Dr. Liza Wieland’s writing featured in Our State magazine

Check out Dr. Liza Wieland’s feature in Our State magazine!

“The pop of the cork sparks friendly applause from everyone at the bar — Greenville residents and East Carolina University administrators — whether they know us or not. Early in the semester, the Fabulous Starlight Women, a group of ECU affiliates who meet at the Starlight Café every Thursday, gather to toast a milestone birthday and more than 12 years of Starlight gatherings, and management surprises us with champagne.”

“In the Pitt County city that East Carolina University calls home, town and gown are happily, inextricably linked.” Read more at:  https://www.ourstate.com/city-portrait-greenville/

Auer remembers importance of O’Neal Award

By Kara Auer

The Debbie O’Neal Scholarship was the kick start of my life after college, and I am incredibly thankful for having the support of Debbie’s family and Carolina TESOL. My interest in the field is ever-growing, as my current position allows me to consider TESOL theories and practices every day as I create plans for effective language learning for each of my students. After graduating in May 2014, I prepared for my first full-time position as an assistant teacher at The English Garden Preschool, an international preschool in Budapest, Hungary. The preschool offers English immersion classes to academically-inclined students, and at the school, my responsibilities are to plan lessons, give daily English language, literacy and math lessons, and care for the students.  In addition to my work, I enrolled in a Hungarian language course at Central European University and offered English lessons to English language learners of varying ages. And, of course, I’ve been having my fun joining in all of the Hungarian conversation around me.

After the 2014-2015 school year came to an end, I traveled back to the US, where I worked temporarily as a substitute teacher in suburban Indiana. It was there that I learned new effective strategies for teaching, and I brought these back with me as I rejoined the teaching faculty at the international preschool.

Up next for me is another round of university studies. I have recently been accepted into Indiana University at Bloomington’s Information and Library Science Graduate Studies program. My hope is to continue my career in teaching as I work closely with students developing literacy. At the preschool, I have had the pleasure of witnessing emergent literacy among students, and I believe this exciting skill can greatly help young students in their language learning endeavors, It is my long-term goal to help students, native speakers of English and English language learners alike, use literature as a tool in their language development.

Carolina TESOL Conference planned for fall in Asheville

Planning for the Fall 2016 Carolina TESOL Conference is underway!
This year’s conference will be held in November in the beautiful city of Asheville, North Carolina. This is a great time to learn about new laws and guidelines concerning ESOL in your state, gain new ideas from colleagues, and network with fellow educators from our area.
As the 2016 Conference approaches, cost, schedule, and registration forms
will be available through our website: www.carolinatesol.org. This information
will also be included in the first newsletter for the 2016-2017 school year.
Do you have a neat activity that helps your students with language proficien-
cy? Are you willing to share your ideas with ESOL teachers from the Caroli-
nas? If you are interested in presenting at the 2016 conference, be sure to contact your regional representative.

Shakespeare Sonnet Contest Winners

The winners of the Shakespeare Sonnet Contest have been announced! The ECU winner is Charles Haney. The high school winner is Lucas Seijos of West Craven High School. The high school runner-up is Lilly Creel, also of West Craven High School. Congratulations to all!

Photo caption: From left to right are Dr. Tom Herron, high school winner Lucas Seijos, Dr. Marianne Montgomery, Dr. Corinnee Guy, and ECU winner Charles Haney.


Faculty Research Series!

invites you to:
“ ‘I’m Billie Jean & I’m Mad as Hell’:
The Answer Song as Feminist Remix in American Music”
Presented by: Wendy Sharer • Professor of English

Wednesday, April 20 • Noon-1 pm • Bate 1006

Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program, Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

TESOL’s Award!!!



At this year’s TESOL convention in Baltimore, Mark Johnson (ECU) and Holly Hansen-Thomas (Texas Woman’s University) congratulated Fares Karam (center) on winning TESOL’s award for an outstanding paper on non-native English speaking teacher (NNEST) issues, which is sponsored by ECU’s Department of English. Fares, a doctoral student at the University of Virginia, presented the winning paper, Syrian Refugee NNESTs: Teacher Identity and the Fear of English, which examined the challenges of teachers in refugee schools in Lebanon.

