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Fall Update

At SPS this fall, all courses, other than pre-established online courses, will be offered face-to-face in our New York City classrooms. Some of these face-to-face courses will be offered in the HyFlex format to ensure that all of our students can make progress toward their degree requirements, if faced with delays due to student visas or vaccination effectiveness wait times.
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Polly Merdinger

Senior Lecturer; Associate Director for Faculty Search, Development, and Review

Polly Merdinger has been teaching at the American Language Program (ALP) for over 35 years. She teaches integrated skills for beginners through advanced students, and has taught advanced academic writing at the ALP and in other departments at Columbia University. Merdinger developed and taught the first language and pedagogy courses for International Teaching Assistants in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1985 – 1989), and the Practicum in Foreign Language Pedagogy for teaching assistants in the Foreign Language departments (1988).

Merdinger’s special interests are pronunciation and teacher education.  In addition to her work with faculty at the ALP, she has had many years of experience in teacher education in the MA in TESOL Program at Teachers College, Columbia University and in the Certificate in English Language Teaching (ELT) program at the New School, where she teaches professional development courses in pronunciation pedagogy for new and experienced language teachers.  She leads yearly workshops on communicative language teaching for Foreign Language Teaching Assistants in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and she is a member of the Professional Development committee and the Dean’s Applied Research Grant committee in the School of Professional Studies.


  • M.A., Columbia University
  • M.Ed. in TESOL, Columbia University
  • B.A., SUNY at Buffalo


  • NorthStar Listening and Speaking 1 (Pearson Education ESL, 2015), with Laurie Barton
  • Even If You Can’t Carry a Tune: Grammar through Popular Songs (Newbury House, 1984), with Joel Rosenfeld