Fall 2015 Graduate Course Offerings


Applied Linguistics

ENGL/LING 510. Introduction to Computers in Applied Linguistics

Instructor: Volker Hegelheimer

Use of applications software for language teaching, linguistic analysis, and statistical analysis. Issues and problems in applied linguistics related to computer methods.

ENGL/LING 511. Introduction to Linguistic Analysis

Instructor: Tammy Slater

Principles and methods of linguistic analysis with emphasis on phonology, morphology, and syntax. Description of linguistic variation and current theoretical approaches to linguistics.

ENGL/LING 512. Second Language Acquisition

Instructor: Carol Chapelle

Theory, methods, and results of second language acquisition research with emphasis on approaches relevant to second language teaching.

ENGL/LING 513. Language Assessment Practicum

Advanced practicum in language assessment

ENGL 518A. Teaching English as a Second Language Methods and Materials.

Instructor: Karina Silva

Introduction to approaches, methods, techniques, materials, curricular design, and assessment for various levels of ESL instruction. Attention to issues related to the teaching of listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, pronunciation, and culture.

ENGL 518XW. Teaching English as a Second Language Methods and Materials

Instructor: Jim Ranalli

Introduction to approaches, methods, techniques, materials, curricular design, and assessment for various levels of ESL instruction. Attention to issues related to the teaching of listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, pronunciation, and culture.

ENGL 530X. Technology and Oral Language

Instructor: John Levis

This course will explore the linguistic description and analysis of oral language and will examine technological tools that applied linguists need to know to successfully use technology in oral language research, descriptions of oral assessment of proficiency and in curricular decision-making and pedagogical activities. Students will examine how oral language is described and analyzed, with particular attention to phonetics, phonology, conversation analysis, transcription and analysis of oral language, and variability of oral language in registers and dialects. We will explore programs and tools that allow us to understand and exploit basic elements of the technology used in oral language research, learning the uses and limitations of measurement tools such as spectrograms, waveforms, and fundamental frequency contours. We will also examine and critique exercises for the description and analysis of oral language for computer and web-based applications.

ENGL/LING 537. Advanced Grammatical Analysis: Corpus Approaches to Grammar

Instructor: Bethany Gray

This course focuses on the analysis of grammar using authentic, representative language data and methodologies from corpus linguistics. Using a major corpus-based reference grammar paired with hands-on analyses, we will explore language in terms of its form, grammatical function and discourse function, in conjunction with how grammar varies across register. We will gain practical experience in using corpus methodologies to learn about grammar in language use. Although we will focus primarily on English, the techniques and methods we’ll practice in the course can be (and have been!) applied to the grammar of any language. In addition to gaining extensive and in-depth knowledge of grammar, we will also explore different approaches to grammar that are often paired with corpus-based grammar analyses to contribute to practice, research, and theory in applied linguistics. The overarching goal of the course is for you to be confident in analyzing and explaining grammar so that such knowledge can be applied in your teaching and research. The course will focus on descriptive corpus-based grammatical analysis techniques, with attention to Systemic Functional Grammar, Pattern Grammar, and Pedagogical Grammar approaches.

ENGL 588. Supervised Practice Teaching in Teaching English as a Second Language

Instructor: Tammy Slater

Intensive observation of ESL instruction and supervised practice in teaching learners of English in a context appropriate to the student teacher’s goals. ENGL 588 cannot be used for teacher licensure and cannot be taken during student teaching.

ENGL  623. Research Methods in Applied Linguistics

Instructor: Gary Ockey

This course introduces students to research methods used in applied linguistics with emphasis on second language research.  It covers conceptualizing and conducting research studies, including, the process of developing research questions, gathering data, obtaining permission from an Institutional Review Board, choosing data collection measures, and coding data.  It introduces students to differences and similarities between quantitative and qualitative research.  The epistemological bases underlying different perspectives to research in applied linguistics will be discussed and students will read examples from a range of approaches in the journals in applied linguistics.  Assignments will include analysis of research approaches and designing one’s own study.  Major aims of the course include preparing students to be consumers of second language research as well as to be able to design their research studies. The course also aims to prepare students for courses in research design, quantitative analysis (e.g., statistics), and qualitative analysis.

