Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts



Jason Litzenberg

Jason Litzenberg

Director of the Intensive English Communication Program
Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics

Jason Litzenberg has a PhD in Applied Linguistics & ESL from Georgia State University.  He has over 20 years experience teaching English and applied linguistics in Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Ecuador, and the United States.  In addition to teaching, Jason has also served as a teacher trainer, mentoring practicum students and guiding new teachers through the processes of developing lesson plans that address the curricula and course outcomes of the program.  Jason served as Director of the English Language Program at Yachay Tech, a sciences and technology university in the Andes Mountains of northern Ecuador, from 2014-16.  Since 2016, Jason has been at the Intensive English Communication Program (IECP) at The Pennsylvania State University.


Selected publications:

  • 2021. Litzenberg, J. “Innovation, Resiliency and Genius in Intensive English Programs: Decolonializing Recruitment and Contradictory Advocacy”. Applied linguistics. doi:10.1093/applin/amab015
  • 2021. Tankosic, A. and Litzenberg, J. “Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian: Inherent Translanguaging in the Linguistic Landscape of Sarajevo”. European journal of applied linguistics, 9(2). (forthcoming)
  • 2020. Litzenberg, J. “‘If I don’t do it, somebody else will’: The covert neoliberal policy discourses in the decision-making processes of an IEP”. TESOL Quarterly, 54(1), 823-45.
  • 2019. Litzenberg, J. “Achieving accord in the status discord of English language teaching”. PAIS newsletter (Sept 2019 issue).
  • 2018. Litzenberg, J. “‘Official language for intercultural ties’: Cultural concessions and strategic roles of Ecuadorian Kichwa in developing institutional identities”. Linguistic Landscapes, 4(2), 153-77.
  • 2016. Lindemann, S., Campbell, M., Litzenberg, J., and Subtirelu, N. “Explicit and implicit training for improving native English speakers’ comprehension of nonnative speech”. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, 2(1), 93-107.
  • 2014. Litzenberg, J. “Pre-service teacher perspectives towards pedagogical uses of non-native and native speech samples”. International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 24, n/a. doi: 10.1111/ijal.12084
  • 2014. Lindemann, S., Litzenberg, J., and Subtirelu, N. “Problematizing the dependence on L1 norms in L2 pronunciation teaching: Attitudes toward second-language pronunciation” In: Moyer, A. & Levis, J. (eds) Social Influences in L2 Pronunciation (pp. 171-94), De Gruyter Mouton.


Selected presentations:

  • 2021. Litzenberg, J. (Presenter). Global Language, Local Standards. La Salle College Teacher’s Conference. Quito, Ecuador.
  • 2021. Litzenberg, J. and Madany, M. (Co-presenter). Developing Translingual Practices via Family Games. TESOL. (Virtual).
  • 2020. Algren, M., Bass, B., Litzenberg, J. (Co-presenter). Lower Enrollments: Changes, Challenges and Innovations. UCIEP Annual Director’s conference.  Bandera, TX.
  • 2018. Litzenberg, J. (Presenter). A story, tool, and proposal: Developing a guise-based attitudes study of the linguistic landscape. Applied Linguistics Roundtable, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.
  • 2018. Litzenberg, J. (Presenter). I’m a native speaker.  So what?. Centro Ecuatoriano-Norteamericano (CEN), Guayaquil, Ecuador.
  • 2017. Litzenberg, J. (Plenary). The 21st century dilemma of being a native speaker of English. COPEI 8th International Congress, Guayaquil, Ecuador.
  • 2017. Litzenberg, J. (Plenary). Linguistic landscapes as a pedagogical tool: Imagining the opportunities. COPEI 8th International Congress, Guayaquil, Ecuador.
  • 2017. Litzenberg, J., Decker, K., Shatkin, L., and Williams, C. (Panel discussion). The parallel development of two Ecuadorian language programs. TESOL. Seattle, WA.
  • 2017. Litzenberg, J. (Presenter). Developing sociolinguistic awareness through linguistic landscapes. Applied Linguistics Roundtable, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.
  • 2016.  Litzenberg, J. and Avila Herrera, S. (Co-presenter).  Student perspectives towards international English: Insights from an Ecuadorian EFL needs analysis.  AAAL.  Orlando, FL.
  • 2016.  Litzenberg, J. (Presenter).  Visual Semiotics in the Branding of a Glocal Institutional Identity.  AAAL.  Orlando, FL.
  • 2016.  Litzenberg, J. (Presenter).  Preparing teachers (to prepare students) for successful communication.  IA-TEFL.  Birmingham, England.
  • 2014.  Litzenberg, J. (Presenter).  Reconceptualizing proficiency for lingua franca communication.  AAAL.  Portland, OR.
Chelsea Benton-Monahan Headshot

