Deanna Nisbet, Ed.D.


TESOL Program Chair

More About Deanna


Dr. Deanna Nisbet is a professor and the faculty chair of the TESOL program in the School of Education at Regent University. She teaches online and on-campus courses in linguistics, TESOL methodology and second language acquisition. Her educational credentials include an Ed.D., M.Ed., a master’s level certificate in TESOL and B.S. with an initial teaching license in speech pathology and audiology. In 2001, she conducted her dissertation research in China where she explored the relationship between language learning strategy use and English proficiency among university students. She has taught ESL/TESOL courses in a variety of settings since 1989. 

Nisbet developed and presently oversees the Regent TESOL program, as well as partnerships with Hampton Roads area school districts for the training of current and prospective ESL teachers and tutors. She regularly presents at national and international conferences and serves as a consultant; and she has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed publications. Her areas of expertise and research include second language acquisition, language learning strategies, literacy and vocabulary development for English language learners. Many of her research efforts have centered on the impact of affective variables in academic learning.


Regent University School of Education Professor of the Year award, 2015

Cambridge Who's Who Among Executives, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs, 2009-10

Regent University Faculty Research Grant, Collaborative Investigator (with Wighting, M.)  Relationships between sense of community and academic achievement:  An investigation among students in independent high schools. Amount: $3000, 2008-09

Regent University Faculty Research Grant, Collaborative Investigator (with Wighting, M.)  Relationships between sense of community and religious commitment: An international comparison among high school students with implications for teachers, 2007-08. Amount: $3,256

Regent University Faculty Research Grant, Principal Investigator, 2005-07 

Teaching reading to English language learners (ELLs): A multiple-site descriptive study. Amount: $7685.00

Train-the-Trainer Certification, Center for Applied Linguistics, Enhancing English Language Learning in Elementary Classrooms, 2005

North Carolina Teaching Certificate, Speech Pathology and Audiology, 1983


Wendt, J., & Nisbet, D. (in press). The role of perceived learning and communities of inquiry in predicting international students' course grades in computer-mediated graduate courses. Journal of Research in Education.

Rockinson-Szapkiw, A., Wendt, J., Wighting, M., & Nisbet, D. (2016). The predictive relationship among the CoI framework, teacher immediacy, perceived learning and online graduate students' course grades. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(3), 18-34.

Nisbet, D., & Huang, J. (2015). Reading strategy use and reading proficiency of EFL students in China. Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2(3), 202-212.

Nisbet, D., & Tindall, E. (2015, April). A framework for explicit vocabulary instruction with English language learners. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 51(2), 75-80.

Huang, J., & Nisbet, D. (2014). The relationship between reading proficiency and reading strategy use: A study of adult ESL learners. Journal of Adult Education, 43(2), 1-11.

Tindall, E., & Nisbet, D. (2014). Enlivening vocabulary instruction for English language learners. Reading in Virginia, 36, 24-29.

Nisbet, D., & Austin, D. (2013). Enhancing ESL vocabulary development through the use of mobile technology. Journal of Adult Education, 42(1), 1-7.

Wighting, M., Nisbet, D., & Spaulding, C. (2013). The relationships among graduate students' sense of community, their perceived learning, and actual learning, International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, 20(1), 25-32.

Nisbet, D., Wighting, M., & Rockinson-Szapkiw, A. (2013). Measuring sense of community and academic learning in graduate education, International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, (7)1, 1-8. 

Huang, J., & Nisbet, D. (2012). Training adult ESL learners in metacognitive reading strategies. Journal of Adult Education, 41 (Information Series, 1), 1-7.

Huang, J., Tindall, E., & Nisbet, D. (2011). Authentic activities and materials for adult ESL learners. Journal of Adult Education, 40(1), 1-10.

Wighting, M., Nisbet, D., & Spaulding, C. (2010). Relationships between sense of community and perceived learning. International Journal of the Humanities, 8(8), 119-126.

Nisbet, D. (2010). Vocabulary instruction for second language readers.  Journal of Adult Education, 39(Information Series, 1), 10-16.

Tindall, E., & Nisbet, D. (2010). Exploring the essential components of reading. Journal of Adult Education, 39(Information Series, 1), 1-9.

Tindall, E.R, Wighting, M. J., & Nisbet, D.L. (2010). Beyond the classroom: The summer language camp phenomenon. In: G.R. Dantas-Whitney & P.N. Rilling (Eds) Authenticity in the language classroom and beyond: Children and adolescent learners. Alexandria, VA: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL).