ENGL  630A. Seminar in Technology and Applied Linguistics: Corpus Linguistics & Language Teaching

Instructor: Bethany Gray

This seminar focuses on corpus linguistics and its applications to language teaching, considering theories regarding how corpora can inform language pedagogy along with practical applications to the development of language learning materials and the use of corpora by learners in the language classroom. The course will undertake a critical evaluation of the range of ways that corpus linguistics is appled to language teaching (for L2 learners generally, for L1 and L2 academic writing, and for English for Specific Purposes), with a focus on current issues in the field. The course will center on the following main topics:

  1. applying corpus-based research to classroom materials development, through such tasks as undertaking a survey of language resources that have been informed by corpora (e.g., dictionaries, grammars, ESL/EFL textbooks); critiquing and developing language-based activities based on students’ own corpus investigations, as well as based on published corpus research; and considering the role of learner corpora (or novice writer corpora) in informing language pedagogy
  2. designing and critiquing corpus-based classroom instruction in which language learners use corpora in the classroom (e.g., data-driven learning)
  3. evaluating and researching the effectiveness of corpus-based materials and corpus use in the language classroom

Students in the course will gain extensive practice in evaluating/critiquing corpus-based materials and classroom activities, as well as in applying corpus-based findings and/or methodologies to develop their own materials/activities. They will also develop a proposal for researching the implementation of their materials/activities.
Notes: Computer programming knowledge is not required for the course. However, students with this experience may have opportunities to apply and build on programming skills they may have been developing in courses such as English 516x, 520, and 630 (NLP-based CALL Tool Development).
Having a good grasp of the basics of corpus linguistics will be beneficial in this course. If you are new to corpus linguistics, you might consider using the following book as a resource:
McEnery, T., Xiao, R., & Tono, Y. (2006). Corpus-based language studies: An advanced resource book. New York: Routledge.

ENGL  630B. Seminar in Technology and Applied Linguistics: Development of Language Assessments

Instructor: Gary Ockey

This course provides students with training on how to develop a language assessment. Students will be introduced to a number of task formats, including multiple-choice, matching, true/false, short answer, interview and discussion. Students will also be introduced to various types of rating scales, including analytic and holistic. Test development frameworks, including Evidence-centered design will also be discussed. The course is designed to be very practical. Students will develop their own language tasks and scoring criteria. The design of surveys will also be discussed from the point of view that they are also a type of assessment instrument. The final project for the course will be developing either one somewhat complex language assessment OR a section of a language assessment and a survey designed to assess an ability related to language assessment or learning. Students who desire to create a language assessment or a survey instrument for their thesis or dissertation might find this course particularly useful.

ENGL  688. Practicum in Technology and Applied Linguistics

Instructor: Volker Hegelheimer

Day/Time To Be Arranged
Focus on integrating theoretical knowledge with practical expertise. Assess client needs; develop, integrate, and evaluate solutions. Practical understanding of computer applications used in multimedia development. Create web-based or CD-ROM-based multimedia materials. Work with advanced authoring applications.

Creative Writing

ENGL 550. Creative Writing: Craft and Professional Practice

Instructor: K. L. Cook

A multi-genre craft course required of all incoming students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment.  Students develop an understanding of craft and environmental writing across genres (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama) as well as learn about editing and publication practice through the lens of a working literary journal, Flyway: A Journal of Writing and Environment (http://flyway.org/).  Other course activities include presentations on the production practices of leading literary journals, individual editing projects, pragmatic tips for finding publication outlets for polished creative work, and a field trip to publishing houses.  The class also takes a field trip to the Everett Casey Nature Reserve as well as to another location.  In 2015, the class will attend the Prairie Festival, hosted by the Land Institute during the last weekend in September.  Required of all new students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment.

