The 2015 Applied Linguistics Winter Conference (ALWC) will be held on Saturday, March 7 at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Santoi Wagner, Plenary Speaker

Integrating theory and practice through Service-Learning in TESOL


Within the field of TESOL, service-learning is becoming a significant area of research and practitioner interest. In a service-learning paradigm, community service and structured reflection of the experience are integrated with an academic curriculum. Reciprocity and collaboration are core values: the educational institution and the community organization work together for mutual benefit with equal importance placed on service to the community and learning for individual. Service-learning provides students with opportunities to apply what is learned in the classroom to the real world, and to use real world experience to inform classroom learning. In this talk, I will focus on service-learning for two student populations: ESL students in higher education, and international students in TESOL teacher education programs. Although the research literature has highlighted benefits such as improvements in language proficiency, deepening understanding of U.S. culture, and enhanced civic and professional engagement, there are also challenges that need to be recognized and addressed. I will also consider effective procedures for the implementation of service-learning projects and productive avenues for future research.


Dr. Santoi Wagner is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Linguistics, and the Associate Director of TESOL at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. She earned her Ed.D. in Applied Linguistics at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Wagner is also the founder and faculty supervisor of PEDAL@GSE (Practical English for Daily Living), an ESL program for adult family members of international students, scholars, and staff at the University of Pennsylvania, and its sister program, Community PEDAL, that provides ESL classes for the West Philadelphia community. She has been a secondary school English teacher in Hong Kong, and has taught ESL in various academic and community settings in the United States. Her current scholarly and professional interests lie in understanding the experience of international graduate students as they navigate the development and demonstration of interactional competence in teaching English and other content areas.

To request disability-related accommodations contact OASID at, (212) 678-3689, (212) 678-3853 TTY, (646) 755-3144 video phone, as early as possible