Wheaton logo 2020 color version also for mobile

Faculty Profiles

Alan Seaman Faculty Profile Variant

Alan Seaman, Ph.D.

Professor of TESOL, Department Chair Applied Linguistics & International Education

On Faculty since 1993
630.752.7044



Professor Alan Seaman has a broad-based background in the field of TESOL. Over the years, he has served as a high school ESL and English teacher and program director for a public school district, as the director of an EFL program at a university in China, and as an ESL teacher for international students at the University of Virginia. In addition, he has worked as an adult ESL teacher in three states and has taught English as a foreign language to children and adults in English camp programs in several countries. Long after transitioning into teacher education and research, he still thoroughly enjoys teaching the English language to children and adults each year.

His professional interests include research into language assessment, second language literacy, ESL/EFL program models, English language instruction in Asia and Latin America, and the role of English in globalization. During the past decade, he has worked on two major ESL/EFL textbook series, so materials development is a major focus of his work. He is interested in applied research that helps agencies and teachers make well-informed decisions about English language teaching. In addition to his faculty position at Wheaton College, he has served as the senior managing editor for a PK- 6 EFL textbook series, Passport to Adventure. He has also served as an English Language Specialist for the U.S. Department of State, and he serves on the National Selection Committee for Fulbright Scholarships.

His individual research interests include second language writing processes ( his dissertation focus), the history of English language teaching in Asia, and best practices for teaching English speaking, listening, reading, and writing. He is currently researching local methods for teaching the English language to younger children in bilingual schools worldwide. His current research study is a comparative analysis of English teaching practices with children in Indonesia and Colombia. He has worked on a number of collaborative research projects in the areas of second language assessment, program models for elementary and secondary ESL, materials development for adult ESL, and ESL issues in international schools.

University of Virginia
Ph.D., English Education/TESOL

University of Virginia
M.Ed., English Education

University of Virginia
M.A., English

College of William and Mary
B.A., English and Fine Arts

  • Research on bilingual schooling in the U.S. and Global South
  • Assessment of English language learners
  • English language program design and curriculum
  • Materials development for English language learning
  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL)
  • American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Illinois TESOL-BE
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Descriptive English Grammar for TESOL
  • Teaching Reading and Composition to ESL/EFL Learners
  • Teaching Speaking and Listening to ESL/EFL Learners
  • Curriculum and Materials Development for TESOL
  • Principles of Assessment for TESOL
  • Teaching ESL to Children, K-12
  • Qualitative Research for Second Language Educators
  • Theoretical Foundations of TESOL Methodology
  • Classroom Dynamics Practicum in TESOL
  • Foundations of Materials Development for TESOL
  • Practicum in Materials Development

My individual research interests include second language writing processes (my dissertation focus), the history of English language teaching in Asia, and best practices for teaching English speaking, listening, reading, and writing. I am currently researching local methods for teaching the English language to younger children in bilingual schools worldwide. I also have a current research study that is a comparative analysis of English teaching practices with children in Indonesia and Columbia.

I have worked on a number of collaborative research projects in the areas of second language assessment, program models for elementary and secondary ESL, materials development for adult ESL, and ESL issues in international schools.

I have presented or co-presented over seventy-five papers at International TESOL Conventions, and have presented workshops for teachers in a number of countries, including China, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, Cambodia, Costa Rica and Indonesia.

Presentations 

Seaman, Alan and Canning, Michael. English as a Lingua Franca: A Target for Classroom Assessments.  International TESOL Convention, Denver, CO, April 2020 (postponed).

Canning, Michael and Seaman, Alan.  Cultivating Confidence: A Necessary Factor for Success in English. International TESOL Convention, Denver, CO, April 2020 (postponed).

Seaman, Alan. Using Calligraphy and the Visual Arts to Teach English Vocabulary. Featured workshop, International TESOL Convention, Denver, CO, April 2020 (postponed).

Seaman, Alan. Visual Literacy and Second Language Fluency: The Visual Arts and Second Language Teaching. Plenary address, Illinois TESOL-BE State Convention, February 2020.

Seaman, Alan. Giving Voice to English Language Diversity Through Audio Recordings.  Illinois TESOL-BE State Convention, Naperville, IL, Feb. 2019  (featured speaker).

Seaman, Alan. TESOL Advocacy in Higher Education. Higher Education Interest Section. Illinois TESOL-BE, February 2019.

Seaman, Alan and Vroom Fick, Sara.  Issues and Models for English Language Learners in International Schools International TESOL Convention, Chicago, March 2018.