ENGL 555. Workshop: Nonfiction

Instructor: Barbara Haas

My work in nonfiction makes obvious that it’s not possible to address environmental or place-based concerns without also addressing the historical, cultural, aesthetic and even sometimes the political issues that shape them. Our intent, then, in 555 is to draw upon a complexity of research modalities that will coax from raw material the kind of nonfiction narrative that is at once emotionally evocative and also lushly grounded in the tangible real world constructs that shape our notion of environment, place or nature.
This workshop is ideally positioned for authors working with book-length nonfiction projects (chapter by chapter) and also for authors crafting stand-alone essays of every stripe (memoir, narrative-based, braided, personal, etc.)
An approach like ours might foreseeably have you examining the social and cultural implications of [your environmental topic here], designing and shaping your material around that, searching out odd pockets of meaning, forging creative links, making connections between disparate elements and ultimately working toward fashioning a work of nonfiction that highlights the human drama inherent in your material.
Our workshop methods will demonstrate how to frame a distinctive and neatly contained research topic, how to gather information and develop that topic further and then fuse lyricism, characterization and place-based cultural criticism into a highly focused compendium, namely the nonfiction essay, which contributes to a broader debate about global citizenship.
Ultimately, our workshop aim is to probe mysteries, illustrate basic truths and tell a good story.
ENGL 555 provides a workshop forum through which to test your CNF methods, receive feedback and gain insights for subsequent writing. You will generate four essays or chapters for this course, submit them for class critique in our workshop and read nonfiction models for discussion at intervals throughout the term.

ENGL 557.  Studies in Creative Writing: Stage and Screen: Scripting Dramatic Action

Instructor: Charissa Menefee

Unlike other forms of literature, scripts have dual lives.  They exist on the page, to be read, but also carry the potential to become something else, to transform into another piece of art that will require the collaboration of other artists and ultimately have another life in front of an audience.  How this second life manifests depends on the quality of the communication on the page.  In this graduate seminar, we will read, study, and write stage plays and screenplays, paying close attention to the techniques successful writers use to create dramatic literature that lives both on the page and beyond.

ENGL 560.  Environmental Field Experience

Instructor: Debra Marquart

Students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment register for three credits and spend a term on a project that requires environmental fieldwork. Fieldwork experiences might include the following kinds of activities: working for a federal, state, or private non-profit environmental organization; partnering with an environmental activism organization or advocacy organization working toward a cause of interest for the student’s research; or living and working in a specified natural area and engaging in environmental fieldwork that enhances the student’s understanding of environmental issues.
A proposal must be submitted to and approved by the English 560 field experience coordinator prior to the commencement of fieldwork. Students should confer with their advisors or the field experience coordinator prior to writing the proposal. An informational document, “MFA Guidelines for Completion of English 560,” and the approval form, “MFA Environmental Field Experience Proposal,” are both available for download on the following website: http://www.engl.iastate.edu/graduate-students/resources-for-current-students-faculty/. (See the links for the two 560 documents under the subheading, “Program Specific POS Forms.”)
The 560 field experience culminates in a formal public presentation of the student’s experience and a short creative reading of work that demonstrates the way the field experience has informed the writer’s work. A final portfolio of the writing samples and other documentation will be submitted to the field experience coordinator as a final requirement of the 560 Environmental Field Experience.


ENGL 532. American Literature to 1865: The Haunted Wilderness: American Gothic and the Natural World

Instructor: Matthew Wynn Sivils

Emily Dickinson wrote, “Nature is a Haunted House—but Art—a House that tries to be haunted.” With this cultural linkage between the spectral and natural worlds in mind, we will explore a number of early American Gothic texts to better understand the anxieties that haunt this influential facet of environmentally conscious literature. As American Gothic works regularly forgo literal hauntings for more terrestrial terrors, this course will also investigate how these texts portray environments that are not only realms of great beauty and enlightenment but that are also home to madness, violence, and the grotesque.
Readings will include novels, poems, and short fiction by writers such as Charles Brockden Brown, Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, and Harriet Prescott Spofford. We will also examine a sampling of later works influenced by those early writers (including clips from some disturbing films). To better inform our discussion and writing about these texts, we will also study a selection of critical essays by Renée Bergland, Charles Crow, Teresa Goddu, Toni Morrison, Eric Savoy, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and others.

