State Department Selects Salas for English Language Project in Tunisia

Dr. Spencer Salas
Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of Spencer Salas, Professor at the UNC Charlotte Cato College of Education, for a weeklong English Language Specialist project focusing on curricular innovation and teacher capacity building in Tunisia. Dr. Salas 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.

Salas’s February program will begin with a plenary and workshops at TESOL Tunisia followed by consultations with the Ministry of Education as the country moves to introduce English for one contact hour per week in 4th and 5th years of primary school at the national level.

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, specalists 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, 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.

Learn more about the program here.