The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of Karen Marsh Schaeffer of the U’s Department of Linguistics for a 6-week virtual English Language Specialist project focusing on engaging K-12 language learners with online learning in Istanbul, Turkey. Marsh Schaeffer is part of a select group, as her project is one of 150 that the English Language Specialist Program supports each year.
Marsh Schaeffer maintains roles as Director of English for Academic Success in the department of Linguistics, and as Interim Director of Utah Global Faculty in Undergraduate Studies.
Marsh Schaeffer’s dedication to global learning has been ongoing. She has worked with refugees, local organizations, and teachers to build language abilities for many students over the years. In 2018, Marsh Shaeffer received the Office for Global Engagement’s Excellence in Global Engagement Award. She was a member of a Linguistics team who were awarded a Global Learning Across Disciplines grant in 2019. She’s been deeply involved in the Faculty Learning Community on Global Learning and attended the Global Learning Retreat.
Marsh Schaeffer has previously worked in Narva, Estonia and Indonesia as a specialist and has helped with orientation for Fulbright English Language Teaching Assistants, as well. Her favorite thing about working with students is learning about their backgrounds, cultures and native languages.
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, English Language 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 supported in-country, virtual, and mixed projects in which hundreds of TESOL scholars and educators promote English language learning, enhance English teaching capacity, and foster mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries through cultural exchange. During their projects, English Language 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 at 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.
Learn more at elprograms.org/specialist.