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COEHD professor awarded Fulbright Scholarship

by Jo Ann Jones, COEHD    |    June 13, 2017

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Dr. Sidury Christiansen, assistant professor in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, recently received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to teach for a semester this fall in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Beginning Aug. 1, Christiansen will teach undergraduate and graduate students at the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes in the university’s English Teaching Preparation Program, Licenciatura en Docencia del Idioma Inglés.

“I will be teaching a technology-enhanced language learning class, and I will be helping them equip their computer center, which is a self-access center for self-study, with digital tools and curriculum for language learning and language teaching,” said Christiansen.

While in Mexico, Christiansen will also teach a distance-learning course to UTSA students called Distance Learning and Curriculum Design. This course, she said, will teach both her UTSA and Mexican students about best practices for distance learning and how to create materials and activities for online environments.

“I’m trying something new in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, which is doing a distance learning class and practicum where students experience how to teach English to students in another country,” said Christiansen. “This innovative course gives our students a chance to teach in different digital environments and be more marketable as a result. Online teaching and learning is very popular, and our students are getting first-hand experience in doing it.”

Christiansen will also have the opportunity to conduct research in Mexico on language and culture in western and central Mexico.

“Aguascalientes is one of the states that receives the most U.S. returnees, thus, studying their language practices and ideologies will be paramount to helping Mexican English teachers grapple with their current challenge of teaching the English speaking children that now populate their schools,” said Christiansen.

By the end of her semester abroad, Christiansen hopes to develop a strong partnership between UTSA and the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes.

“I hope to teach our UTSA students to use technology even in low-tech environments, and I hope to teach Mexican students to use available technology to its fullest potential,” she said. “I hope that these ties also yield future projects in which we can exchange student practitioners, so they can experience teaching English in an English as a second language setting for those in Mexico and English as a foreign language for those in the U.S.”

Learn more about the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award Program.

Learn more about UTSA’s M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language program.

Learn more about the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies.

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