Category Archives: Language Program Administration

Inspirational & Mindful in Seattle: The 3rd Chinese Innovation Forum

Recently The 3rd Chinese Innovation Forum was successfully held at University of Washington at Seattle (UW), and co-hosted by Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS). From Monterey to Seattle, the forum always stays to true to our mission which is to sow the seed of awesomeness to the innovative educators in Chinese language teaching and learning, and thereby promoting sustainable development in our field.

As distinguished scholars in second and foreign language education, Dr. Cornelius C. Kubler and Dr. Aida Walqui delivered thought-provoking keynote presentations respectively on how to construct productive interaction in second language class, and tradition and innovation in Chinese language learning and teaching. Following the presentations, all the attendees seized the moment to raise questions on, for instance, the strategies of how to give activity directions in Chinese for novice learners.

In our innovation forum, what matters is not only what the educators take away but also what they bring in. All the participants, the Chinese educators from all over the country, from K-12 to college-level, were divided into different groups in advance according to their pedagogical and research interests. In the afternoon trade-fair session, each group was not only able to showcase and demonstrate their own innovative Chinese teaching and learning design (e.g., project-based activities, Chinese ancient poem pedagogy, scaffolding strategies, tech-assisted Chinese teaching etc.), but circulate around other showcase tables to learn and to potentially provide feedback. Most significantly, no words were strong enough to express our gratitude to the keynote speakers’ participation and their constructive advice for each “innovation-swap” table.


Dr. Kubler pinpointed the essentially of continuous innovation. The Chinese innovation forum always tries providing a platform for Chinese educators to learn and share, to build on the peers’ efforts and make pedagogical innovations. Look forward to seeing increasingly leading innovative Chinese educators in the upcoming 4th Chinese Innovation Forum held at Chinese American International School at San Francisco in 2018.

“There are remarks that sow, remarks that reap.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein

Spanish Community Interpreting Graduate Certificate

We are excited to announce the launch of a new graduate certificate program in Spanish Community InterpretingThis certificate program is distinguished for its nationally-known faculty, who offer participants a solid foundation in written translation, sight translation, consecutive dialogue interpreting and simultaneous interpreting. Participants will build professional and linguistic knowledge needed for the fields of legal, medical, social service and educational interpreting and will be prepared to take certification exams in the relevant sectors. 

For more information about this new course and how to apply, please visit  

MIIS Alum Adnan Al-Hammody published

MIIS Alum Adnan Al-Hammody, MA TESOL 2013, has recently been published. The paper is called When a Facebook Group Makes a Difference: Facebook for Language Learning, and was written during his time as a student at MIIS for Applied Linguistics Research and as part of his portfolio. The paper investigates what Iraqi students gain from interacting in English in a Facebook group in an EFL context.

Adnan’s paper was published by the e-journal English Language Teaching World Online (ELTWO), and can be found at this link:

Congratulations to Adnan!

MIIS French Professor Michel Gueldry keeping busy

MIIS Professor Michel  Gueldry has had, and continues to have, a very busy semester. As a French language studies professor at MIIS, Gueldry specializes in international relations and sustainability studies. Just this year, Gueldry has completed and submitted three articles for publication: a new research paper entitled “Energy and Climate Change: The Emergence of an Overarching Security Nexus,” an essay entitled “Personal Transformation and Worldly Engagement: When Mindfulness Meets the Market,” and a paper entitled “Ecological Economics: An Alternative Grand Narrative for Capitalism and a Blueprint for a Sustainable Economy.”

Besides submitting three papers for publication, Gueldry will participate in Peter Fordos‘ student weekend workshop, “Intercultural Competence for Sustainability,” on March 29. His contribution to this workshop is a segment called “How to Communicate Climate Change for Diverse Audiences: Engaging Stakeholders across Professional Cultures.” On April 8, Gueldry will also co-teach a workshop for students with CACS Advisor Edy Rhodes. The workshop is called “Emotional Intelligence: The Tip of the Iceberg.”

Gueldry’s busy schedule will continue into the summer. He will teach three panels at the University of Leipzig, Germany, in July 2014: one on energy policy, one on narratives of capitalism, and one on personal transformation and professional growth.

Congratulations to Professor Gueldry on all of his accomplishments!

TESOL Alumna Writes Memorial Piece for Dr. Leo van Lier


Caroline Fuchs, an alumna of the MIIS MATESOL program, recently published a memorial piece for the late Dr. Leo van Lier. According to Caroline, “words can’t do justice to the wisdom that Leo encompassed for those who were fortunate enough to have known him. This is my humble attempt at expressing my thoughts.”

If you would like to read the piece in its entirety, you can download it here.

2nd Annual Celebrating Foreign Language Education: A Monterey Bay Symposium

cropped-FLS_logo_blogheader-copy_111        In honoring our late Dr. Leo van Lier, the 2nd Annual Celebrating Foreign Language Education: A Monterey Bay Symposium will commence on Saturday, March 30, 2013. Our keynote speaker this year is Peter DeCosta speaking on “Scales: An Alternative Lens for Investigating Foreign Language Learning and Teaching.” In addition, we will have speakers for local institutions speaking on assessment methods, technological tools, and intercultural competency.
        Ready to register? Please go to to register today! Interested in participating in this meaningful event? We are looking for participants for the poster session. If you have a curriculum design project, a Kumar trade fair project, or a research project that you would like to showcase, please fill out our Poster Session Signup Form. If you would like to volunteer some time to help out with the event, please fill out our Volunteer Form. Volunteers will receive a waived $15 registration fee and lunch will be provided. For more information, please visit our website at We look forward to celebrating foreign language education with you on March 30th!

