Assistant Professor of German
Coordinator, Foreign Language Instructional Technology Graduate Certificate Program
PhD, Queen's University
MA, Dalhousie University
BA, Dalhousie University
After I finished writing my comprehensive exams at Queen’s University, I got my first “real job” setting up a German language program at Middle Georgia College, a small junior college in Cochran, Georgia. The program included a distance learning component and the courses were delivered via interactive satellite broadcast to four other colleges throughout Southern Georgia. Working with technology and adapting my teaching to a distance-learning format brought about a “switch of allegiances,” and I abandoned my focus on 19th-century German literature to begin working in the area of technology-enhanced language learning.
I enjoy teaching the German language – especially at the elementary and intermediate levels when students are still surprised and fascinated by the intricacies and eccentricities of the language. I recently introduced a film component to my elementary-level course, which will encourage students to look closely at aspects of German culture and language that their textbooks simply cannot provide.
In addition to teaching German, I coordinate the Foreign Language Instructional Technology Graduate Certificate Program here at NIU, and enjoy working with current and future language teachers to help them incorporate instructional technology into their curricula in meaningful and pedagogically effective ways.
I am currently working on a book on technology-enhanced language learning (TELL) that outlines a variety of approaches to FL education and provides comprehensive analysis of technological tools best suited to each approach. I am especially interested in electronic portfolios and alternate assessment methods and recently completed an article on electronic portfolios in FL education.
When I am not in “professor mode,” I’m with my family. As the mother of identical twin girls, I am, to quote C. S. Lewis, “surprised by joy” daily thanks to these small, captivating people. Naturally, I’m fascinated with all things pertaining to twins: their biology, development, psychology, and so on, and read everything about them that I can get my hands on.
Some Recent Publications
Cooke-Plagwitz, J. and Lomicka, L. (Editors) Teaching with Technology. Heinle Professional Series in Language Instruction: Vol 1. Boston: Heinle, 2004.
“Blazing New Trails: The Foreign Language Instructional Technology Graduate Certificate Program at Northern Illinois University.” Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference, Vol. 2003:1 (2003).
(Co-authored with Susan Hines) “How To, and Why? What You Should Know About Course and Learning Management Systems.” Ed-Media/Ed Telecom 2001: World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications Proceedings. Vol. 2. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, 2001.
“Instructional Technology in the Classroom: New Directions for Foreign Language Faculty.” Ed-Media 2000 World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications Proceedings. Vol. 2. Edited by Jacqueline Boudreau and Rachelle Heller. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, 2000.
MLA - Modern Language Association
IALLT - International Association for Language Learning Technology
ICTFL – Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
AATG – American Association of Teachers of German
ACTFL – American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
AACE – Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education
E-mail Jessamine Cooke-Plagwitz
Watson Hall 317