Asta LaBiancaTitle: Assistant Professor
Office Location: Nethery Hall 208
Phone: (269) 471-3660
BA Walla Walla College Diploma in Voice, New England Conservatory of Music MA Andrews University
“It is better to ask some questions than to know all the answers.” James Thurber
All my life, I’ve been fascinated with language and how it is learned, constructed, acquired, and used. Perhaps the fact that I grew up learning two languages at once (Estonian and English) contributed to my curiosity. I don’t know. But whatever the reason, I find learning about language and teaching students to learn English, to understand its structure, and how to use it to be greatly satisfying. It thrills me to be learning myself through observing my students as they learn.
I’m privileged to teach classes in both the Department of English (Modern English Grammar and Phonetics and Phonology) and the Center for Intensive English Programs. My particular interest is teaching English pronunciation to second language learners. I’ve found that having spent many years studying and teaching vocal music – with its inherent study of the diction of the languages being sung -- has been an added bonus in this pursuit. My multi-cultural background and experience also has prepared me for my present work. I was born in England to Estonian parents; grew up in British Columbia, Canada; am married to an immigrant from Norway; and have spent considerable time traveling and living in five continents.
My husband, Oystein, is an anthropologist who has broadened my cultural horizons and exposed me to the people and cultures of the Middle East and Scandinavia. As parents of three sons, one daughter-in-law, and a grandson, we treasure time with our family and hiking together. My favorite leisure activities include gardening, traditional handwork, and water-color painting
Current Research or Professional Activities
"Teaching English: An Aid to Community Appraisal? Our Experience in a Jordanian Village" by Asta Sakala LaBianca, Jemarly Cadanilla, Amanda Cochran, and Vimie Magsino, Michigan Academy of Arts, Letters, and Sciences, March 2011.
Performance or Exhibition
· Concert of Sacred Classical Music – Canto Dulcis – Harbert Episcopal Church 9/22/10
· American 19th Century Music program – Canto Dulcis – Whitcomb Towers 9/22/10
· Americana: A 19th Century Sampler – Canto Dulcis – HPAC 10-10-10