Stephens Hall

                       Dr. Gilda Martinez-Alba



     @ Towson University
        EDTL Department




What Works?

ESOL 101

Making Mini Movies

Message Boards Summary

Speed Demos

ELL Websites

Through the Eyes...

Promising ELL Practices


Literacy Needs

NRC Handout #1

NRC Handout #2

I Have Risen

LRA Mini Movies 2011


Book Review-Pavlides



Reading Motivation



MD Public Libraries



Dr. Martinez-Alba is a faculty member in the Department of Educational Technology and Literacy in the Graduate Reading Program at Towson University. 

Her work involves:

  • researching motivating reading, writing, listening, and speaking instruction for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students,
  • serving on various university, state (she is currently the Maryland TESOL president), and national organizations, and
  • teaching graduate reading courses, including ESOL courses she developed for teachers working on their Master's in Education-Reading who wish to attain ESOL certification. 
  • The ESOL course, Teaching English Language Learners, was offered in Costa Rica, Portugal, and New Zealand for both Undergraduate and Graduate students from all fields!  It was offered once again in January of 2012 in Buenos, Aires, Argentina!  

View the YouTube video for an engaging overview:


As a reading specialist, she has taught several graduate level reading courses at the Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College in Maryland, and Towson University.  She created and advised for the ESOL graduate programs at JHU.  She also provided technical assistance (i.e.; assistance with curriculum development, program evaluation, grant writing, coaching) and professional development to administrators, teachers, childcare providers, parents, and librarians throughout the nation.

Dr. Martinez-Alba has presented at various state, national, and international conferences on topics such as best practices in early literacy instruction, ESOL reading and writing strategies, mentoring beginning teachers, team building, and creating home-school connections.  She has also published articles in the:  Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (JAAL), TESOL Journal, School Community Journal, Internet Teachers of English as a Second Language (TESL) Journal, Education Review, Reflections Journal, Children and Libraries, and co-authored the book What works? Promising Practices for Improving the School Readiness of English Language Learners.  She is fluent in Spanish, and enjoys providing workshops to parents in her native language.

She has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education-Science from the University of Maryland, a M.S. in Education-Reading from the Johns Hopkins University, and an Ed.D. in Teacher Development and Leadership, also from the Johns Hopkins University.  In addition, she has ESOL and Administration certifications.

Her dissertation was a multiple-case study of 26 Maryland public librarians from ten libraries in urban, suburban, and rural areas.  By interviewing and observing librarians, she investigated how they were implementing information from an emergent literacy training they attended (that she and         Elaine Czarnecki provided) into their daily practices.  She also reviewed the librarians' outreach documents.  Her goal was to unveil how the training was being used, what librarians were doing during their story times to promote school reading readiness skills, and what types of outreach they provided.  The results were positive.


Argentina Study Abroad - 2012

Recoleta - the area in Buenos Aires that Evita was buried in.  It was a mini city of mausoleums!


Plaza de Mayo, where people go to fight for their rights.  Fortunately, we were there just having fun.  :)


We took a cooking class with Teresita, one hour south of Buenos Aires in Adrogue, and learned how to make empanadas.


La Boca is the most colorful area in Buenos Aires.  Don't you agree???


La Casa Rosada (The Pink House) is their White House. 

One tale said they painted it pink when the red party joined the white party (to show unison).


The farewell dinner.  Time to go already.  Oh no... You should come to the next study abroad.  Ask where it will be!


New Zealand Study Abroad - 2010

Auckland University of Technology, where we observed a class of English Language Learners.


The Auckland Bridge is way behind us.  Can you guess which two of us bungee jumped off the bridge?  (Hint:  It was not me.)


My poster presentation at the IRA World Congress -  Literacy Success: Students Paving the Path for their Peers.


New Zealand must sees:  sheep (because there are more sheep than people in New Zealand), boiling mud (because there is none in Maryland or the surrounding areas that I know of), and Hokey Pokey ice-cream (because "that's what it's all about!" and it is very popular in New Zealand.)


             The Kiwi is a native New Zealand bird.  It is not commonly seen,     The Pukeko is a common bird in New Zealand.  This one is not stuffed.        

                           as a matter of fact this one is stuffed.      


Nothing like skiing on a LIVE VOLCANO! 


Nothing like relaxing with some sweet hot chocolate either!


The skyline with the Sky Tower,  just like on the postcards!


Where else can you cross the street diagonally? 


This is a seafood restaurant we ate at, which is considered "typical" food for the island.


Let's go back!!!!!!!!!!!! 



Portugal Study Abroad - 2009

The Belem Tower in Lisbon, seen on the flyer announcing the abroad.


DSC02445 by gildamart.

Of course there was fascinating historic architecture everywhere!


DSC02394 by gildamart.

We had a nice luncheon together after visiting the language center at the University of Lisbon.


DSC02449 by gildamart.

This was a gorgeous garden in Braga, Portugal close to our hotel.


DSC02408 by gildamart.

There were bullfights to see.  We did.  Oh my!


Copy of 100_6374 by gildamart.

We rode the double decker bus to tour the city of Braga in Portugal. 
It took us to many places, including Bom Jesus (see below).


DSC02532 by gildamart.

Bom Jesus - means good Jesus.  This was quite a church to see.  Check out the view from below and above. 


DSC02642 by gildamart.

Students attended my poster presentation at the
International Reading Association's European Conference. 
They also got to pick and choose other workshops to see.


100_6791 by gildamart.

Waiting for the was a bit windy.


100_6816 by gildamart.

Time just flew by...  What a great time!!!




Costa Rica Study Abroad - 2008



 Dr. Martinez-Alba with a few of her students, her mother (sitting),                 An actual photo taken by Dr. Martinez-Alba of the

 and Dr. Laster (on the left) at the                                                                   "the Fruit Loops" toucan, formally called the

 International Reading Association World Congress.                                         Keel-billed Toucan.                       


 Dr. Martinez-Alba and the Minister of Education in Costa Rica.         A local newscaster in San Jose, Costa Rica with Dr. Valdes.



 We went on a canopy tour, which included zip lining                      We ate at Rosti Pollo, home of THE BEST tres leches (cake)!

 and repelling.                      



Dr. Valdes (yes another Dr. Valdes) at Zarcero Park.                                         The study abroad group at Zarcero Park.