Elephants Teach: Creative Writing Since 1880

Section 2: Monday  6:30-9:10 pm 

Professor: Jennifer Grouling 

Any reflexive writing teacher wonders how to get better at teaching. Daily, teachers confront issues, questions, and situations and need to make informed choices on how to act. This course gives students two key tools for addressing pedagogical questions. First, students will be acquainted to the rich field of Composition Studies and will learn how to look to the existent literature to put their current queries into the context of the field. Specifically, students will learn about major theories, pedagogies, and epistemologies of writing from the past half century. Secondly, students will learn how to shape a research question and conduct qualitative (teacher) research to study classroom environments. Learning how to study one’s own teaching is invaluable in improving one’s craft.


Section 1: Wednesday  12:00-2:40 pm 

Professor: Lynne Stallings 

Ready, set, evaluate, modify, and create!   In this TESOL Materials course, students will build on their experiences in ENG 616 and ENG 617 to develop principled frameworks for materials evaluation and design.  Working both in small groups and individually, students will analyze, modify, and create language-teaching materials that meet the needs and wants of language learners and teachers.

Section 1: Monday, Wednesday  3:00-4:15 pm

Professor: Mary Lou Vercellotti 

This course studies the smallest units of language (e.g., speech sounds) and the linguistic methods employed in their description, classification, and analysis as elements in language systems. This class focuses on articulatory and acoustic phonetics, and the relationships among speech sounds in a language. Prerequisite: ENG 520; permission of the department chairperson.

Section 1: Monday  12:00-2:40 pm 

Professor: Megumi Hamada 

This course outlines second language acquisition (SLA) theories and research and introduces issues related to second language learning and teaching. The objectives of the course are to become familiar with SLA theories, research, and related issues; and to learn the skills that are necessary for understanding and conducting SLA research.

Section 1: Tuesday, Thursday  12:30-1:45 pm 

Professor: Mary Lou Vercellotti 

This class introduces the pattern of word, phrase, and clauses building in natural languages, considering both the form and the function of the linguistic units. Prerequisite: ENG 520; permission of the department chairperson.

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Section 1: Tuesday  2:00-4:40 pm 

Professor: Carolyn MacKay 

There are enormous differences in the ways in which members of different cultures organize and exploit their linguistic resources.  These differences are so pervasive that most researchers believe it is not possible to describe a culture without referring to the patterns of language use through which culture is expressed.  This course looks at some of these patterns in an effort to describe both the nature of language and culture and the inextricable link between them.  Among the topics to be discussed are: the acquisition of language and culture, code-switching, ethnography of communication, language ideology, verbal art and performance, narrative structure, language maintenance and death, language contact, and cross-cultural miscommunication.

Section 1: Monday  9:00-11:40 am 

Professor: Maria Windell 

Incest. Seduction. Suicide. Abandonment. Cross-dressing. Immolation. Revolution. For fun, toss in ventriloquism and hauntings. Welcome to the early American novel. Even such a simple welcome, of course, raises all sorts of questions: at what point does America become “America”? what role does literature play in that transformation? at what point does America actually begin to develop a literary tradition? and, what makes that tradition recognizably American? We will also broach debates over defining the first American novel—not as straighforward a task as it may seem. In exploring these questions we will set the stage with a series of critical readings and two vital contextual early American sources. We will then spend the rest of the semester immersed (reveling, really) in works central to the foundation of America’s novelistic tradition. Our texts offer all of the scandals, spectacles, and tragedies noted above. In many ways, the anxieties of the early American novel parallel the anxious birth of the United States. By tracing the origins of the American novel, we will trace how the promise of the new nation took shape—for better and for worse.

Section 1: Wednesday  6:30-9:10 pm 

Professor: Pat Collier 

This class is a collaborative inquiry on two crucial questions in the study of early twentieth-century British literature: 1) what are the most vital and promising scholarly approach to the period and its literature? (This question entails a number of others, including how we should define the term “modernism” and how central that definition should be to our sense of the period and the projects we pursue); 2) why does modernism continue to be one of the most written-about and studied phenomena in the history of literature? Critical approaches will include those focusing on imperialism and globalism, queer theory, “the everyday,” and print culture/media. I would like you to leave this class with a sense of the critical problems occupying scholars of early twentieth-century literature, a working definition of “modernism” (and a sense of the problematics of such a definition), an enhanced ability to read the period’s challenging texts, knowledge of the literary-historical context, and new strategies for doing literary and literary-historical research. Primary texts will include works by Joyce, Conrad, Woolf, Eliot, West, and others. 

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Section 1: Tuesday  6:30-9:10 pm 

Professor: Megumi Hamada 

What makes it difficult to learn a word? What are some of the features of spelling, pronunciation, meaning, or usage that make one word more difficult than the others? What processes are involved in learning the form (spelling and pronunciation) and meaning of a word? How much or what do we need to know about a word in order to say “I learned that word”? The course provides answers to common questions such as those above, by exploring the major areas of second language vocabulary research, description, acquisition, and usage, from a cognitive perspective. In description, we will discuss the definition of word and word knowledge (what it means to know a word), as well as vocabulary assessment. In acquisition, we will discuss the cognitive processes involved in two distinctive learning approaches, intentional learning (e.g., memorization) and incidental learning (e.g., learning through reading or watching TV), covering the acquisition of form and meaning. In usage, we will discuss collocation and the role of context. Throughout the topics, the course examines the influence of L1 and discusses pedagogical applications. 

Section 1: Thursday 2:00-4:40 pm 

Professor: Carolyn Mackay 

Language contact is the norm, not the exception, in communities around the world.  The most common result of language contact is change in some or all of the languages.  This course examines the various linguistic results of language contact, ranging from stable/unstable bilingualism, code-switching and contact-induced language change to extreme language mixing.  Language contact has resulted in the creation of pidgins, creoles, and mixed languages but has also resulted in language death.  We will examine how various kinds of bilingualism arise and examine how different speech communities have adapted to language contact.  The class will be conducted as a seminar with particular focus given to the topics of interest to the students.

Section 1: Thursday  6:30-9:10 pm 

Professor: Web Newbold 

This course presents Western rhetorical theory and practice from the fifth into the seventeenth century, preceded by an overview of Greco-Roman classical rhetoric. We will focus on several major rhetoricians and primary texts as exemplars of the various periods as well as examine the role and viability of alternative rhetorics. The course offers insight into the vocation and impact of rhetoric in the medieval and early modern period, and the contributions it has made to theory and practice in a variety of fields, but concentrating especially on education. It will also explore the implications medieval and early modern rhetoric have for contemporary writing pedagogy. Requirements include two-to-three short seminar papers for leading discussion, a longer term paper, and a final exam. 

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Department of English
Robert Bell Building (RB), Room 297
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Phone: 765-285-8580
Fax: 765-285-3765
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