The U.S. Department of State has selected Deric McNish, Associate Professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre, for a four-month English Language Specialist project in Russia, Estonia, Belarus, Latvia, and Lithuania. This multimodal project will support English language teachers and learners through the development of a podcast series that aims to build commonality and better understanding by supporting cultural literacy.
McNish has taught at MSU’s English Language Center and the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute. He is the co-author of Drama in the Language Classroom (University of Michigan Press) and a leading scholar and practitioner of interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning.
“This project was conceived by a dynamic group of teachers. I’m very excited to help them bring this valuable idea to life,” McNish said. “It’s an intersection of my interests in applied theatre, devising, English language teaching and learning, cultural literacy, and aural media.”
The U.S. Department of State’s 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.
“This project was conceived by a dynamic group of teachers. I’m very excited to help them bring this valuable idea to life. It’s an intersection of my interests in applied theatre, devising, English language teaching and learning, cultural literacy, and aural media.”
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 United States 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.
For more information about the English Language Specialist Program or the U.S. Department of State, visit the U.S. Department of State’s English Language Programs website.