USIA English Language Programs

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs


Report on Academic Specialist Visit to Greece:
March 19 - 25, 1999

By JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

About the Specialist

JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall is Professor of Education, Co-Director of the MA Program in ESOL/Bilingual Education, and Director of the interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Prior to joining the faculty at UMBC in 1992, she was Vice President of the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC. Dr. Crandall received a BA degree in English and Spanish from Ohio University, an MA in American Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an MS and PhD in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University. Dr. Crandall has been President of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and its Washington area affiliate (WATESOL), and of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL). She has also served on a number of advisory boards, including the USIA English Teaching Advisory Panel, the Fulbright Applied Linguistics/TEFL Selection Committee, the TOEFL Policy Council, and the National Clearinghouse on Adult ESL Literacy Education. She is a frequent invited speaker at national and international conferences and is also frequently asked to serve as external reviewer of educational programs for universities, not-for-profit organizations, and governmental agencies. Dr. Crandall is the author of more than 100 books, articles, chapters, and monographs.

Visit Jodi Crandall's home page


Areas of Specialization

Content-based language teaching, language teacher education, literacy, and first and second language writing.


Trip Report

I made 4 presentations: a plenary address on "Teachers as learners: Collaboration in teacher development" at the TESOL Greece Convention; a workshop on "Developing thematic units for teaching EFL" to third and fourth year students at the University of Athens; and two workshops at the Hellenic American Union, one for teachers on "Integrating writing into EFL teaching at all levels" and another for teacher trainers on "Collaboration in teacher training." In all, about 600 language teachers, researchers, and teacher educators were in the audience, including 300 prospective teachers at the University of Athens. From the conference and the interaction with scholars and students, I have a number of very positive impressions.

First, I was very impressed with the level of discourse in the discussion at all the conference presentations, especially evidenced in the questions asked both formally and informally throughout my visit, by both experienced and prospective language teachers. While participants were eager to learn new instructional techniques, they were also interested in much more thorny issues relating to language policy, curriculum, or program design.

Second, teacher development is of critical concern in Greece. It was a major theme at the TESOL Greece conference and the subject of continuing discussion in sessions at the University of Athens and the Hellenic American Union. Of particular concern is the role of collaboration in preservice and inservice teacher education, through collaborative observation, curriculum planning, team-teaching, or research. The teacher trainers, especially, were eager to discuss ways in which they could include collaboration in their programs and to encourage collaborative teacher development for experienced teachers.

Third, I was impressed at the growing linkages between Greek and Turkish English language teaching professionals. Tom Kral, the USIA English Language Officer in Ankara, brought four academic specialists from Turkey to the TESOL Greece Conference. Their presentations at TESOL Greece were well received, and there were invited to visit local universities following the conference. USIA's publications of American literature and the English Teaching Forum were also the focus of discussion, with Kral giving a workshop on multi-cultural American literature as part of his visit.

Fourth, as is the case in most countries, interest in teaching writing is high, since students receive little formal instruction in writing, even in the first language. Suggestions on ways to include writing in English language teaching at even the beginning levels was well-received, as were ideas on ways to integrate academic content and skills into English language teaching.

I was also interviewed by a reporter for ELT News, an English-language newspaper, during my visit. In addition, several participants indicated they would be inviting me to speak at subsequent conferences or to serve as a consultant to their programs.



Suggested Bibliography

Since my return, I have heard from participants from Greece requesting additional information on topics I mentioned in my talks. The following are some suggested references for further reading:

Crandall, J. A. (1987). ESL through content-area instruction: Mathematics, science, social studies. Englewood Cliffs, NJ and Washington, DC: Prentice Hall and Center for Applied Linguistics.

Crandall, J. A. (1993). Strategic integration: Preparing language and content teachers for linguistically and culturally diverse classrooms. In J. E. Alatis (Ed.) Georgetown University Roundtable on Languages and Linguistics 1993 (pp. 255-274). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Crandall, J. A. (1996). Teacher professionalism in TESOL. MexTESOL Journal 19(3), 11-26.

Crandall, J. A. (1998). Collaborate and cooperate: Teacher education for integrating language and content instruction. English Teaching Forum, 36(1), 2-9.

Crandall, J. (1998). The expanding role of the elementary ESL teacher. ESL Magazine 1(4), 10-14.

Crandall, J. A. & Tucker, G. R. (1989). Content-based language instruction in second and foreign languages. In A. Sanivan (Ed.) Language teaching methodology for the nineties (pp. 83-96). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.



Recommended Links

UMBC Department of Education homepage

Jodi Crandall's home page


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