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Janet Purcell

DEPARTMENT: MA in Education, Lancaster

POSITION: Adjunct Faculty

LOCATION: Lancaster | n/a


Janet Purcell enthusiastically contributes a wealth of knowledge and work experience gained from over 30 years of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in public schools as well as classes for refugee adults. She earned her B.S. in German from Millersville University and her M.A. in Education with a concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). Her action research for her master’s degree was “The Impact of Increasing Vocabulary and Background Knowledge on the Reading Comprehension of Intermediate Grade English Language Learners.”

She has certifications as an ESL Program Specialist and Reading Specialist in the state of Pennsylvania. Her specific areas of interest within the field of ESL are: teaching literacy to English Language Learners (ELLs) of various educational backgrounds, using assessment to tailor instruction to specific student needs, teaching verb usage to ELLs and teaching reading to illiterate second language adults.

Among her professional presentations are full-day training workshops for Manheim Township School District, Reading School District, IU13 and the Pennsylvania Migrant Education Program including “How Can I Teach Them to Read if They Can Barely Speak English?” and “Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.” She has developed curricula for the ESL Reading Summer School in the Manheim Township School District as well as developing the ESL Summer Camp program at Burrowes Elementary School in the School District of Lancaster in conjunction with Carmen Rowe.

She currently teaches the EDSL 591 ESL Assessment & Support course for EMU. As the owner of Language Excellence LLC, an ESL teaching and consulting company, she privately tutors ELLs locally and teaches Chinese high school students online.