Bruce Maylath, professor of English
Published December 2015
Maylath, who joined the NDSU faculty in 2007, is highly regarded for his quality instruction and his ability to connect with students. Students describe Maylath as an inspiring teacher.
He earned his bachelor's degree at Kalamazoo College, master's degree from Michigan State University and doctorate at the University of Minnesota.
What do you teach?
I teach linguistics and technical communication.
How did you decide to pursue your profession?
I knew after spending a summer in Denmark, while in high school, and beginning to learn Scandinavian languages that I wanted to teach language – and the language I could teach best would be my own: English.
What do you like best about teaching?
I enjoy helping students come to an understanding of something that they’d always wondered about.
What is your favorite class or topic to teach?
Although I like all the courses that I teach, my favorite is probably History of the English Language.
How would you describe your teaching style?
Since I started teaching in 1979, my teaching has become much more recursive, as I’ve witnessed how important reinforcement is to lasting learning. Teaching a two-week unit, giving a quiz and moving on does not suffice. Lessons need to be reinforced throughout a course, or even courses. Consequently, my teaching today tends to circle back around several times throughout a semester to reinforce key principles and concepts.
What is the most common trait or traits of successful students?
Successful students persist in asking questions. Moreover, they don’t flinch at completing assignments, and they go beyond the basic requirements.
What is your favorite film or book featuring a teacher?
The film "Educating Rita," starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine, is my favorite.