Alumni Highlights

Read up on news from OPEN alumni around the world!

OPEN Alumnus Conducts Professional Development Workshops for Teachers across Malaysia

Sabah’s Dr. Mohd Sirhajwan Idek recently launched a series of professional development workshops for teachers in rural areas with the aim of improving and expanding English language outreach.  Supported by the Ministry of Education, this pilot project serves as a platform for 10 OPEN alumni to give back to their communities by sharing their personal experiences to benefit teachers and students from several schools.

Following a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop facilitated by the English Language Fellows in Kuala Lumpur, Dr. Idek kicked off the program in Keningau with a workshop for more than 50 pre-service teachers from Keningau Teacher’s Training Institute on February 8.  Joined by alumni Norazyanti Aziz and Hasilah Abdullah from Pahang, a second workshop was held in Kuala Lipis on March 7, which brought together more than 30 more teachers. The workshops empowered participants by introducing them to methodologies and tools that can be used to examine and explore ideas related to teaching and educational institutions.  Upcoming workshops will be held in Johor & Sarawak.

Pre-service teachers at IPG Kampus in Kuala Lipis.

Dr. Sirhajwan presents on ‘Reading Comprehension’ to the teachers in Pahang.

Pre-service teachers in Keningau.

Highlights from Educational Technology in English Language Teaching Workshop in Marrakech, Morocco

EL Specialist Dr. Justin Shewell joined RELO Rabat to deliver workshops in Educational Technology in ELT at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech to 75 teachers and university professors. The goal of the program was to empower teachers to flip their classrooms and effectively use and create engaging digital content to supplement English language teaching and learning in and out of the classroom. Among the participants were OPEN alumni from around Morocco, bringing together secondary and university English teachers who all had a demonstrated interest in educational technology. 

Highlights from an Alumni Event in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

A cohort of 49 Mongolian alumni of OPEN courses from all 21 provinces met in Ulaanbaatar in April 2019 for a follow-on training to further improve their skills as teacher trainers, organized by the Regional English Language Officer in Beijing, Dawn Rogier. FHI 360 trainer Joyce Catsimpiris, with the help of English Language Coordinator Altantsetseg Tumenkhishig, as well as English Language Fellows Shushan Richardson, Scott Poteet, Jody Çiçek, and Heidi Healy, delivered a three-day training that expanded on topics covered in the OPEN Professional Development for Teacher Trainers course, developed by Arizona State University.

Participants learned about how to cascade knowledge they gained from their courses to their colleagues throughout the country, how to foster teacher motivation, how to design and use needs analyses, and how to find additional free American English resources such as OPEN MOOCs, Facebook Live events, and open educational resources on the American English website. Participants also prepared teacher training sessions, which they delivered to their colleagues. This cohort of trainers will continue to meet and support each other as they spread their learning to fellow teachers at their home institutions and beyond.

Please click here to view a video of the event.

Highlights from a presentation on the Educational Technology MOOC

In April 2019 MOOC participant Professor Mohamed Jaafari gave a presentation titled "Online Education/ICTs in Teaching Languages" that focused on the Educational Technology MOOC.


Highlights from a Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL) MOOC Camp in Côte d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire, seven participants completed the TEYL MOOC

Highlights from the Fostering Student Motivation and Engagement course (FSME)

On April 29, 2019, a group of 25 English teaching professionals from Jordan and Turkey completed the tailor-made “Fostering Student Motivation and Engagement” online course developed by the University of Oregon and a team of six experts from Jordan and Turkey.  The theme of the professional development course - identifying and addressing student motivation - was determined during initial research on major roadblocks to foreign language learning.

The Regional English Language Offices in Amman and Ankara chose six professionals to work closely with the University of Oregon both during the development and implementation phase.  Shepherded by Specialist Leslie Opp-Beckman, the team vetted content and activities for the course, and later served as course mentors.  As such, they are now uniquely positioned to help the 25 participants implement new practices in their classrooms in the follow-on phase to the course. Explained the TESOL Turkey president, Bahar Gun, one of the six experts, “I was not a strong believer in online professional development before getting involved in this course.  Now I know what goes into building a course and believe this one is exactly what hundreds of instructors in Turkey need.” 

Highlights from the Content-based Instruction MOOC Camp in Karachi, Pakistan


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See past OPEN alumni highlights here.