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Elizabeth Rorschach

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Elizabeth Rorschach

Associate Professor
Program Director, English Education

Education Program
North Academic Center
Phone Number: 

Professor Betsy Rorschach, former Chair of the Department of English as a Second Language at CCNY, joined the English Education Program in Fall 2003.  She has taught graduate and undergraduate education courses at CCNY and New York University, she has mentored master's research projects at CCNY and in Austria from 1991 to 2010, and she taught ESL and world literature courses for undergraduate CCNY students from 1986 to 2002.  She worked extensively from 1998 until 2005 with New York City high school teachers through College Now and Looking Both Ways.  In addition, as co-director of the Fluency First Project, she ran seminars and workshops for high school and college ESL teachers throughout New York City as well as in California, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.  Prof. Rorschach was co-director of a grant from FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education) entitled "Fluency First in ESL Instruction", and in 1992 she was honored with CCNY's Outstanding Teacher Award.

Her research interests include second language and literacy acquisition and memoirs of teachers' lives.  You can read one of Prof. Rorschach's academic publications at

Under the penname "Lizzie Ross", Prof. Rorschach writes historical fiction and fantasy for young adults.  Her first book, Kenning Magic (Saguaro Books 2013) is a fantasy for middle grade readers. Her website is and her Twitter handle is @LizzieRoss2013.

Prof. Rorschach is affiliated with the National Council of Teachers of English, the International Reading Association, the New York State English Council, the International Board on Books for Young People, and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.


Ph.D., Applied Linguistics, New York University, 1986

M.A., TESOL, Teachers College, 1979

B.A., English, Carleton College, 1975

Courses Taught

For the Department of Secondary Education:

EDSE 7600A and 32500 Issues for Secondary School Teachers

For the English Education Program:

ENGLE 1100E Creative Writing
ENGLE 1800C Criticism and Appreciation of Poetry
ENGLE 4500C The Child and Adolescent in American Fiction, and ENGLE 4600E The Adolescent in Literature
ENGLE 4600E The Adolescent in Literature
ENGLE 4400E Structure and Growth of the English Language

For the TESOL and Bilingual Education Programs:

EDCE 6500C Methods of Teaching ELA to Bilingual English Language Learners
EDCE 6800C Grammar and Its Pedagogy

For the English Department's Language and Literacy Program:

ENGL B5000 Introduction to Teaching Reading and Writing
ENGL B5500 TESL Methods
ENGL B6100 Sociolinguistics
ENGL B8100 Second Language Acquisition

Research Interests

Second language and literacy acquisition, memoirs of teachers' lives, adolescent literature


Articles in Published Journals

“Exploring the Mysteries of Teaching,” in Facilitating Collaboration: Issues in High School/College Professional Development, LBW Studies in Cross-Institutional Professional Development, Vol. 2, ed. B. August & M. Wolfe, CUNY Office of Academic Affairs, 2004.

“The Five-Paragraph Theme Redux,” The Quarterly of the National Writing Project, 26:1, 2004.

“In Memorium: Nancy Duke S. Lay,” Journal of Second Language Writing 11:3, 2002.

“Understanding Error” and “Understanding ESL/ESD Students,” in Looking Both Ways: High School and College Teachers Talk About Language and Learning, LBW Studies in Cross-Institutional Professional Development, Vol. 1, ed. G. Otte, CUNY Office of Academic Affairs, 1999.

“Relearning to Teach: Peer Observation as a Means of Professional Development for Teachers,” with Robert Whitney, English Education 18:3 (October 1986).  Reprinted in American Educator 10:4 (Winter 1986); and in Education 88/89, ed. F. Schultz, Conn.: Dushkin Publ. Group, 1988. Referenced in M. Cochran-Smith & S. L. Lytle (1993), Inside/Outside: Teacher Research and Knowledge, Teachers College Press.

Book Reviews in Published Journals

"Review of History of Multicultural Education, Volume 4: Policy and Governance," Teachers College Record (1 December 2009).

“Teaching for Social Justice: The Story of a Year in a Classroom” (review of Spectacular Things Happen Along the Way), The New Educator 4:4 (2008), pp. 349-352.

“Review of Enriching ESOL Pedagogy,” TESOL Quarterly 38: 4 (Winter 2004), pp. 754-756.

Fiction (pen-name Lizzie Ross)

Kenning Magic (Saguaro Books 2013)

Short Stories
Finders Keepers (Knowonder! 2010)

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