CSU, Chico News

Professor Co-author of New Book on Language Teaching

Date: 04-18-2014

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Teaching a second language has never been more important, and California State University, Chico professor Denise Minor and a UC Davis colleague have written an innovative new manual on the subject.

Minor has taught Spanish for eight years at CSU, Chico and is in the Department of International Languages, Literatures and Cultures.She received her Ph.D. from UC Davis and did her master’s work at San Francisco State.

“On Being a Language Teacher,” published by Yale Press, is targeted to prospective foreign-language teachers at the secondary and university level as well as English as a second language teachers.

Minor and UC Davis Spanish lecturer Norma Lopez-Burton worked on the book for three years before it came out last month. Minor said they recognized there was a big market for a book offering practical teaching tips along with current theory on how learners best acquire a second language.

“On Being a Language Teacher” has many anecdotes from the authors’ experiences teaching languages along with illustrations and sample lessons to aid teachers at every level and for every language. A companion website has online videos giving examples of how to apply ideas from the text.

Along with methodological tools for prospective teachers, the book provides glimpses of the authors’ own journeys becoming teachers. “It has been almost three decades since I first stepped into a classroom as a language teacher,” Minor writes at the start of the book. “I can still see the stairs leading up to the tiny language academy on the second story above a clothes shop in downtown Irún, Spain.”

More information about the book is available from Yale Press at http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300186895.

Minor said the need for second-language teachers is up and graduates are getting jobs. She said an increasingly multilingual culture and the globalization of business are two reasons why the job market for second-language teachers is strong.