Scott Sterling


I am an Associate Professor of Linguistics and TESL at Indiana State University. My main areas of research are: (1) meta-research in linguistics, and (2) humor usage by second language learners. I completed my Ph.D. in Second Language Studies at Michigan State University. You can find more about my research by visiting the RESEARCH tab.

In addition to research, I focus heavily on community engagement. Since 2017, I have directed a collaboration with the Southern Indiana Education Center in which students at ISU visit a local migrant camp every year. This visit allows students to see the world of adult ESL education through a different lens than most have encountered. For many students, it is their first time engaging with a migrant worker and the trip highlights the fact that media representations of people are normally skewed. We have also developed a summer internship where ISU students spend their evenings teaching free ESL courses to migrant workers on a farm. In 2017, we applied for a grant through ISU’s Center for Community Engagement that allowed us to build an outdoor classroom (basically a tent with plastic tables). Our interns develop a full curriculum each year based on the need of the current workers. Interns then travel to the farm and teach courses four nights a week in a field in southern Indiana. The conditions can be challenging to say the least! In recent years we have also created a health screening and injury prevention day in collaboration with the College of Health and Human Services at ISU that we delivered to the migrant workers. We plan to develop more partnerships in the future so stay tuned!