Seaman, Alan and Welch, Audrey. Methodology for Teaching English to Children in the Global South. International TESOL Convention, Seattle, WA, March 2017.

Seaman, Alan. English Language Instruction for Children in the Global South. Featured Speaker. Illinois TESOL-BE State Convention, February 2017.

Canning, Michael and Seaman, Alan.  Cultivating Confidence: A Necessary Factor for Success in English. Illinois TESOL-BE State Convention, February 2017.

Seaman, Alan and Canning, Michael. Teaching Multicultural Leadership Skills in English Language. Illinois TESOL-BE State Convention, February 2017.

Seaman, Alan; Crookes, Graham; and Stone, William. Panel Discussion: The Current State of Educational Methodology in TESOL. Illinois TESOL-BE State Convention, February 2017.

 

Workshops for National and International Schools Outside of the United States

Seaman, Alan. English Language Teaching, Culture, and Globalization in Bilingual Schools. OBED Pre-Convention Seminar, Bogota, Colombia, March 5, 2020.

Seaman, Alan.  Workshops for OBED Convention, Bogota, Colombia (March 6-7, 2020):

            Strategies for Developing Literacy with English Language Learners.

            Strategies for Teaching Speaking and Listening to English Language Learners.

            Integrating a Christian Worldview into Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Seaman, Alan. English as a Lingua Franca: A Target for Classroom Assessments. Annual Thailand Conference, Chiang Mai, Thailand, February 3, 2020.

Seaman, Alan. The Art of Reflective Teaching. Annual Thailand Conference, Chiang Mai, January 2018.

Seaman, Alan. Enhancing Authentic Assessment in Your EFL Classroom. Featured plenary workshop Annual Thailand Conference, Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 2017.   

Seaman, Alan. Engaging Your Students at a Deeper Level. Workshop. Annual Thailand Conference, Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 2017.

Seaman, Alan. The Current State of TESOL Internationally: What the Research Reveals. Plenary address at Academic Affairs Dinner, Annual Thailand Conference, Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 2017.

 

  • Vroom, Sara. and Seaman, Alan. (2014). Cross-cultural perspectives on teaching English as a foreign language to children: A multinational survey. TESOL Journal 5 (3).
  • Seaman, Alan, and Vroom, Sara (2014). Passport to Adventure: Explore C Level Student Book, Teacher Book, Blackline Masters, Audio CDs. Colorado Springs: Purposeful Design Publications.
  • Passport to Adventure: Wonder, Imagine, Discover, and Explore Levels (2013). Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design Press. (I serve as the senior editor for this PK-12 EFL textbook series for schools in Latin America, Asia, and Central Europe.)
  • Seaman, Alan. (2010). Responding to the challenge of large mixed-ability classes in China. In Multilevel and Diverse Classrooms, (pp. 9-21) Baurain, B. and Ha, P., eds., Alexandria, VA: TESOL.
  • Seaman, Alan. (2007). Program Report: The Mindanao English Language Education Enhancement Project. U.S. Department of State.
  • Seaman, Alan. (2005). "Six Principles for Teaching Large Multilevel Classes." Teacher's Edition. Vol. 17:10-12, March 2005.
  • Seaman, Alan. (2004). "Current Approaches to Assessment and English -- No Problem." Hot Topics in ESL Website. www.enp.newreaderspress.com/ENP_hottopics.asp
  • English - No Problem! A Five-Level Adult ESL Textbook Series, (2004). Alan Seaman,et al, National Editorial Council, Syracuse, NY: New Readers Press.
  • Seaman, Alan. (2002). Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language. Chicago, IL: Chicago Public Schools, Office of Language and Cultural Education.
  • Seaman, Alan. (2000). Evaluating an Innovative Elementary ESL Program. U.S. Department of Education: ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) ED444386.
  • Seaman, Alan. (2000). "Evaluating an Innovative Elementary ESL Program," American Language Review. Sept./Oct. 2000.
  • Seaman, Alan. (2000). "Program Evaluation as a Critical Context for Teacher Education." TEIS Newsletter, TESOL, Inc., 15:4. Fall 2000.
  • Seaman, Alan. (2000). "Developing Effective ESL Programs in International Schools." ACSI World Report. Summer 2000.
  • Seaman, Alan, and Linda Hayward. (2000). Standardized ESL Test Equating Study: Equating the CELSA and the NYSPT with the MELT SPLs. U.S. Department of Education: ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) ED 445084.
  • Seaman, Alan. and Barry Sweeny, et al. (1997). "Collaboration, Reflection, and Professional Growth: A Mentoring Program for Adult ESL Teachers." TESOL Journal 7:1. Autumn 1997.