TESOL Travel Grants

One more benefit to being a TESOL International Association member:

Did you know that the TESOL  International Association offers two awards that are specifically for graduate students? You are invited to apply! The recipient gets a stipend and free convention registration.

The Marckwardt Travel Grants assist graduate students traveling to a TESOL convention. The grants include $500 and free convention registration. All TESOL members who are graduate students in TESOL/TFL programs worldwide are eligible to apply.

The Ruth Crymes Fellowship supports recent or current graduate students who are developing projects with direct application to ESOL language classroom instruction. The recipient receives $1,500 and free convention registration for a subsequent year, when the project is presented. All TESOL members who are or have been enrolled within the past year in a TESOL or TEFL graduate program that prepares teachers to teach ESOL are eligible to apply for this fellowship.
For more information about eligibility and other TESOL awards, please go to the TESOL Awards and Grants Web page or contact

Deadline: November 1, 2011

English Language Fellow Courtney Pahl

Courtney Pahl, a 2011 MATESOL Graduate and Language Program Administration (LPA) Certificate holder, is about to start her next chapter of English Language Education in Brazil! Courtney has been selected for the position of English Language Fellow (ELF) at the CasaThomas Jefferson (CTJ) Bi-national Center in Brasilia, Brazil. CJT is an institute for both
linguistic and cultural exchange. There are six CTJ branches located in Brasilia that serveas educational centers for over 15,000 students and nearly 200 faculty members. Courtney’s fellowship will start in February 2012 and continue until November.

During her time in Brazil, Courtney will primarily work as an English instructor. Most of her students will be between the ages of four and 18. In addition to teaching, Courtney will also have the opportunity to take on various other roles and responsibilities, some of which include serving on a faculty supervisory team, coaching fellow English instructors as they prepare to write proposals and present at the Brazilian National TESOL Conference, presenting at various conferences, and preparing and presenting a variety of professional development workshops for local educators.

Courtney is very excited to not only get more experience in the classroom but also help other teachers develop into great language instructors. She is anxious to get her “feet wet” in the supervisory and coaching elements of her ELF position. In fact, she claims that ELF is the ideal job for her at this point in her career, as it will allow her to experience multiple dimensions of English language education.

Courtney is very thankful for the education she gained from the Monterey Institute. In fact, in her interview for the ELF position, the quality and prestige of the institute was highlighted, as well as the value of completing the LPA certificate. Courtney attributes her successful acceptance to the ELF program to the experiences and education she gained from the faculty and staff of the Monterey Institute.

Courtney is looking forward to improving her Portuguese and exploring Brazil!

Click here to learn more about Casa Thomas Jefferson (CTJ) or Courney’s position as an English Language Fellow.

Zenning My Presentation

Do you know how to Zen your presentation? It’s a concept that my colleague and friend, Bob Cole, director of our Teaching & Learning Collaborative, turned me on to. How often have you sat through a presentation with a tiny font size and so much text that you couldn’t possibly absorb the information, let alone concentrate on the speaker? With Zenning, less is more. Find images that are thought-provoking and relevant to the topic. Flickr’s Creative Commons is a great resource. And rather than creating bulleted lists of facts and figures, select a few words or phrases that express your key concepts. Think Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The presentation should be an aide, not a distraction. Once you free yourself from the prison of bullet lists, your audience is free to focus on your message. For more details, check out Garr Reynold’s Web site. He literally wrote the book on Zenning your presentation: Presentation Zen. As I start to design the presentation for my TESOL workshop, I think back to the first time I converted a PowerPoint show using these ideas. Afterword, participants raved to me! For a sample of what I did, check out my slideshare “The Top 10 Things Every New Language Program Administrator Should Know.” So, if you are gearing up for a presentation of your own this year, consider adding some Zen. Your audience will thank you for it!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

When I first heard that the TESOL 2011 Annual Convention would be in New Orleans, I was excited. When I realized it would be on St. Patrick’s Day, I practically booked my plane ticket then and there. St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans — what fun! Yes, I had been burned in the past by TESOL’s choice of location. Namely in 2009, when a blizzard hit Denver just as my plane was trying to land. But that’s a story for another time. I’m really looking forward to being in the Big Easy for the conference this year. It promises to be a busy week as I will arrive early to attend a CEA accreditation workshop Monday & Tuesday. On Wednesday, I’m taking a workshop presented by Denise Murray and MaryAnn Christison – two of my program administration idols – as part of the TESOL Leadership Development program. Thursday we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the MA TESOL program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. And on Friday, I’m presenting my own workshop on the role of Emotional Intelligence in Language Program Administration. I can’t wait to see friends, alumni, and colleagues who will be coming in from around the world for the event! It promises to be both a great professional development experience, as well as just a really good time. Laissez les bons temps rouler!