MIIS Alum Tara Bates, M.A. TESOL 2007, started out teaching ELF (English as a lingua franca) in Afghanistan. At about the same time her ELF fellowship finished, Kabul Education University had started working on a project and unexpectedly needed a course designer/mentor for their Afghan instructors. Bates offered to fill in for one semester. KEU seemed to like the work that Bates was doing and she was invited to stay on until the end of the project.
Besides helping with the KEU project, Bates is currently working for Indiana University as a consultant. She is helping develop and pilot courses for a Master’s of Education in TESOL. While she says she is really enjoying the work and having fun, she also likes that the work stretches her. Bates has had the chance to work with many different classes, including Curriculum Design, Assessment, Second Language Acquisition, Educational Research, and Adult Learning. Much of her work for these classes has been heavily influenced by the work of the late MIIS TESOL/TFL Professor Leo van Lier.
In her experiences in Afghanistan, Bates has made many intersting observations about the Afghan system of higher education. Although it is very poor, there is a sort of built-in program of professional development: Professors are expected to write an academic paper (or book) every three years. Bates is trying to leverage this professional development program to help the Afghan students and professors get a good handle on research so that they will have at least some of the necessary skills to pursue education and learning throughout their lives. In their Education Research class, she is trying not just to teach about research methods, but to also model them for the students and Afghan instructors.
Dr. Lourdes Ortega, Linguistics Professor at Georgetown University, will be giving a lecture on “How Useful is Instructed SLA Research for Teachers, and What does Epistemological Diversity have to Do with it?” Professor Ortega will examine ways in which the blooming of cognitive, sociocultural, and sociocognitive theories of additional language learning has invigorated the capacity of SLA researchers to make meaningful contributions to knowledge about language teaching. Come join on Friday, May 17th, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in McGowan 102.
Our Green Thumb Garden and B.U.I.L.D. are hosting an end of the semester painting party in the garden this Friday, May 3 @ 1:00pm! We need artists and multilinguists. Let’s paint a mural that showcases MIIS love of the environment and international cooperation.
What are some words about nature in Spanish? Portuguese? Chinese? Korean? Japanese? German? French?
A few “bef”ore pictures. This fence is just begging for some more artwork. So excited for this Friday…come help paint!
Professors Jinhuei Enya Dai and Wei Liang took a group of MIIS students to Taipei and Shanghai during MIIS’ spring break to explore the complicated relationship between mainland China and Taiwan.
The group visited government offices, businesses, and universities, as well as meeting with a group of Taiwanese veterans. They were also able to meet up with MIIS alumni at a dinner in Taipei.
The trip (which was conducted entirely in Mandarin Chinese) was a productive and informative experience for all involved.
The group at the Mandarin State Council, Taipei
MIIS Alumni Dinner, Taipei
At Pecatron Design Studio, Shanghai
Dr. Dmitri Trenin, the foremost expert in Russian foreign policy and US/Russian relations, will be conducting a seminar April 25, at 12:15 pm to 1:30 pm in Irvine Auditorium. He is a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment, the Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, and the Chair of its Foreign and Security Policy Program. Dr. Trenin has been with the Carnegie Moscow Center since its inception in 1993. From 1993-97, he held posts as a senior research fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome, a visiting professor at the Free University of Brussels, and a senior research fellow at the Institute of Europe in Moscow. He served in the Soviet and Russian Armed Forces from 1972 to 1993, and has experience working as a liaison officer in the External Relations Branch of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany and as a staff member of the delegation to the U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms talks in Geneva from 1985 to 1991. He also taught at the Defense University in Moscow. Dr. Trenin authored Getting Russia Right (2007, forthcoming); Russia’s Restless Frontier: The Chechnya Factor in Post-Soviet Russia (2004; with Aleksei V. Malashenko), and The End of Eurasia: Russia on the Border Between Geopolitics and Globalization, (2001). He edited, with Steven Miller, The Russian Military: Power and Policy (2006).
Guest Lecture on Arab Spring, organized by the Arabic Studies Program.
Prof. Alaa Eligibali from the University of Maryland will speak Thursday, April 4th, from 2:15pm to 1:15pm in McGowan 100.
A little more than two years ago, parts of the Arab world experienced what later came to be known as the Arab Spring. Initial world and domestic consensus of hope and optimism are turning into ambivalence and even skepticism. As chaos claims the day, many wonder if that spring has turned into a true Arab spring of sand storms and poor visibility. Was the imagery drawn for the Arab revolutions indeed prophetic?
Professor Peter De Costa (TESOL/TFL) recently presented a paper, “Becoming a Linguistic Cosmopolitan: The Case of a Vietnamese Designer Student Immigrant in a Singapore School,” at the 18th Annual Conference of the International Association for World Englishes in Hong Kong. The conference ran from December 6th through the 9th, and this year’s theme was “World Englishes: Contexts, Challenges and Opportunities.” Continue reading
MIIS Professor Bill Weber (T&I), instructor of Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpretation into French and German, has been having a very busy year.
In March, he interpreted at the G-20 Nuclear Summit in Seoul, and, in May, he interpreted at the G-8 summit in Camp David. From July to September, he was in London acting as Chief Interpreter of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Professor Weber has interpreted at 14 Olympiads, and this year’s games marked his eighth time serving as Chief Interpreter. Continue reading