Dr. Christiansen of the UTSA for an English Language Specialist project focusing on developing a nationwide writing center network in Brazil at the Federal University of Paraná.

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Dr. Sidury Christiansen Selected by U.S. Department of State for Writing Center Network

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The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of Dr. Christiansen of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)for an English Language Specialist project focusing on developing a nationwide writing center network in Brazil at the Federal University of Paraná.

Christiansen is part of a select group, as her project is one of 130 that the English Language Specialist Program supports each year.

Christiansen is an Associate Professor of TESOL and Applied Linguistics in the Bicultural Bilingual Studies Department at UTSA and the Coordinator of the MA-TESL Program. She will be bringing together her expertise in second language writing, academic writing support, and sociolinguistics as part of this new effort to seed a network of writing centers across Brazilian universities.

In contrast to many U.S. writing centers, which primarily focus on supporting undergraduates, the immediate need in the Brazilian context is to support graduate students and faculty who need to publish in English. Thus, Christiansen’s particular combination of expertise and prior work in academic writing development has positioned her to support Brazilian institutions in this new endeavor.

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, 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.

Since1991, 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, 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.

English Language Specialists are counted among the more than50,000 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 further information about the English Language Specialist Program or theU.S. Department ofState, please visit our elprograms.org/specialist, contact us by telephone at 202-632-6452, ore-mail ECA-Press@state.gov.

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