Chelsea Benton-Monahan

Academic Programming Coordinator
Assistant Teaching Professor

Chelsea is an adjunct lecturer for both the IECP and the ESL/EAP program in Applied Linguistics. She graduated from Penn State in 2017 with a master’s degree in TESL, where she focused on language policy in Morocco. Her experience includes seven years of working in student-support roles at Penn State in the Office of Global Programs and Smeal College of Business, as well as three years teaching English in Meknes, Morocco. She is very passionate about languages, and knows French and Moroccan Arabic. She has only recently begun teaching again and is thrilled to be back in the classroom, where she hopes to grow both professionally and personally.


Makoni, S. & Abdelhay, A. (2020). Contributed chapter entitled “Berber Language Policy in Morocco” in Language Ideologies, ethnicities, and semiotic spaces of power. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon-Twine.

Edwin Dartey

Graduate Teaching Assistant in Applied Linguistics
Edwin is a Ph.D. student in Applied Linguistics. He has taught academic communication courses in Ghana and the U.S. Before his Ph.D. program in Penn State, he received an MA in Applied from Ohio University and a BA in English from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.
Edwin’s research interests include academic literacy development, educational language policy, and second language writing.

Selena Easley

Selena is a 1st year Master’s Student of International Affairs with a concentration in Global Education and Applied Linguistics and a regional and linguistic focus in Latin America at the School of International Affairs, PSU. Her academic journey began at Washington & Jefferson College, PA where she obtained her Bachelor’s of Arts in International Studies, Environmental Studies, and Spanish with a concentration in Interfaith Leadership Cooperation. During her time as an undergraduate student, Selena conducted research in Munich, Germany, and Krakow, Poland, and studied abroad for a full year in Heredia, Costa Rica. There, she began teaching ESL at the elementary and university level. Upon her return to the US, she taught ESL to Latinx immigrants at a local church in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Afterward, she obtained her ESL teaching certificate and continued to teach ESL virtually in Château-Gontier-sur-Mayenne, France.
Currently, Selena is an English as a Second Language Instructor at IECP with the KAUST gifted student program, Saudi Arabia; the CMC program, Ecuador; and the Applied Linguistics department, PSU. Her current research interests include the applications of English as a second language through various lenses including sustainable development and the decolonization of the English language as well as study abroad. Overall, Selena is passionate about learning and teaching language and culture and she is excited to be working with students and faculty at IECP.

Parisa Hatami

Adjunct Teaching Faculty

Kylie Hernandez

Adjunct Teaching Faculty
Ty Liu

Ty Liu

Student Outreach Coordinator
Assistant Teaching Professor

Tianyu has been a teaching faculty member at the Intensive English Communication Program (IECP) at Penn State since 2018. He is now serving as an Assistant Teaching Professor at the IECP in the department of Applied Linguistics. He graduated from Penn State in 2018 with a master’s degree in TESL. His studies focused on pedagogy and methodology, language research, courses and teaching materials design, and cultural diversity. His specialty is designing pragmatic teaching materials and meaningful and interesting activities to meet his students’ real needs. He has more than 10 years’ experience in ESL & EFL teaching and education. His current research interests include the application of relevant methods in ESL teaching to enhance students’ interest and confidence, internationalization in higher education and cultural diversity and inclusion of English language institutes.


Mary MacDonald

Mary MacDonald

Adjunct Teaching Faculty

Mary MacDonald was a full-time instructor at the IECP from 1996-2010 and is thrilled to return as an essay coach and adjunct instructor. She has also been a full-time instructor at Ohio University and Chubu University in Japan. Mary has over 30 years of experience in teaching all skills and levels in ESL, as well as teacher training, curriculum development and English for business purposes. She is a certified TOEFL and TOEIC rater. Mary holds her Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in TESOL, from the University of Massachusetts and is certified to teach high school ESL and English.

