Janet BlackwoodTitle: Assistant Professor of English & Director of Off-Campus TESOL programs
Office Location: Nethery Hall 128
Phone: (269) 471-3168
BS, BA Walla Walla College
MA Portland State University
MS Indiana University
ABD Indiana University
The world is a book and those who don't travel read only a page. ~ St. Augustine of Hippo
As the child of missionary parents in Ethiopia, I was introduced to travel and the discovery of new cultures and languages at an early age. Fortunately, my parents always encouraged respectful curiosity and a willingness to learn about and from others who might look, sound, or behave differently from what I was accustomed to. Those early experiences have had, and continue to have, a significant impact on my life and career.
For the last 24 years, I have had the privilege of working with students in a variety of educational settings – public, private, and church-affiliated schools, both in the United States and abroad; at a variety of levels – kindergarten through university; in a variety of roles – classroom teacher, university professor, program director; and in two languages – Spanish and English. After completing my undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education and Spanish at Walla Walla College, I began my career as a teacher in grades 5-10. Three years later however, a friend’s invitation to attend a week-long conference on teaching English as a second language opened my eyes to new possibilities and led me to obtain an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Portland State University.
In 2002, I moved to Costa Rica and began teaching in the School of Education at Universidad Adventista de Centro América. During the five years I spent there, I served as the coordinator for the degree programs in TESOL, in addition to teaching. I also had the opportunity to further improve my proficiency in Spanish and to travel throughout Central America. After returning to the U.S., I began work on an MS in International and Comparative Education and a PhD in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University. While pursuing those degrees, I began working as an adjunct professor for Andrews University, teaching classes in the MA and Certificate programs in TESOL in the extension program in Seoul, Korea. In the summer of 2012, I joined the faculty full-time on campus. My current responsibilities include coordinating all Department of English extension programs, in addition to teaching a course in TESOL Pedagogy and Practice on campus. I am also working on my dissertation which is a study of English teacher preparation programs in Costa Rica.
When not working, I enjoy walking, knitting, traveling, kayaking, gardening, and spending time with family, friends, and my cat, Nell.
Current Research or Professional Activities
Blackwood, J. (2013). Language Choice Motivations in a Bribri Community in Costa Rica. Working Papers in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education (WPLCLE), 2, 6-20.
Levinson, B. A., Blackwood, J., & Cross, V. (2013). Recipients, agents, or partners?: The contradictions of teacher participation in Mexican secondary education reform. Journal of Educational Change, 14(1), 1-27.