English Language Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Awarded Teacher Training Grant

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The English Language Center (ELC) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the University of Oregon (UO) were awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to design innovative teacher training courses.

The English Language Center (ELC) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in consortium with the University of Oregon (UO) was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to design innovative teacher training courses for the 2009-2010 academic year, to improve the teaching of English as a foreign language internationally while promoting positive intercultural relationships with other countries.

UMBC and UO, both leaders in online education, will provide seven online professional development courses for English teachers around the world. This exciting program will provide scholarships to at least 500 teachers, professors, and Ministry of Education officials around the world to take UMBC and UO courses at a distance. In addition, ELC at UMBC will host 26 teacher leaders in summer 2010 to take part in teacher leadership courses and a historical and cultural tour of five U.S. cities along the East Coast.

Dr. Joan Kang Shin, Director of TESOL Professional Training at the ELC at UMBC, says, "This program funded by the U.S. Department of State is a wonderful chance to connect English teaching professionals around the world. Not only are we sharing American expertise in the field of English language teaching, but also we are learning from professionals about the realities of English language teaching in different countries. The knowledge is shared mutually, and our professional connections across national borders exemplify productive ways to build healthy international relationships."

Dr. Fernando Fleurquin, Director of the ELC at UMBC, says, "It is an honor for UMBC to work together with UO as the leading institutions in professional development programs for teachers of English as an international language. UMBC's Center has already offered online and face-to-face programs for English teachers in over 60 countries, and we look forward to developing relationships with new teachers and institutions to contribute to better understanding among cultures, better practices in the English teaching field, and a better quality of life for teachers and students around the globe."

UMBC has recently been recognized as a national leader in higher education by the U.S. News & World Report America's Best Colleges Guide: #1 among the up-and-coming national universities and #1 public national university in undergraduate teaching. This award of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is further recognition of UMBC's leadership in the field of English teaching.

For more information:
Dr. Fernando Fleurquin
fernando (at) umbc.edu
http://www.umbc.edu/elc

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