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Dr. Jeffrey Witzel

Assistant Professor
Department of Linguistics & TESOL
College of Liberal Arts

UT Arlington Faculty

Dr. Jeffrey Witzel received his Ph.D. in Linguistics and Cognitive Science from the University of Arizona in August 2010. He also received a Master of Arts in Second Language Studies from the University of Hawaii and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Witzel’s research focuses on language comprehension in both native and non-native speakers as well as on developing language teaching and assessment techniques based on psycholinguistic research methods. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Center for Advanced Study of Language. In 2013, his contributions to service learning at UTA were recognized with two awards -- the Dean’s Accolade Award from the College of Liberal Arts and the Faculty Service-Learning Award from the Center for Service Learning. In 2015, he also received the UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.

Service Learning Class

LING 5395 Graduate Internship: TESOL Practicum
LING 5393 TESOL Teaching and Observation
LING 5302/4354 Methods and Materials for TESOL
LING 5110 TESOL Practicum
LING 4395 Undergraduate Internship: TESOL Practicum

Academic Outcomes

As part of these classes, students participate in a service-learning project in which they volunteer to teach English classes at local schools and other institutions/agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This service-learning opportunity gives students the chance to gain hands-on teaching experience and to apply skills and techniques learned in class to actual teaching situations. One of the primary goals of this project is to help students think critically about how various teaching methods can be applied to meet the needs of specific student populations. This project also gives students the opportunity to see firsthand that their education can have a real and immediate impact on the community.

As of AY15-16, students in this project have provided around 1700 hours of English instruction at 31 different organizations, in service of over 700 learners from various language and cultural backgrounds. As a testament to these students’ professionalism and dedication to this project, one of the participants, Carolyn Jones (MA TESOL '12), received the 2012 Literacy Texas (http://www.literacytexas.org/) Volunteer of the Year award for her service learning work at Vickery Meadow Learning Center (http://www.vmlc.org/).

Service Learning Project

Volunteer English Teaching

Description:

(1) Students volunteer to teach English for 10-45 hours (depending on the class) at organizations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
(2) In regular reflections, students discuss the lessons they have learned and the challenges they have faced during their teaching, including innovative teaching techniques that they have experimented with, different methods of classroom management, and how they have worked to address the specific learning needs of their students.
(3) In the practicum classes (LING 5395, LING 5393, LING 5110, LING 4395), students also record themselves as they teach one of their classes. They then submit this recording along with a detailed reflection on their teaching. In this reflection, students discuss how the lesson demonstrates their strengths as an English instructor, specific ways in which the lesson could be improved, and what the lesson reveals about areas in which they need to develop further.

Partners:

Arlington Life Shelter, Arlington Public Library, Arlington Reads, Bellaire Elementary,
Bethel Chinese Baptist Church, Birdville Independent School District,  Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, English Language Institute (UTA), Euless Public Library, Fort Worth Public Library - Riverside, Gateway Church, Grace Community Church, HOPE Tutoring Center, John Ed Keeter Public Library of Saginaw, LIFT at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, LIFT at First United Methodist Church, North Dallas Shared Ministries, North Lake College, Northwest Christian Church, Park Cities Presbyterian Church, Richardson Adult Literacy Center, Richardson Independent School District, South Hills High School, Tarrant County College, UT Southwestern International Office, UT Southwestern Medical Center, UTA Baptist Student Ministry, Vickery Meadow Learning Center, W.E. Greiner Elementary School, Webb Elementary, Wesley United Methodist Church