USIA English Language Programs

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs


Report on Academic Specialist Visit Egypt:
February 13 - 22, 1999

By Patricia Prinz, New England College

About the Specialist

Dr. Patricia Prinz is Assistant Professor of Education and Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. Dr. Prinz's ESL/EFL background includes English language teaching, pre- and in-service teacher education, and program administration. She has taught all levels of EFL and ESL, from elementary to university students and has directed ESL, EFL and MASTOL programs. As Director for ESL and Multicultural Education at the New Hampshire Department of Education, she supervised ESL instruction in public schools and was responsible for developing state guidelines for ESL programs, ESL teacher certification, and program evaluation. Dr. Prinz serves on a number of advisory boards of professional organizations and teaches graduate courses. She has worked with teachers and university professors in more than ten countries including Spain, Brazil, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Jordan, Slovenia and Azerbaijan. Dr. Prinz holds doctorate in Education in Language, Literacy and Cultural Studies from Boston University, a Master of Arts in Spanish Literature from the University of New Hampshire, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature from Queens College of the City University of New York.


Areas of Specialization

Dr. Prinz's scholarly interests relate to teacher education in the fields of ESL and EFL. She specializes in academic literacy development, critical thinking, content-based instruction, cognitive strategy instruction, and alternative assessment. She is interested in strengthening ESL/EFL teaching through both teacher education and program administration. Her work with ESL/EFL teachers focuses on integrating research-based reading, writing, critical thinking, and assessment practices into existing EFL/ESL curriculums. Her work with grade-level and content-area teachers focuses on ways to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students effectively in mainstream classes. Dr. Prinz also consults with institutions and administrators on implementing research-based models of staff development and supervision that lead to more effective teaching through teacher change.


Trip Report

Dr. Prinz was invited to Egypt to present English teaching seminars in Alexandria and Cairo and to participate in the First International Conference on Contrastive Rhetoric at the American University of Cairo. The seminar topics were selected by the hosting institutions and reflected the interest of Egyptian EFL educators in strengthening ESL programs by integrating literacy and critical thinking instruction in the existing curriculum. The interactive sessions were intended to furnish an overview of the topics in order to provide Egyptian educators with a basis for assessing the potential use of the approaches to their own teaching situations. Dr. Prinz found Egyptian EFL educators to be a discerning group, open to new ideas yet analytical in their discussions of the drawbacks and benefits of the material presented.

The 10-day program began with presentations in Alexandria. Modern Educational Services hosted a session for more than 50 teachers on Reading, Writing and Critical Thinking. The University of Alexandria sponsored two presentations for their faculty and students. At the faculty or Arts more than 40 participants attended a presentation on infusing critical thinking into the study of literature. At the Faculty of Education, staff and students from the Departments of English and Curriculum and Methodology participated in Interactive Approaches to Teaching EFL Reading. Upon returning to Cairo, Dr. Prinz presented a workshop on critical thinking sponsored by Egypt TESOL that was attended by more than 60 educators from public and private institutions. Throughout, participants actively engaged in a dialogue of the applicability the theories and techniques to their own teaching situations.

At the First International Conference on Contrastive Rhetoric at the American University of Cairo, Dr. Prinz presented the keynote address entitled "Contrastive Rhetoric: "Implications for Instruction". The two-day conference brought together more than 200 teachers of English to Arabic speakers and teachers of Arabic to English speakers. Educators and linguists from institutions of higher education from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East presented more than 30 concurrent sessions on a range of topics. The conference also featured a panel discussion with experts in English-Arabic rhetoric as well as a telepress conference with Dr. Robert Kaplan.

Dr. Prinz's work in Egypt concluded with presentations on reading and writing for faculty of two English programs at the American University of Cairo. At the presentation of Reading Strategies in the EFL Class, staff of the USAID English Program engaged in a simulation of several types of reading strategy instruction. A session for the ELI CACE/English programs introduced and modeled the concept of instructional scaffolding applied to process writing.

The caliber of Egyptian EFL professionals was evident in the quality of the discussions and the nature of the questions. Egyptian ESL educators are well informed on current trends in their profession and thorough in their analysis the applicability of each approach to their own teaching situations. The dialogues generated in the sessions suggested that there is a strong interest among participants in using critical thinking, scaffolded reading and writing instruction, and strategy instruction in their EFL teaching and curriculum. More in-depth training would be required to develop the background necessary to implement the approaches. Given the diversity of the teaching situations, particular attention would be needed to adapting the approaches to different types of teaching institutions and age groups.



Suggested Bibliography

Contrastive Rhetoric: Implications for Instruction

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Cohen, A. (1994). English for academic purposes in Brazil: The use of summary tasks. In C Hill & K. Parry (Eds.), From testing to assessment (pp. 174-204). London: Longman.

Connor, U. (1996). Contrastive rhetoric: Cross-cultural aspects of second-language writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gee, J. P. (1989). Literacy, discourse, and linguistics: An introduction. Journal of Education, 17,1, 5-17.

