Dr. Jack Knipe To Present Research At Online Education Conference

Monday, March 23, 2020 - 12:30pm
Knipe Graphic - Online Conference

Limestone College Assistant Professor of English and Modern Languages Dr. Jack Knipe will present his research on how international students perceive nonstandard English dialects at the 64th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES).

The conference, originally scheduled to take place in Miami March 22-26, is now being held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Knipe has been engaged in an ongoing research project with the international students at Limestone. The focus of his research has been on acculturative stress and second language acquisition processes. He is currently looking at international students’ encounters with nonstandard varieties of English such as Southern American English and African American Vernacular English.

CIES seeks to contribute to an understanding of education through encouragement and promotion of comparative education and related areas of inquiry and activity. It is the largest and oldest of 47 comparative and international education societies around the world.

“So many English teaching programs, both in the United States and abroad, focus on teaching formal grammar, but it’s important that students also learn how to communicate in everyday settings with a variety of people,” Knipe said. “Current research points to the benefits of communicative approaches, but often English as a second language pedagogical practices are slow to catch up. Many of our international students who are English language learners have expressed the difficulties of understanding and interacting with students who speak nonstandard dialects of English.”

International students make up nearly 10 percent of the student body population at Limestone, Knipe noted. As the College and other institutions of higher education in the United States seek to become more diverse and inclusive, there is a need to understand how to promote dialogue between various cultural groups.

“Many conflicts and misunderstandings can arise as a result of miscommunication,” Knipe explained. “Helping our students understand and affirm one another’s cultural and linguistic differences is a great place to begin with promoting a healthy social life on college campuses.”

The goal of Knipe’s research is to improve retention and social and academic success of international students so that the entire campus can have the opportunity to learn and grow in intercultural competence.

Knipe currently teaches in the Departments of English and Communications, Historical and Cultural Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies. He also serves as the International Student Liaison for the Division of Student Success.

He earned a Doctorate degree in International Education and Linguistics from George Mason University and also holds a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults from the University of Cambridge, a Master of Arts degree in Spanish from Middlebury College, a Master of Education degree in Integrated Curriculum and Instruction from Covenant College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Bob Jones University. He has research projects regarding second language acquisition, cognitive and sociolinguistics, education abroad, and intercultural communication/intercultural competence.