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Talinn Phillips selected by State Department for prestigious English Language Specialist project

Published: January 19, 2022 Author: Staff reports

The U.S. State Department announced the selection of Talinn Phillips, Ph.D., of Ohio University for a spring semester English Language Specialist virtual project focusing on writing in English for research and publication purposes in Russia at Higher School of Economics, Moscow, one of the most prestigious universities in Russia.

Phillips, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, is part of a select group, as her project is one of approximately 200 that the English Language Specialist Program supports each year.

“It’s a great honor to be working with the State Department again. They really value writing expertise and understand the critical role that writing plays for graduate students and academics,” Phillips said.

The English Language Specialist Program, which is a part of the TESOL International Association, is the premier opportunity for leaders in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught abroad. It is sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with funding provided by the U.S. government.

In 2021, the English Language Specialist Program celebrated its 30th anniversary. Since 1991, more than 800 English Language Specialists from all 50 states have encouraged critical thought and erudition, celebrated their cultural diversity, and showcased their professional and civic engagement strategies to millions of educators and students through in-country, virtual, or mixed projects.

“This project is especially fun because I get to collaborate with Dr. Ron Martinez, who is now at the University of Arkansas,” Phillips said. “My first project as an English Language Specialist was working with the group of new writing center directors he had formed in Brazil. Now we get to collaborate to develop a set of workshops and a course for Russian faculty members to prepare them for publishing in English-language journals. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to teach curriculum on grant writing and publishing again that I originally developed for the Graduate Writing and Research Center.”

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 American 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.