Multicultural Literature Day!



Multicultural Literature Day (MTL Day) this year is on Thursday, April 21st, from 4:00 to 5:30 in Bate 1026! If you want to assign your students some extra credit, this is the event! Get them to stand up and share their favorite poem or selection from a book that says something significant about the different multicultural experiences that people have in America or around the world!

ECU’s Spoken Word Poetry Team, WORD OF MOUTH, will be performing and our Special Guest Speaker is poet, writer, artist, and educator Tanaya Winder. Please read about her on the attached flyer!

If you want a student or yourself added to the program, please email me (milesg@ecu.edu) their name and literary selection. If you aren’t sure yet, anybody can get up and share during the OPEN MIC part of the event! Please read the attachment below. Of course, you don’t HAVE to participate, you can just come and enjoy the readings, the talent, and the special guest!

Refreshments will be served after the event!

Sponsored by Multicultural and Transnational Literature
Co-Sponsored by The English Department, the English Club, Ethnic Studies, and the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center


Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Solveig Bosse




Dr. Solveig Bosse is an assistant professor of Linguistics and TESOL in the Department of English at East Carolina University.

MA English/Economics (Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany)

MA Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)

Ph.D. Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)



Where are you from?

I grew up in Verden (Aller), Germany.

What brought you to ECU?

There are very few jobs for graduates with doctorate degrees in Linguistics available, especially on the more permanent tenure-track. ECU offering me a tenure-track position was a great opportunity, so I accepted and came here.

What is your field and how did you first become interested in it?

Officially, I am a theoretical linguist. Most of my research is in theoretical syntax with an added interest in formal semantics. In simpler terms, I analyze the sentence structures of sentences in different languages and try to explain why the sentences have the structure they do and why the sentences mean what they mean.

Unofficially, I am also a psycholinguist – and that is how I first became interested in linguistics. Back in Germany, I took a graduate seminar on first language acquisition. The professor, Prof. Dr. Hamann, decided to offer me a position as a graduate research assistant. I learned a lot about research and academia from her, and when the time came, she encouraged me to apply to Ph.D. programs in linguistics in the USA. I was accepted to the University of Delaware, and there my emphasis slowly shifted from psycholinguistics to theoretical linguistics. While I volunteered in a psycholinguistic lab throughout graduate school, I began to work on my syntactic and semantic research. Eventually, I enjoyed the theoretical work a tad bit more and decided to write my dissertation on a theoretical topic. To this day, I enjoy both theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics, resulting in me discussing collaborative psycholinguistic work with Dr. Curtindale, the Director of ECU’s Infant and Child Cognition Lab, this semester. (Hopefully, the actual collaboration will start next semester.)

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them?

MA English/Economics (Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany)MA Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)Ph.D. Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)

What other life experience prepared you for your role here at ECU?

I have lived in four different US states, in Germany, and briefly in China. In these places, I met a variety of people with diverse life stories and saw how different people handle big and small issues differently. These experiences have probably had the biggest impact on my role here as they allow me to connect with the diverse people in Pirate Nation – the students, my colleagues and others in and around Greenville.

What recognitions/achievements are you most proud of and why?

I consider my Ph.D. degree my biggest achievement. My Ph.D. program at UD was very tough and demanding at times, and despite considering giving up many times, I never did.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I enjoy learning from and discussing linguistics (and some other topics) with others. So my most enjoyable moments are when I am challenged in class by questions from students about concepts and ideas of linguistics, or when I discuss my research or that of my colleagues. These moments allow me to rethink my assumptions, to strengthen my arguments and to think about a problem from a different point of view.

Describe one of the most rewarding courses you’ve taught in your time at ECU?

One of the most rewarding courses I taught has been LING3730/ENGL6526. This course was, and usually is, taught as a mixed graduate-undergraduate course. We investigate the sounds and word formation processes present in English. I have had terrific discussions with students about the different sounds that English employs, how the sounds are made, and how dialects of English differ in their sound inventories. I have seen students grow from being completely unaware of the sounds of their language to taking a huge interest in how they themselves speak, what features in their speech mark their background, region and identity, and how they can use the information I taught them to their own benefit.

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