SIT alumna selected by U.S. State Department

May 17th, 2018   |   SIT Graduate Institute

SIT alumna selected by U.S. State Department for prestigious English language assignment      

Jimalee Sowell, a 2008 graduate of SIT Graduate Institute’s MA in TESOL program, has been selected by the U.S. State Department for a two-week English Language Specialist project addressing solutions to low-motivated students in large classes in Vietnam. Jimalee is part of a select group of approximately 80 U.S. citizens chosen each year to serve on an English language specialist assignment.

A native of New Mexico, Jimalee is currently a PhD student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania specializing in teaching composition to second-language writers. She has served as an English language fellow in Bangladesh and the Ivory Coast.

“I am delighted to hear that an SIT Graduate, Jimalee Sowell, has been selected for this prestigious appointment,” said SIT TESOL program chair Leslie Turpin. “SIT’s rigorous attention to educating reflective, culturally aware practitioners makes our graduates wonderful candidates for programs that demand such skill, creativity and professionalism, I wish Jimalee a rewarding experience and know that those around her will benefit from her work.”  

SIT’s highly regarded TESOL graduate education is grounded in collaborative, cohort-based experiential learning, and reflective practice. Students delve deeply into the theoretical knowledge and professional competencies that are essential for effective language teaching. The curriculum includes intercultural communication, practical teaching methodology, applied linguistics, curriculum design and assessment, and second language acquisition.

Since it started in 1991, the U.S. State Department’s 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 United States and other countries through cultural exchange. “These projects are challenging and those selected represent the best of the U.S. TESOL community,” according to a State Department press release.

Through projects developed by U.S. embassies in more than 80 countries, these 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. The specialists may conduct intensive teacher training, advise government ministries or participate in high-level educational consultations, and offer plenary presentations at TESOL conferences.

English Language Specialists are among more than 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. State Department exchange programs each year. The Specialist Program is administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University.