Cheney Free Press -

EWU professor to serve as language specialist in Jordan


Eastern Washington University associate professor Gina Mikel Petrie, Ph.D., has been selected by the U.S. Department of State for a six-week English Language Specialist assignment in Amman, Jordan.

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. Petrie is part of a select group, as one of approximately 80 U.S. citizens each year selected to serve on an English Language Specialist assignment.

The project will focus on needs analysis, mentoring and materials development in the English Department, and in the English for Tourism and English for Hospitality programs at the Ammon Technical College.

As the modern languages and literatures coordinator in EWU’s English as a Second Language (ESLG Program), Petrie has a background in TESOL. She has developed expertise in the methods, materials and teacher education in the area of teaching English for specific purposes through her work in Nicaragua.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to apply what I’ve learned through my work in Nicaragua about the teaching of English for Tourism,” Petrie said. “I’m very honored to have been chosen and represent Eastern, as being an EL Specialist is one of the dreams I have hoped to achieve in my career.”

Petrie will be expected to assist with recommending improvements to the programs at the college, supporting teachers with developing their teaching methods and developing materials to enhance learning.

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.

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.

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.


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