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K-State Today

August 7, 2013



English language instructors present at regional conference

By Mary K. Pyle

Three Kansas State University English language instructors — Jenell Williams, Max Stinnett and Christina Kitson — recently presented at the Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology Conference, Aug. 7-9, at Johnson County Community College.

This sold-out conference was targeted to the "c2c organization," or colleague to colleague, and welcomed 400 participants from schools throughout Kansas and Missouri.  

Williams and Stinnett presented "Building a Computer Lab from the Ground Up" where they detailed the processes, design and "lessons learned" in their task of building a new computer lab for the university's English language program in a mobile, modular design both in furniture and devices, to accommodate classes, open lab, department functions and student activities. The current design and lab will be operational by late August.

Kitson's session on "Using technology and Web 2.0 to Help Students Learn" conveyed various Web 2.0 tools that teachers can use to create assignments and engaging class activities. She demonstrated and showed examples for journaling, flashcards and quiz creation, developing time lines, voice collaboration, creating animated movies, rubrics and blogs, as well as authoring websites. She selected tools that are free, downloadable and available. "Christina definitely had a standing room only crowd, they were spilling out into the hallway," Williams said. "Our audiences and discussions were very lively, diverse and content rich."

Each presentation and proposal is vetted by the conference committee, so a wide range of skills, topics and interests are represented during the two day conference.  

Williams has been with the English language program since 1991 and was responsible for opening the program's first computer lab and taught the first semester of Digital English.

Stinnett came to Manhattan in 2008 from Southern Illinois where he went to school and taught English five years. He has also served as student adviser, teacher of the hybrid student orientation class and the tech committee chair.

Kitson is working on her doctorate in teaching English as a second language and completed her Master's in 2008 in teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. 

The program provides English instruction to students who are qualified to begin university work but do not meet K-State’s English proficiency requirement. The program also offers English instruction to international students choosing language training only or participation in study abroad experiences. Five levels of intensive English classes are offered as well as support classes for graduate and undergraduate students and specialized English courses for university international partnerships.