Dr. Roman Lesnov is a Visiting Assistant Professor who will teach TESOL and Linguistics courses. He received a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Northern Arizona University in May of this year. He has over 10 years of experience teaching English and linguistics in the US and Russia.  He will be teaching in our MA and PhD programs in Linguistics.

What led you to Ball State University?

Before joining Ball State, I worked on my dissertation at Northern Arizona University. I investigated the validity of video-based L2 academic listening tests, so I was preoccupied with collecting and analyzing data and writing up the results. I also worked part time as an ESL teacher and ESL assessment specialist in the local intensive English program for about 4 years in Arizona. I was both a high school English teacher and a college linguistics instructor in Russia for several years, before my time at Northern Arizona. I see Ball State as a great place where I can continue to grow as an applied linguist and enjoy the company of talented students and colleagues.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I strive to be a learner-centered teacher. With the goal of enabling students to become their best as scholars and educators, I try to be supportive and transparent and have students share their voices through interaction.   

What are some of your hobbies or interests, outside of language and teaching?

I enjoy hiking. I did a bit of hiking in Arizona, and I am on the lookout for some hiking trails in Muncie. Traveling is also something I like to do if I have time. My wife and I are thinking about going on a road trip in the U.S. at some point in the future. Faith plays a big role in my life. I believe in God and go to church every week where I can meet up with the fellow believers and have some interesting discussions.   

Are you working on any projects at the moment?

Yes, I am brushing up on my dissertation project so that I can get a couple of journal articles out of it. In this project, I’ve showed that listening sections of academic ESL/EFL tests, such as TOEFL and IELTS, should consider including content-rich videos, which could significantly uphold the validity of the tests.  I’m also thinking about running a study to see if technology (e.g., taking a test on a smartphone vs. on a laptop) makes a difference in terms of test-takers’ performance.

What is some advice that you would offer students?

How about this? Every week, for at least one day, forget about studying. Ditch all your assignments. Spend this day with your family and friends. I’ve been following this principle for years, and you know what, it makes me (and others) happy!