Students studying language education at Long Island University’s Hudson Graduate Center no longer have to worry about trekking to night classes, says Dr. Helaine W. Marshall. They can learn in front of a computer screen.
According to the campus professor of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), nearly all courses in her department are now taught this way. With the help of webcams, students can give presentations online, break into small groups via “breakout” rooms and record the audio and visual components of each session for reference.
“I have taken many online courses. But this course was great because it felt like you were in a real classroom,” was one student’s response.
They were even able to virtually meet the author of their classroom textbook last year. Marshall deems this method of learning particularly helpful since many in her program are juggling their studies with full-time jobs and families. Students can now get the credit they need from the comfort of their own homes.
“When we started offering classes online, we found more and more students interested in our language education programs,” she said.
Marshall and her colleagues have helped 50 students spanning Dutchess, Rockland and Westchester counties to receive their teaching credentials online since the program launched in the spring of 2008.
That was when she and a colleague from the school’s Brooklyn location came up with the idea to pool their expertise in bilingual education and TESOL. They began to teach their respective courses online to students from both campuses.
Marshall is an expert in language education. She teaches her culturally collaborative teaching model (MALP)—Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm—to her students so that they can be effective with children from many cultural backgrounds.
She also published, “Breaking new ground: Teaching English learners with limited or interrupted formal education in U. S. secondary schools,” this past year.
Before she began teaching at Long Island University in 2003, Marshall was the chair of the English as a Second Language Department at Westchester Community College. When she isn't teaching, the White Plains resident spends time with her husband Hugh and grown children Kathy and Greg.