English and Creative Writing

Ellen Yeh

Assistant Professor

33 E Congress, Rm 300-V
Phone: (312) 369-8116
Email: eyeh@colum.edu


Although I was born in Alabama, I moved to Taiwan at the age of five and lived there for eighteen years. I am fluent in Mandarin and English and intermediate in Japanese and French. This rich mix of culture and language has driven me to pursue academic degrees, affiliate with English Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) educational organizations, and engage in a scholarly career related to teaching and learning in TESOL. These academic and cultural experiences have driven me to become an educator of Writing and Rhetoric, Applied Linguistics, Oral Expression Learning, and a mentor of pre-service language teachers; conduct research and teach in the field of ESL/EFL curriculum; continue to be an activist-academic and link research, theory, and practice in the field of Writing and Rhetoric programs; have various experiences in teaching, advising, and collaborating with undergraduate and graduate students; and have knowledge and am also qualified to develop curriculum and instruction in multilingual writing and teacher training programs. I am confident to provide leadership within the department on issues related to the education of not only traditional students, but also ESL students in First-Year Writing courses and Writing Center programs.


I earned a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Soochow University in Taiwan with a cumulative GPA of 3.8. I earned a Master’s degree in Learning and Instruction, specializing in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at the State University of New York at Buffalo with a cumulative GPA of 3.9.  My strong academic enthusiasm encouraged me to pursue a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction in the Department of Teacher Education, specializing in Second Language Education and TESOL at Ohio University. I graduated from the doctoral degree with a GPA of 3.9. I currently serves as a director of English as an Additional Language Program at English Department in Columbia College Chicago.


As an educator of curriculum and instruction and a mentor of pre-service English language teachers, I am experienced in (1) integrating technology in Writing and Rhetoric courses; (2) teaching and mentoring students at the university level; (3) writing external funding for TESOL research and curriculum development; (4) providing consultations, workshops, and seminars about writing instruction; and (5) serving national/professional organizations and local community.  I am confident teaching any courses and designing courses listed in the university position summary. I would like to create a learning environment that encourages the concepts of intercultural and culturally responsive teaching and learning. I like to use students’ diverse cultural backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives as conduits for teaching. I have volunteered to teach English to students from multicultural backgrounds, such as Taiwan, Indonesia, and Cambodia. I had experiences teaching in Soochow University, in Taiwan, I designed curricula, prepared materials, and conducted courses for TESOL Methods and Materials, Introductory Grammar and Syntax, Sociolinguistics, and Reading and Writing for four semesters. I am currently a director of English as an Additional Language Program. I also teach International Session Writing and Rhetoric courses and Oral Expression courses. My teaching experiences have trained me to communicate effectively and respectively within the context of various cultural backgrounds. Upon visiting website of the department, I am excited and feel I can connect to the learning environment the department provides to the students. The department encourages various teaching opportunities and provides students and faculty opportunities to work collaboratively, which is something I value greatly. 

I am familiar with the types of programs that generally engage in scholarly activities, supervise university students, provide service to the university, the department, and the community, and provide developing partnerships with area schools and across university departments. At the University of New York at Buffalo, I worked as a student counselor in the Intensive English Language Program, and mentored a group of international students from China. I also worked as an English teacher in Buffalo public school and International Language Institute. I designed, planned, and organized curriculums and activities; taught composition courses to immigrants and refugees; and cooperated with other English teachers in the university level classroom settings. At Ohio University, I am a professional development coordinator in the literacy center. I mentored pre-service teachers to design grammar and composition curricula. I have conducted research in the field of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), and obtained a CALL certificate. I was accepted to write book chapters titled “Virtual Worlds: Uses and Impacts on English as a Second/ Foreign Language Learning” and “Digital Media Use by Chinese Youth and Its Impact” with Dr. Guofang Wan. The articles will be published in May 2015. Further, I am confident in my ability to apply my instructional technology skills in the online instruction curriculum. Not only do I envision teaching and mentoring students in similar fashion at the university, but I am excited to connect the university students and faculty to overseas research projects and exchange programs.

As an activist-academic, I have collaborated within and across disciplines. At Ohio University, I have conducted research and teaching with professors from linguistics, social study, psychology, education, and technology. I have also participated in annual board meeting for literacy program assessments and evaluations. I participated in planning, reviewing, and decision-making around the academic program. I have experienced in writing professional development grants and original student grants. I have a publication research article that is entitled “Teaching culture and language through the multiple intelligences film teaching model in the ESL/EFL classroom.” The purpose of the article is to demonstrate how to teach literacy and multicultural education through the use of media and technology. Not only do I envision collaborating in similar fashion at the university through research, service, and teaching, but I am excited to connect the university students and faculty with my colleagues at various institutions domestically and abroad.    


My dissertation focuses on the issue of the impact of multiple factors on of high school English Language Learners’ (ELLs’) postsecondary education (PSE) enrollment. The purpose of the study is to investigate to what extent parental involvement factors predict the likelihood of high school students’ PSE enrollment. The dissertation is a quantitative research study using a national representative dataset, Educational Longitudinal Study (ELS). This study emphasized the way parental involvement factors (i.e., home language environment, cognitive/ academic language proficiency, linguistic backgrounds) promotes PSE enrollment, and the results provide support for the role of programs that are designed to enhance PSE enrollment. This study suggests that PSE preparation programs should focus on ways to promote the types of parental involvement factors. The results of this study have several implications for school policies and educators. Therefore, I am knowledgeable about current policies at the state and national level related to high school students, particularly as those policies relate to academic program evaluation and design.

Teaching Interests

• Curriculum and Instruction • Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) • Intercultural Learning and Multicultural Education • English as a Second Language (ESL) Writing and Rhetoric • ESL Oral Expression

Research Interests

• Teacher preparation, English education and literacy emphasis • Curriculum and Instruction • Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) • Pre-service and in-service teacher training, TESOL and CALL emphasis • Intercultural Learning and Multicultural Education • English as a Second Language (ESL) Writing and Rhetoric • ESL Oral Expression


B.A., English Language and Literature Soochow University 2009
M.Ed., Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages The University at Buffalo, State University of New York 2011
Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction Ohio University 2014

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