Source: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE / U.S. EMBASSY in Madrid
Compiled by Rose Maramba
There’s a resource center for teaching and learning about American language and culture. It is simply called AMERICAN ENGLISH. Its website provides a variety of engaging materials and resources for teachers’ professional development and for students in the classroom. Both teachers and students will find new ways to practice English and at the same time learn more about the United States.
The AE website is “A website for Teachers and Learners of English as a Foreign Language Abroad.” It provides resources for teaching and learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL), exploring American culture, and encouraging conversation with the global EFL community.
The Office of English Language Programs in Washington, D.C. provides academic expertise, advisory and consultative assistance, as well as materials and resources worldwide. All programs are implemented by Regional English Language Officers (RELOs) at American Embassies or Consulates. Programs and resources administered through the AMERICAN ENGLISH office include English materials, distance education programs, and teacher training workshops.
AMERICAN ENGLISH encourages you to explore its website and check back regularly for updates and new resources.
Regional English Language Officers (RELOs) are U.S. State Department specialists who design and manage programs to promote language learning and support the teaching of English in countries around the world. RELOs also conduct needs assessments and provide guidance to embassies and host country officials on English as a Foreign Language and oversee the English Language Specialists and Fellows.
For AE Regional Language office addresses around the world, please see AMERICAN ENGLISH PART II
The AE Community is made up of teaching professionals and students of all ages who are interested in the study of the English language and American culture. In the Community English language teachers share stories about their use of American English resources like webinars, videos, downloadable books, and the English Teaching Forum magazine.
Find out how teachers have used these online materials to connect with students of all English language-learning levels.
The AE Community: http://americanenglish.state.gov/ae-community
Below are some upcoming AE events. For a complete calendar please go to http://americanenglish.state.gov/events
THE 3RD UTIC 2014
PANAMA TESOL ANNUAL CONGRESS
Aliaa Hamad: Engaging Materials for Global English Particpant
Aliaa Hamad has been teaching EFL to adults in Egypt for over thirteen years. In that time, she has developed, adapted, and evaluated reading, listening, writing, and speaking materials for General English, EAP, and ESP courses. After being nominated by her superior at the American University in Cairo, Aliaa was invited to participate in a distance education program as part of the Engaging Materials for Global English project at Iowa State University. Every week the participants were assigned readings and lectures around a theme, such as Language and Content in ELT Materials, which they would then discuss in online forums they contributed to via text, voice recording, or webcam video.
“The discussions helped participants envision how the theories learned could better inform our materials writing,” Aliaa explains. “There were also collaborative materials development projects conducted in small groups via web-based document sharing applications.”
After participating in the online course, Aliaa saw a change in the way she incorporates technology into her lessons, her teaching environment, and her own professional development.
“Although technology was an integral part of my classroom before, I’d never thought of using it for my own professional development, not before the online course anyways,” Aliaa explains. “I knew it was not simply used for the sake of it, or because it was available; it is used for a purpose, a purpose that nothing else could serve.
The course taught Aliaa that a laptop, a VCR, the Internet, and social media can bring the whole world to the classroom. It can introduce students to the cultural aspect of language, something the online course helped reinforce.
“I now use technology, not just for my students, but also for me as a teacher,” says Aliaa. “I look at lesson plans, corpuses, discussion groups, and the problems/solutions posted and adapt them to my situation.”
Participating in the online course also gave Aliaa a chance to revisit her own teaching techniques while connecting with other English language teachers from around the world.
“Learning different languages and understanding their cultures is a prerequisite for accepting and embracing different peoples and being inducted into the ‘global village’ community,” Aliaa says. “Materials writing and teacher training programs educate people, not just in terms of literacy, but also about their rights and how to get them, how to accept and live harmoniously with others, and how to make a difference in the world.”
The Engaging Materials Online course changed the way Aliaa looks at teaching, English, materials development, and humanity.
“It has definitely made me a better teacher, a better materials writer, and more of a world citizen than I knew was ever possible,” says Aliaa. “I learned a lot on a professional and personal level. Not only do I feel like a better teacher now, but I also feel validated by the experiences of fellow teachers from the world over.”
All images, except the Aliaa Hamad photo, are from the Facebook page of the AMERICAN ENGLISH
Maps are by Ben Blatt; data source from the Census Bureau American Community Survey