Dr. Jason Litzenberg, IECP Director
The IECP is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Jason Litzenberg as the Director of the IECP. Dr. Litzenberg joins us from Ecuador where he has been directing the English program at Yachay Tech. He will start at the IECP in July 2016.
Here is a message from Dr. Litzenberg:
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jason Litzenberg, and I will be joining the talented IECP team in July, 2016. I have almost 20 years of experience in the field of English language education in several countries – including Germany, the U.A.E., Ecuador, and the United States. I chose to become a teacher while struggling through language classes as an undergraduate and thinking to myself: “There must be a better way to do this.” Since that time, I have been interested in understanding all I can about language learning and language learning processes. Languages, cultures, and communication are like puzzles, the pieces of which must be assembled into a comprehensible whole. I enjoy experimenting with puzzles, finding which pieces fit together, which ones do not, and which ones may be reshaped into a solution. This interest carries over into my personal life as well, such as in reading science fiction infused with social commentary that proposes visionary solutions to modern challenges, or simply bicycling through a new region and discovering how the various routes are interconnected.
I am coming to Penn State from Universidad de Investigacíon de Tecnología Experimental (Yachay Tech), a recently established sciences and technology university in Imbabura Province, Ecuador, where I have been serving as Director of the English Language Program (ELP). Under my supervision, the ELP at Yachay Tech has been transformed from a nondescript, struggling program to a multi-level, academically-oriented one that prepares students for an English medium-of-instruction university. The challenges encountered while establishing a new language program have been enormous (e.g., stakeholder changes, differences in stakeholder goals, allocation of funding, personnel recruitment, and curriculum development, among other things), but they have not been insurmountable, and at times even exciting, like finding how the pieces of a puzzle fit together. I am proud of the achievements of the Yachay Tech team and confident that they will continue to develop the program in positive directions.
I look forward to joining the amazing team of professionals at the IECP at Penn State! The faculty have demonstrated exceptional creativity in providing their students with the tools and approaches necessary for academic preparedness and successful communication in the global language of English. I hope that the pedagogical perspectives I bring to the program, which have been shaped by my training in the field as well as my own language learning experiences, expand upon the continued incorporation of innovative methodologies and approaches. The IECP will continue to work with colleagues in other programs and departments in developing best pedagogical practices. Indeed, I am excited to be joining the creative and professional team at the Penn State IECP as well as getting to know the students, who are key to essential to a great program! See you in July!