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Clark Selected by U.S. Department of State for Prestigious English Language Specialist Assignment

Saturday, December 5, 2020

The U.S. Department of State selected Emily Clark, assistant language specialist with the KU Applied English Center, for a four-month English Language Specialist project focusing on online teaching, engagement, methodology and technology in Russia and Poland. Clark is part of a select group, as her project is one of 130 that the English Language Specialist Program supports each year.  

As part of the project, Clark is working with Russia and Poland to conduct workshops and presentations at conferences in Poland and Russia on topics such as methodology, work-life balance, and active online teaching strategies. She is working with four teacher associations, in chronological order of conference, ELTA-Urals, the annual Umbrella Conference, MELTA (Moscow English Language Teachers Association), and conducting a series of webinars for IATEFL Poland.

Clark holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from Georgia State University and she is currently enrolled in a graduate program at KU. Over the course of her career, Clark has worked in a variety universities and community programs for over a decade, teaching varied proficiency and skill-based English as a Second or Foreign Language. As a U.S. State Department English Language Fellow in Vientiane, Laos, she developed and taught language courses, served as an MA advisor, and worked with Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs). At the AEC, Clark is a teacher, curriculum developer, professional development trainer, department liaison, and assessment rater for her department.

The English Language Specialist Program is the premier opportunity for leaders in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught abroad. Through projects developed by U.S. Embassies in more than 80 countries, EL Specialists work directly with local teacher trainers, educational leaders, and ministry of education officials to exchange knowledge, build capacity, and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities in the United States and overseas.

Since 1991, the English Language Specialist Program has sent hundreds of TESOL scholars and educators abroad to promote English language learning, enhance English teaching capacity, and foster mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries through cultural exchange. On assignment, EL Specialists may conduct intensive teacher training, advise ministries of education or participate in high-level educational consultations, and offer plenary presentations at regional, national or international TESOL conferences. These projects are challenging and those selected represent the best of the U.S. TESOL community. In return, the program provides professional development opportunities to help participants experience different cultures and build skills that can greatly enhance their TESOL careers back home.

English Language Specialists are counted among the more than 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. The Specialist Program is administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University.

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