Jessamine Cooke-Plagwitz

Research Interests

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 also the director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, a position that affords me the opportunity to meet and assist language students as they pursue their majors and minors in our department.

I am currently working on a book on technology-enhanced language learning (TELL) that outlines a variety of approaches to employing technology in FL education and provides comprehensive analysis of technological tools best suited to a variety of instructional goals. I am especially interested alternate assessment methods, games and gamification in FL education, and the use of virtual environments for online FL course delivery.

When I am not in “professor mode,” I enjoy spending time with my family, hanging out with my two dogs and three cats, yoga, learning to ride (hunter jumper/dressage), learning Japanese, knitting and crocheting and lots of reading (mostly the dark stuff).

Selected Publications

  • “A New Language for the Net-Generation: Why Second Life Works for the N-Gen” World Language Teaching in the N-Generation: Issues and Perspectives (Oxford and Oxford, Eds.) University of Hawai`i Press, 173-181.
  • “Learning in 3-D Multi-User Virtual Environments: Exploring the use of Unique 3-D Attributes for Online Problem Based Learning” (Co-authored with Nicholas Omale, Wei-Chen Hung, and Lara Luetkehans). British Journal of Educational Technology 40(3) 480–495.
  • "New Directions in CALL: An Objective Introduction to Second Life” Volume 25, Issue No.3 of the CALICO Journal 25(3) pp. 547-557.
  • Cooke-Plagwitz, J. and Lomicka, L. (Editors) Teaching with Technology. Heinle Professional Series in Language Instruction: Vol 1. Boston: Heinle, 2004.


Jessamine Cooke-Plagwitz
Associate Professor of German and Applied Linguistics
Coordinator, Foreign Language Instructional Technology Graduate Certificate Program
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Office: WH 118
P: 815-753-6448


Ph.D., Queen's University
M.A., Dalhousie University
B.A., Dalhousie University

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