Ninah Beliavsky

Associate Professor and ESL Coordinator
Languages and Literature
Ph.D., Northwestern University

Educational Background
Ph.D., 1993, Northwestern University, Applied Linguistics 
M.A., 1987, Northwestern University, Applied Linguistics         
B.A., 1983, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Psychology 
B.A., 1982, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Linguistics/Philosophy 

I am conducting research into the learning methods first discussed by Lev Vygotsky, a noted Russian psycholinguist. I am especially interested in how Vygotsky’s theory of the “Zone of Proximal Development”  – dealing with development of more accurate means of predicting the child’s future cognitive development, relates to Professor Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences. I am also researching the impact of “The Mozart Effect” on the memory and comprehension of ESL students. Recent developments in the field of educational psychology provided a glimmer of understanding of how music improves spatial-temporal reasoning . My research aims to demonstrate that college students learning English as their second language significantly improve in their comprehension and memory of written texts while listening to music. Furthermore, I am also developing new and unorthodox methods of promoting motivation and reducing anxiety in college students by using computers, film, and new content based materials in the classroom. (e.g. opera, young adult literature, Chekhov’s short stories, etc.)

Areas of Specialization

  • ESL
  • Linguistics