Heath, S. B. (1983). Ways with words: Language, life and work in communites and classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Leki, I. (1992) Understanding ESL writer:A guide for teachers. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook.

Miller, T. (Ed.) (1997). Functional approaches to written text: Classroom applications. Washington: English Language Programs, USIA.

Wong, B. Y., Wong, f., Perry, N., & Sawatsky,. D. (1986) The efficacy of a self-questioning summarization strategy for use by underachievers and learning disable adolescents in social studies. Learning Disabilities Focus, 2, 20-35.

Critical thinking, Reading and Writing Instruction

Anderson, V., & Roit, M. (1996). Linking reading comprehension instruction to language development for language-minority students. Elementary School Journal, 96, 295-310.

Baker, L., & Brown, A. (1991). Metacognitive skills and reading. In R. R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, & P. D. Pearson (Eds.), The handbook of reading research (Vol. 2, pp. 253-394). New York: Longman.

Brown, L., & Baker, A. (1991). The development of strategic readers. In R. R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, & P. D. Pearson (Eds.), The handbook of reading research (Vol. 2, pp. 353-394). New York: Longman.

Carrell, P. A. (1986). Content and formal schemata in ESL reading. TESOL Quarterly, 21, 461-481.

Casanave, C. P. (1988). Comprehension monitoring in ESL reading: A neglected essential. TESOL Quarterly, 22, 283-302.

Chamot, A. U., & O'Malley, J. M. (1994). The CALLA handbook: Implementing the cognitive academic language learning approach. Massachusetts, Addison Wesley-Publishing.

Dole, J. A., Brown, K. J., & Trathen, W. (1996). The effects of strategy instruction on the comprehension performance of at-risk students. Reading Research Quarterly, 32, 62-88.

Gertzen, R., & Jimenez, R. (1994). A delicate balance: Enhancing literature instruction for students of English as a second language. The Reading Teacher, 47, 337-349.

Hirsch, B. (1989). Languages of thought: Thinking, reading and foreign languages. New York: The College Board.

Jimenez, R. T., Garcia, G. E., & Pearson, P. D. (1994). The metacognitive strategies of Latina/o students who read Spanish and English. (Center for the Study of Reading Technical Report No. 601). Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois.

Jimenez, R. T., Garcia, G. E., & Pearson, P. D. (1996). The reading strategies of bilingual Latina/o students who are successful English readers: Opportunities and obstacles. Reading Research Quarterly, 31, 90-112.

Jones, B. F., Palincsar, A. M., Ogle, D. D., & Carr, E. G. (1987). Strategic Teaching: Cognitive instruction in the content area. VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Kletzien, S. B. (1992). Proficient and less proficient comprehenders' strategy use for different top-level structures. Journal of Reading Behavior, 24, 191-215.

Kucan, L., & Beck, I. L. (1997). Thinking aloud and reading comprehension research: Inquiry, instruction, and social interaction. Review of Educational Research, 67, pp. 271-299.

Nagy, W. E., Garcia, G. E., Durgunoglu, A. Y., & Hancin-Bhatt, B, (1993). Spanish-English bilingual students' use of cognates in English reading. Journal of Reading Behavior, 23, 241-259.

Novak, J. D., & Gowan, D. B. (1984). Learning how to learn. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Ogle, D. (1986). KWL group instruction strategy. In A. S. Palincsar, D. S. Ogle, B. F. Jones, & E. E. Carr (Eds.), Teaching reading as thinking. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Oxford, R. L. (1990). Language learning strategies. New York: Newbury House.

Padron, Y. (1992). The effect of strategy instruction on bilingual student's cognitive strategy use. Bilingual Research Journal, 16, 35-51.

Padron, Y., Knight, S. L., & Waxman, H. C. (1986). Analyzing bilingual and monolingual students' perceptions of their reading strategies. The Reading Teacher, 39, 430-433.

Paris, S. G., Wasik, B. A., & Turner, J. C. (1991). The development of strategic readers. In R. R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, & P. D. Pearson (Eds.), The handbook of reading research (Vol. 2, pp. 609-640). New York: Longman.

Paris, S. G., Lipson, M. Y., & Wixson, K. K. (1994). Becoming a strategic reader. In R. B. Ruddell & M. R. Ruddell (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (pp. 789-810). Newark, DL: International Reading Association.

Peregoy, S. F., & Boyle, O. F. (1990). Reading and writing scaffolds: Supporting literacy for second language learners. The Journal of Educational Issues of Language Minority Students, 6, 55-67.

Peregoy, S. F., & Boyle, O. F. (1993). Reading, writing & learning in ESL: A resource book for k-8 teachers. New York: Longman.

Pritchard, R. (1990). The effects of cultural schemata on reading processing strategies. Reading Research Quarterly, 25, 273-295.

Rosenshine, B., Meister, C. (1994). Reciprocal Teaching: A review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 64, 470-530.

Rosenshine, B., Meister, C., & Chapman, S. (1996). Teaching students to generate questions: A review of the intervention studies. Review of Educational Research, 65, 181-221.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


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