Assistant Professor of English
Graduate Program Director, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
College of Arts and Sciences, Room 217
Karl Uhrig joined the English faculty in 2013 as a specialist in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). He has been teaching English language learners for more than 20 years and has been training teachers of English for more than a decade. His philosophy of teaching relies on developing critical awareness and constructivist techniques. He believes that good pedagogical practices arise from knowing the backgrounds, cultures, and communities of students, parents, institutions, and stakeholders in any educational context. This knowledge must also be informed by realization of one’s own values, beliefs, and practices in order to create an environment in which students and teachers participate in an effective educational community.
Professor Uhrig also believes that if we are to expect constructivist practices from our students, as teachers, we must model those practices as we teach them. He is not fond of simply lecturing to students, since he finds they retain information better when they are engaged on a personal and intellectual level. Teachers must develop their own approaches to teaching, not simply repeat a list of prescribed practices. His students feel free to express their creativity and individuality while exploring the material on their own terms. He is delighted to be working at a university that values students so highly and encourages them to discern their vocation as they lead and serve.
Professor Uhrig’s research in sociocognition includes exploring how social, cultural/cross‐cultural, institutional, and individual expectations in form learning contexts. He has combined elements of Vygotskyan activity theory, sociocultural theory, and genre theory in such ways that the theories can inform each other and strengthen our understanding of communities of practice in language learning and teaching.