Wighting, M., Nisbet, D., & Spaulding, C. (2009). Relationships between sense of community and academic achievement: A comparison among high school students. International Journal of the Humanities, 7(3), 63-72.

Nisbet, D., Tindall, E., & Hanes, J. (2009). Spoken language in the academy: A virtues-based model.  Journal of Christian Education, 51(1), 21-30.

Tindall, E., & Nisbet, D. (2008). Listening: A vital skill for learning. The International Journal of Learning, 15(6), 121-128.

Wighting, M. J., Nisbet, D.L., Liu, J. & Martins, P.F. (2008). Community and commitment: How social dynamics may affect the learning process for high school students. The International Journal of Learning, 15(5), 29-36.

Nisbet, D., & Tindall, E. (2006). Ten distinctions that inform reading instruction for English language learners. Reading in Virginia, 19, 21-26.

Jing, L., Tindall, E., & Nisbet, D. (2006, November). Chinese learners and English plural forms.  The Linguistics Journal, 1(3), 127-147.

Wighting, M. J., Nisbet, D. L., & Tindall, E. R. (2005). Exploring a summer English language camp experience in China: A descriptive case study. The Asian EFL Journal, 7(4), 85-108.

Nisbet, D. L., Tindall, E. R., & Arroyo, A. A. (2005). Language learning strategies and English proficiency of Chinese university students. Foreign Language Annals, 38(1), 100-107.

Tindall, E., & Nisbet, D. (2004, Summer). Second language learners: Wellsprings of learning for teachers. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 40(4), 170-174.


Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Inc.

Christian English Language Educators Association (CELEA)

International Society for Language Studies (ISLS)

International Reading Association (IRA)

Virginia ESL Supervisors’ Association (VESA)

Region II Virginia ESL Supervisors' Association Committee Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)

International Society for Self-Directed Learning (ISSDL)

Meet Our Faculty

Hope Jordan, Ph.D.


Special Education Program Chair

Reading Specialist Program Chair

757.352.4438 hopejor@regent.edu
Glenn Koonce, Ed.D.

Associate Professor

Educational Leadership Program Chair

757.352.4316 glenkoo@regent.edu
W. George Selig, Ed.D.

Distinguished Chair of Educational Leadership

757.352.4137 georsel@regent.edu
Helen Stiff-Williams, Ed.D.


Education & Interdisciplinary Studies

804.739.7852 helesti@regent.edu
Mervyn J. Wighting, Ph.D.


Career Switcher Program Chair

757.352.4321 mervwig@regent.edu


Mercy Alarid, Ed.D.
Eric Armbruster, Ph.D.
Iris Killian Barrett, Ed.D.
Samuel Botta, Ed.D.
Denita Bottoms, Ed.S.
Ardene Bunch, Ed.D.
Dana Cavallaro, D.Min.
Colleen Derr, Ed.D.
Sandra Fortner, Ed.D.
Hope George, Ed.D.
David Geurin, Ed.D.
Arlene Gibson, Ed.D.
Katherine Goldman, Ed.D.
Nancy J. Hameloth, Ed.D.
LaDonna Hankins, Ph.D.
Christine Harris, Ph.D.
Shevine Holeman, Ph.D.
Kathleen Hopkins, Ed.D.
Theodore Jenney, Ph.D.
Matthew Kellogg, Ph.D.
Jonathan Kohns, Ed.D.
Danielle Kreassig, Ed.D.
Alice Ledford, Ed.D.
Julie Ann Ligon, Ph.D.
Anne Mannarino, Ed.D.
Rene Lanette Martinez, Ph.D.
Darwin Evander Mills, Ed.D.
Ryan Murnane, Ph.D.
Michael R. Myers, Ed.D.
Roni S. Myers-Daub, Ed.D.
Heather Newton, Ed.D.
Rhiannon Jordan Perry, J.D.
Robin Puryear, Ph.D.
Ann Shufflebarger, Ed.D.
Cynthia Sparks, Ed.D.
Patricia Stewart, Ph.D.
Catherine Walsh, Ph.D.
Donna Wolfe, Ph.D.

Instructional Team Member

Homer Allen, M.Ed.
Moyra-Lee Babb, M.A.
Jacqueline Bruso, M.A.
Rachel Copeland, M.Ed.
Susan Crosland, M.Ed.
Myra Jessie Flint, M.Ed.
Sarah McKown, M.A.
Donna Revellon, M.A.
Ashley Rombs, M.Ed.
Carolyn Thompson, M.A.