Ken Kelch: His Passion is His Students
Dr. Kelch, Assistant Professor at the Shirley Hufstedler School of Education, has both teaching duties in HSOE's master’s and doctoral TESOL programs, and administrative duties as the director of the International Language Education and Culture Center (ILEC), which offers academic English courses for international degree-seeking students at Alliant.
Dr. Kelch's primary teaching and research interests are the development of language teachers’ professional skills with a focus on teachers’ understandings of the professional, contextual and personal factors that affect the process of teaching and learning English. Thus, facilitating the professional growth and development of his graduate students forms his core approach as an educator.
One component of his students’ professional growth is their development as teacher-researchers. It is Dr. Kelch's belief that to be a TESOL professional requires one to be able to read, understand and make sense of – that is, to connect with one’s own teaching – the published research in the field. Thus, in all of his courses, at both the master’s and doctoral level, he emphasizes reading professional literature with a focus on how its content can be integrated into practice.
This focus on promoting the development of teacher-researchers is perhaps most evident in Dr. Kelch's supervision of and collaboration with doctoral students on their dissertation research. In recent years, many of his students (particularly international students) have researched the growth of Communicative Language Teaching in EFL contexts.
In this domain, Dr. Kelch's doctoral students have designed, implemented and assessed a variety of innovative approaches which can be utilized to help meet the language needs of students. The implementation of these approaches must simultaneously address the cultural and situational obstacles which typically confront the application of a communicative syllabus in an EFL context.
Read a recent article that he published on Communicative Language Teaching in EFL contexts, which highlights some of his students’ work.