Faculty Profile: Dr. Adrienne Johnson

Dr. Adrienne JohnsonDr. Adrienne Johnson, Chair of the Department of Education and Director of the TESOL Graduate Program, participated in an English Language Specialist project in Taiwan with the US State Department.

She delivered half-day and multi-day trainings across Taiwan on topics related to teaching STEM content in English.

Of the 221 participants, many were English teachers, but a number of the teachers were content area teachers, teaching content areas such as math, science, culinary skills, special education, healthcare, and more. The different backgrounds of the teachers provided an opportunity to demonstrate purposeful grouping strategies and model teaching methods that support content area learning even despite lower language proficiency levels.

Participants in this project learned research-based, best practices in content-based instruction through a variety of hands-on, interactive activities. They learned how to teach content in English through modeled high-impact strategies that are easily transferable to a variety of settings and require very few resources.

Workshops also included specific discussions on how to adjust activities and goals to meet students’ needs and curriculum expectations.

Dr. Johnson modeled how to support a gradual implementation of teaching content in English, and helped participants see that, with proper support, even students at the lowest levels of language proficiency can make gains in content area knowledge, with English as a medium of instruction.

The workshops provided an opportunity for both Dr. Johnson and the participants to learn more about the Taiwanese and American school systems.

Taiwanese English Language Specialist Project