Steve Brown

Professor of English
English as a Second Language Director
Youngstown State University

Contact Info

Office: DeBartolo 229
Phone: 330-941-1654 (x1654 on campus)
Hours (Fall 2010): MWF 11:00-12:00, T 3:00-5:00


Spring 2011

Fall 2010

Biography and Academic History

I teach English as a Second Language and Applied Linguistics courses at YSU. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, in a town in which Portuguese and Spanish were real presences. I got interested in languages in junior high and took all the Spanish I could in high school, with thoughts of an international career.

Things took a detour at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where I earned a double major in Politics and in Modern Society and Social Thought. After writing my senior thesis on literature and politics in Jacksonian America, I took my Master's degree in American Studies at San Diego State.

While doing some student teaching at City College of San Francisco, I discovered English as a Second Language, finding the thread I had lost along the way. After working in ESL in the Bay Area, I spent ten years teaching English in Japan, the first five in Sendai, in the northeastern area called Tohoku, and the last five in Tokyo, at the University of Pittsburgh's English Language Institute Japan Program.

After that program closed, I moved to Pittsburgh to work at the ELI there. I got my Ph.D. at Pitt in Foreign Language Education, with a dissertation on second language reading.

I came to YSU in 1995 to develop the ESL program here and to start a concentration in teaching ESL within the English department. I've taught Introduction to Language, Language and Culture, TESOL Methods, TESOL Practicum, Language Acquisition, English Grammar, and Sociolinguistics as well as ESL courses.

I've published articles in the fields of second language literacy, ESL methodology and sociolinguistics. I've co-authored two ESL textbook series, English Firsthand (Longman) and Active Listening (Cambridge University Press) and edited a twelve-book ESL textbook series, Journeys, for Prentice Hall.

I've also co-authored two textbooks for teacher education, Understanding Language Structure, Interaction and Variation and Topics in Language and Culture for Teachers, both published by University of Michigan Press.

My next book is Listening Myths: Applying Second Language Research to Classroom Teaching, also for Michigan. After that, I'll start work on a book about how Americans have thought about English over our history.


Here are some links to my books.