A Chat with Dr. Tim Micek

Gwendolyn G. DeRosa

Dr. Tim Micek is the director of the MATESOL program at ODU. An Ohio TESOL board member, he recently presented at the Ohio TESOL Conference. Dr. Micek grew up in Westchester County, New York, and he received his DA from Illinois State University.  He has been to Saudi Arabia, Italy, Greece, and Korea.  Dr. Micek has studied several languages, and he “could speak a little French at one time, but that was several years ago.”

I recently interviewed Dr. Micek about his interests and influences.

 How did you get involved in TESOL?

I was teaching freshman composition at a community college in Florida, and I had several NNESs in my class.  I didn’t know what to do with them.  When I went looking for a doctoral program, I made sure that it had a TESOL component.

What is your favorite language acquisition theory? 

I don’t know if I have a favorite, but I find discourse theory very powerful: By holding conversations (discourse), NNSs attend to the features of the input they obtain, and through their output, they affect both the quantity and quality of the language they receive.

What is one of your influences?

I have been influenced greatly by Long and Porter’s (1985) “Group Work, Interlanguage Talk, and Second Language Acquisition,” which gave me a whole new approach to language learning and teaching.

You mentioned in class that, when you were younger, you often hitchhiked.  What is the longest distance of your hitchhiking adventures?

I went from coast to coast: Wilmington, NC, to San Francisco, CA. I think it’s fair to say that I was influenced by “On the Road.”

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