ENGL 535. British Literature 1830 to the Present: “H.G. Wells, Science Fiction, and Modernism”

Instructor: Jeremy Withers

Frank McConnell writes: “H. G. Wells has been called the father, the one authentic genius, even the Shakespeare of science fiction.” This seminar will examine this tension and paradox that surrounds Wells. On the one hand, we have the “genius” and “Shakespeare” who helped establish a genre synonymous with modernity: science fiction. On the other hand, we have a writer who debated the merits of modernism with many of its early writers and who is commonly seen as having rejected modernism’s aesthetics and stylistics in favor of a more didactic approach to fiction. (We will, however, read some scholarship which suggests that Wells contributed to the shaping of modernism in key ways that have often been unacknowledged or under-appreciated.)
The primary readings in this class will be anchored in a sampling of some of the key works by Wells which were admired by both the early modernists and by later science fiction writers, works such as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and The Invisible Man, as well as a sampling of later works such as A Modern Utopia which would have likely rankled many early modernists for being too “preachy” and “idea-driven.”
We will then trace the influence of Wells on later works of modernism. Readings in this latter category will include works of early modernism like Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent. We also will look at selections of letters between – and essays by – Wells, James, Shaw, and Conrad in which they debate what the purpose and goals of literature should be. The semester will end with a reading of Virginia Woolf’s essay “Modern Fiction” (in which she criticizes Wells) and her novel Mrs. Dalloway, and a discussion of how works of high modernism like Woolf’s fit into the at-times ferocious debates between Wells and the early modernists.  In sum, this class should be of use to anyone interested in any of the following: issues of canonicity and periodization, larger debates about the role and value of art (especially the novel), the history of modernism or the history of science fiction, and so forth.

ENGL 545. Women’s Literature

“The Other F-Word Now: Contemporary Feminist Musings”

Instructor: Michèle Schaal

ENGL/WS 545 is a topics course dedicated to women’s literature. This section will focus particularly on feminist writings from the past five years and within a transnational perspective. We therefore will give special attention to contexts and the issues at stake in the publications such as contemporary democracy, intersectionality, transgenderism, alliances, sexualities, or inclusiveness. We will also try to determine whether we may consider that the Western world in particular is experiencing a fourth wave of feminism—or not. In order to understand how feminisms are about continuity and change, we will also read additional critical and foundational material. A visit to the ISU Museums exhibit “(Re)discovering S(h)elves” is scheduled too. Readings will include, among other items, Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, Tawakkol Karman’s Iron Jasmine, Pussy Riot! A Punk Prayer for Freedom, Julia Serano’s Excluded,  and Jessica Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism.

ENGL 561x.  Methods for Scholarship in Literature and the Humanities

Instructor: Linda Shenk  

This course will be an academic writing boot camp for master’s students who are studying literature and other disciplines in the humanities. The term “boot camp” may sound daunting, but the course is designed to be pragmatic and helpful in bolstering each participant’s research productivity. By examining the mechanics of how scholars construct and support their arguments in academic communication, we will address the strategies and research methods that lead to success. This course will involve some class readings, but mostly it will focus on research and on writing documents in a range of genres that may include, but are not limited to, the seminar paper, thesis prospectus, book review, conference paper, and critical essay. In addition to completing a seminar paper, participants will be allowed to choose from a range of genres for certain other assignments so that all students prepare critical documents needed to fulfill their individual scholarly trajectory. Course participants will conference often with the instructor, will form writing groups, and will follow a productive research-writing schedule. Because this course will move swiftly into research methods and projects, students should come to class the first week with specific ideas for research projects.