Nikki Mattson

Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives, IECP
Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
Faculty Associate, The Global Engagement Community (GEC)
Global Learning Coordinator, Experiential Digital Global Engagement (EDGE)

Nikki Mattson has been a faculty member at the Intensive English Communications Program (IECP) at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) since 2009. She currently serves as the Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives for the IECP in addition to being a Teaching Professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics. She holds her M.A. in Linguistics and a Certificate of Graduate Study in TESOL from the University of South Carolina. She also holds a DELF (diplôme d’études en langue française) from Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg, France. Nikki is dedicated to supporting campus internationalization efforts as well as global engagement in the classroom, on campus, and beyond. Nikki is a co-founder and advisor for the PSU Living-Learning Community, the Global Engagement Community. She also serves as a Global Learning Coordinator (GLC) for PSU’s Experiential Digital Global Engagement (EDGE) Program. Her research interests include intensive English program oral placement test validation, evaluating computer-assisted language learning (CALL) usage in second language (L2) classrooms, and internationalization in higher education.

Selected recent scholarship:

• Cherkassov, D., Mattson, N., and Childs, S. (2020, September). The mentoring process: Enriching professional growth for English language teachers and teacher educators. Presentation at the 9th ICBCB: Global Trends and Values in Education, Virtual Conference, Kaskelen, Kazakhstan.

• Minkoya, V., & Mattson, N. (2018, November). Blogging together with different motivations: Exploring IEP classroom activity systems. Paper presented at TESOL NY, Albany, NY.

• Mattson, N. (2018). Reporting on a University Class Observation: IEP Student-Created Videos. Presentation at the TESOL 2018 International Convention, Chicago, IL.

• Kimura, D., Mattson, N. and Amory, M. (2017). A Conversation Analytic Approach to Oral Placement Test Validation: Attending to Vertical and Horizontal Comparisons. TESOL Journal. doi:10.1002/tesj.335

• Mattson, N., Sudaholc, S. (2017). Interpreting Student Feedback About A CALL Program Through Activity Theory. Presentation at the TESOL 2017 International Convention, Seattle, WA.

Lorie Tan

Lorie Tan

Adjunct Teaching Faculty

Lorie began her career in education as an elementary classroom teacher and was drawn to school districts with high ESL populations, both on the Navajo reservation in Arizona and in a multilingual community in Houston, Texas. Following a trip to Turkey, she fell in love with the country and decided to make it her home for 13 years, 11 of which were spent teaching in the intensive English program at Bilkent University in the capital city of Ankara. While at Bilkent, she earned the Cambridge University DELTA qualification (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) and, in 2016, earned a master’s degree in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Upon returning to her home state of Pennsylvania, Lorie spent several years teaching English online before transitioning back into the classroom with the IECP as both an adjunct lecturer and writing coach. Lorie has 24 years of experience in education and is fascinated by sociolinguistics, phonology, and connected speech, but most of all, she is passionate about drawing speech out of reluctant learners by creating a supportive classroom environment in which all students feel safe and welcome.


Emily Walter

Emily Walter

Administrative Assistant
Educational Program Coordinator

Academic Support

Bryan Buschner

Language Advising Coordinator

Dr. Bryan Buschner is a linguist with over 15 years of teaching experience in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Learning, in the U.S. and abroad. His research interests include Advising in Language Learning (ALL), Language for Specific Purposes (LSP), second language acquisition, classroom pedagogy, discourse analysis, sociocultural theory and cognitive linguistics.

In his time at Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Buschner has taught in a wide variety of programs for both graduate and undergraduate students including the IECP, the department of Applied Linguistics, Penn State Law, and the English for Specific Purposes Intercultural Center (EPPIC).

In his role as coordinator of language advising at the IECP, Dr. Buschner is currently building a place for advising to thrive at Penn State. His work brings research-based methodologies to help students become better autonomous learners. Language advising programs are a rarity in the United States and even more rare are advising programs in intensive English programs.


Selected Publications

Buschner, B. & Buschner, C. (2022, Jan 19). Language maters in the gymnasium. PHE America.

Buschner, B. (2021). ALL in the session: An analysis of Advising in Language Learning in Japan. [Doctoral Dissertation, Pennsylvania State University].

Buschner, B. (2020). Simple questions and positivity: An analysis and reflection of a formative advising session. Relay Journal, 3(2), 231-242.

Research Interests:

Advising in Language Learning, English for Specific Purposes, Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Pedagogy, Discourse Analysis, Cognitive Linguistics.

Audrey Murray

Student Center Coordinator

Audrey recently received her Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Northern Arizona University, where she worked as a graduate teaching assistant and a writing tutor. She has experience teaching English composition to both domestic students and English language learners, as well as experience teaching EFL courses to middle-school children in China. This fall Audrey will be the Student Center Coordinator and teach an SAT prep course to the KGSP students. Audrey is passionate about language learning and teaching and is excited to get back into the classroom and get to know the IECP students and faculty.