Hedy McGarrell strives for balance.
Balance between teaching and research. Balance between research and its practical application.
This achievement of balance has earned the Brock Applied Linguistics professor the inaugural Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Niagara Distinction Award for 2010.
McGarrell strikes a balance between her academic work and the realities of the local TESL group.
“I believe it’s important to keep in touch with the practitioners. We don’t want to give the impression that we are here in an ivory tower,” said McGarrell of her ongoing involvement with TESL Niagara. “I can bring new ideas and new research to them, but the teachers keep me in touch with classroom realities.”
The award will be one of several to be presented Thursday, April 22 at a special evening of celebration for TESL members. TESL Niagara gives out awards for literacy to its students, and to a teacher in his or her first year.
“We just thought it would be appropriate to honour those who support our teachers,” said Jim Papple, TESL Niagara president and Intensive English Language Program speaking co-ordinator at Brock.
McGarrell has been a TESL member for more than a decade. For the last nine years, she has served as the co-editor of a special issue of CONTACT with the refereed proceedings of the annual TESL Ontario Research Symposium. She also co-authored the writing textbook Writing for Results.
She is involved in several research projects, including two involving English as a Second Language (ESL) studies. In one project, she investigates how ESL undergraduate students learn to write literature reviews. With the other, she investigates how student teachers of adult ESL learners learn to provide productive feedback for the learners’ written texts.
Since joining Brock in 1988, McGarrell has served on several committees. She has also served as graduate program director, chair of the Department of Applied Linguistics, and director of the Intensive English Language Program.
McGarrell is a member of the editorial board and a frequent reviewer for several international journals. She has reviewed book manuscripts for numerous publishers, and is a member of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Publications Committee. She has taught, presented papers and carried out research in Europe, Africa, North America and Asia.