Faculty Spotlight: Alex Poole, Ph.D.
- Thursday, October 8th, 2020
Dr. Alex Poole didn’t start his college career in a language department. “I wanted to be an economist, but then I figured out that was more of a hobby than a passion.” The Iowa native had always grown up around immigrants. His father’s family had immigrated from the former Soviet Union, and many of his friends’ parents came from other countries. “I was always interested in the sounds of other languages and curious about how people learned languages. Gibberish magically becomes meaningful when you learn a language!” As an undergraduate, Poole traveled to many countries and lived in England for one year. During graduate school, he made second language acquisition his passion and researched how international students learned English grammar. Since that time, he has focused on strategic reading: “If you can read in another language, you can learn grammar, vocabulary, and culture.” After publishing many academic pieces on this topic, Poole decided to move on to independent language learning. His recently published book--"Learning a Foreign Language: Understanding the Fundamentals of Language”— is designed to help monolinguals become bilingual. It is based on research, but it is written in an accessible style. It focuses on various topics, such as dealing with anxiety, culture, grammar, and pronunciation. It was inspired by his work as a linguist but also his own bilingual journey.