On August 2-29, 2015 U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar hosted an English Language Specialist for the first time in Mongolia. The Specialist, David Chiesa, organized a number of trainings and workshops on English language teaching and learning. The Department of State’s English Language Specialist Program recruits U.S. academics and professionals to deliver and maintain quality English language programs overseas and promoting mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries.
Mr. Chiesa led a month-long intensive TESOL methodology training for Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs). The Fulbright ETA Program, also sponsored by the Department of State, aims to enhance cross-cultural communication opportunities by providing a native speaker presence in host country schools. During Mr. Chiesa’s training, ETAs learned how to plan and create class activities, techniques, and assessment procedures. ETAs then applied their learning in the next part of the training, the Model School, in which the host organizations’ teachers joined the morning sessions and afternoon practicums. Both the ETAs and their host organizations’ counterparts enjoyed collaborating in an authentic classroom environment.
Along with the trainings for ETAs, Mr. Chiesa organized eight-day long professional development training for university teachers from 29 public and private universities. The training engaged teachers in community building activities and explored interactive strategies for teaching language skills. Additionally, Mr. Chiesa delivered six public talks to over 100 people at the American Corner in Ulaanbaatar. The talks covered topics such as public speaking and enhancing the classroom environment
Mr. Chiesa also consulted with the Ministry of Education and the Santis Center about how upgrade the English language portion of Mongolia’s national College Admission Test. With his recommendations, the team is now planning development of test items that can measure listening and speaking abilities of students in a valid and reliable way.