Rhetoric & Professional Communication

ENGL 500.  Proseminar: Teaching English Composition

Instructors: Barbara Haas, Kathie Gossett, and Michelle Tremmel

Required of all new English Department ISUComm Foundation Courses graduate teaching assistants.  Introduction to the teaching of ISUComm Foundation Courses.  Foundational and relevant newer composition theory and pedagogical methods related to ISUComm Foundation Courses objectives and their classroom enactment, including development of communication assignments and supporting activities, and evaluation of student communication projects incorporating visual elements and oral presentations.  Specifically, the proseminar will have the following objectives: 1) to familiarize the new TA with course objectives and procedures for ISUComm Foundation Courses at Iowa State University, as well as give the TA practical guidance in managing the classroom; 2) to introduce the new TA to theories and their resulting pedagogical approaches relevant to teaching ISUComm Foundation Courses; 3) to give the new TA guidelines for developing assignments, teaching materials, and syllabi consistent with the goals and objectives of English 150/250 at ISU.

ENGL 504.  Teaching Business and Technical Communication

Instructors: Jenny Aune and Jo Mackiewicz

This class is the one you will need if you want to teach in the Advanced Communication program (English 302, 309, 312, and 314). You can take the class concurrent with teaching sections of Advanced Comm courses.
We have revised the course content so that it will also interest those who would like to teach business and technical communication classes in a community college (e.g., RCPC students after graduation) and those who are interested in teaching in industry (i.e., training). We’ll cover curriculum planning, assignment design, responding to student work, assessment of student work, and distance (online) teaching.

ENGL 506. Theory and Research in Professional Communication

Instructor: Geoffrey Sauer

This graduate seminar will study theoretical constructs and issues that inform workplace professional and technical communication. Inherently a multi-disciplinary activity, professional communication draws on theories from fields as different as the rhetoric of science, psychology, philosophy, sociology, cultural studies and linguistics. This term we will focus specifically on theories from 1945 to the present which examine the relationships between author, text and reader, and on philosophies of language as they apply to workplace communicative practice. The purpose of this seminar is to explore relevant theories in sufficient depth and detail to do justice to their complexity, and, at the same time to examine their applicability to professional/technical communication.

ENGL 548. The History of Rhetorical Theory II: From Bacon to the Present

Instructor: Margaret LaWare

Rhetorical theory from the early modern period (Bacon, Descartes, and Locke) to the present; attention to its relation to the nature of knowledge, communication practice, and pedagogy.

ENGL 582. Advanced Rhetorical Analysis

Instructor: Ben Crosby

Extended practice in close textual analysis of various kinds of rhetorical artifacts. Attention to important theoretical concepts used in rhetorical analysis and to historical controversies over the scope and function of rhetorical analysis.

ENGL 587. Internship in Business, Technical, and Professional Communication

Instructor: Dave Roberts

An opportunity to write, edit, and design business and technical documents in a professional setting.

ENGL 592C. Core Studies in Rhetoric and Professional Communication: Multimodal Theory and Pedagogy

Instructor: Denise Vrchota
Focus:  Exploration of Oral Communication Practices in the Disciplines
How do professional engineers communicate with each other?  Is verbal or nonverbal communication more important when dietitians interview clients?  Which disciplines conduct most of their work in groups and teams?  These are examples of questions that might be studied in RPC 592C.  The purpose of this class is to identify the oral communication genres that are privileged in one discipline and identify the connection of the communication genres to disciplinary traditions; e.g., the role of the genre in generating disciplinary knowledge, conducting the business of the discipline, and socializing individuals as professional practitioners.  The course is open to any graduate or advanced undergraduate student who has an interest in exploring the integral connection of oral communication to a specific discipline. Previous coursework in oral communication is not required; students will receive instruction and practice in oral communication theory and concepts in class.  The course will include readings of relevant theory and research in oral communication in the disciplines and instruction and practice in qualitative research methods.  Students will examine the prioritized oral communication traditions within a discipline of their own choice by spending a minimum of ten hours observing disciplinary experiences (classes, labs, field trips, etc.) and additional time conducting 1-2 interviews with disciplinary representatives (faculty, practicing professionals, etc.). Class assignments include student led class discussions, research briefings, and brief written assignments.   Major assignments are a qualitative analysis of the findings and a presentation of results to the class.