John Evar Strid
Achieving the unimaginable is no easy task, and doing so is something most people will never know.
John Evar Strid is not among them.
The associate professor in NIU’s Department of Literacy and Elementary Education recently learned that the TESOL Journal accepted the first version of his manuscript, “The Myth of the Critical Period.”
He also was invited to join the top-tier journal’s editorial review board.
“Wow … you have done the almost impossible,” Joy Egbert, editor of the journal, wrote in an Aug. 25 email to Strid. “Nicely done.”
Strid’s article examines the “critical period hypothesis,” which holds that the learning of language becomes considerably harder following the “ideal time” to acquire that knowledge.
It was good news to one reviewer, who reported that “the article turned around my thinking. All this time, I believed that there was little use in trying to correct pronunciation with older learners.”
“The manuscript presents a seminal case that will motivate the full spectrum of (journal) readers, from TESOL researchers, teacher-educators (and) TESOL teachers,” the reviewer wrote. “Readers will concur that older learners can, and do, develop a new language efficiently or more efficiently than those acquiring a new language starting at a very young age.” Read more...
NIU receives grant to prevent suicides through awareness
A $300,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will work to decrease stigma around mental health and promote resilience in the NIU community.
NIU’s three-year grant, awarded to collaborators from the NIU College of Education’s Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education (CAHE) and NIU Counseling & Consultation Services, will fund various training programs and an awareness campaign.
“Like every other campus across the country, we’re seeing more and more students presenting with mental health issues than we have in the past,” said Brooke Ruxton, executive director of Counseling & Consultation Services and a licensed clinical psychologist, “and we’re doing something about that.”
Called “B-Safer” – an acronym for “Building Suicide Awareness and Fostering Enhanced Resilience” – the initiative officially begins Sept. 30. The B-Safer team also includes Suzanne Degges-White and Carrie Kortegast, chair and assistant professor in CAHE respectively.
Workshops will include “gatekeeper” training for faculty and staff, who will learn how to identify at-risk students and how to respond when they do.
The B-Safer program also will offer awareness training for peer leaders from student organizations on how to recognize signs of trouble in their friends and classmates. Read more...
College of Ed alumna values, imparts NIU lessons
NIU alumna Lalitha Gowdanahalli Ramappa visits
Altgeld Hall in August.
Lalitha Gowdanahalli Ramappa was teaching children with special needs through a spiritual organization in her native India when she came to an important realization.
“I didn’t have enough knowledge to teach them,” Lalitha says. “I wanted to learn more skills and how to be an effective teacher so I could really teach them better.”
That mission brought her to the United States – sponsored by her uncle – to enroll at the College of DuPage and, eventually, at NIU. She graduated from the NIU College of Education in December of 1993 with a master’s degree in special education.
Returning to India, Lalitha began volunteering at a school called Vivekananda Kendra, located in a rural area.
While there, she began applying her NIU training and evangelizing for the College of Education.
“I thank NIU for giving me such a nice education. I applied all of those skills in my school. I learned how to give them feedback, how to assist their skills and their intelligence, how to motivate them to learn,” she says. Read more...