April 6, 2010
WOOSTER, Ohio - Erin Palombi, a senior German Studies major and film studies minor at The College of Wooster, has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA). A resident of Charlottesville, Va., she will teach English in Germany during the coming academic year.
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship program places U.S. students in schools or universities overseas in an effort to improve foreign students' English language abilities and knowledge of the United States while increasing their own language skills and knowledge of the host country. ETAs may also pursue individual study/research plans in addition to their teaching
Palombi, who studied abroad in Freiburg during her junior year, is looking forward to learning about a different part of Germany, and to work with young German students as well as their teachers, according to Mareike Herrmann, associate professor of German and Russian Studies at Wooster. "Erin has always had an interest in education and intercultural communication, which makes her such a great candidate for this position," said Herrmann. "She can really put her excellent language skills to use. Because her study of German language and culture and all of the other coursework she's done here and abroad have also prepared her to understand her own language and culture better and given her insight into innovative pedagogy, she will also be very qualified to teach English."
As the latest in a long line of Wooster students chosen to serve as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants, Palombi is thankful for the opportunity. "Spending last year in Germany was really the culmination of all the language-learning experiences I've ever had," she said. "I got to that point because of the wonderful German teachers I've learned from, so I know that if I can play some role in helping other students get to that point in their language-learning careers, I will have achieved something truly worthwhile."
English Teaching Assistants are assigned various activities designed to improve their students' language abilities and knowledge of the United States, according to Herrmann. "They become fully integrated into the host community (mainly cities away from major capital cities)," she said. "This competitive award provides our graduates with an opportunity to experience the culture that they've studied in a different light, this time from the perspective of a working person and a teacher/ambassador of their own culture."
The Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, and university teaching worldwide. Established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress and supported by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program enables the government to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. With an estimated 8,000 annual grants at a cost of more than $250 million, the program funds both American and foreign students, teachers, professionals, and scholars to study, teach, lecture, and conduct research in more than 150 countries and the United States.
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