Albania is a small country in southeastern Europe, with nature that combines a beautiful coastline on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas on the west and a breathtaking mountainous landscape on two thirds of the country. Albania is an increasingly popular tourist destination for visitors from all around the world. It is the home of several archeological sites, with ongoing excavations uncovering the long history of the country’s civilization and rich traditions, and its population is proud of its religious tolerance and the code of Besa (The Promise). History and art museums feature documents and arts and crafts that testify to the ancient history and inherited culture. Butrint Archeological Park, Gjirokaster and Berat Historic Cities, and Iso-Polyphonic Music are on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list.
Tirana is the capital and the largest city in Albania. It is the administrative, cultural, economic and industrial center of the country. The population of the city is 610,070 and the municipality of Tirana, created in 2015, has a total population of 800,986. It is the biggest metropolitan area in Albania, and the only one with a population of over 500,000. The city is home to many public institutions and public and private universities. Tirana has a humid subtropical climate with hot and moderately dry/humid summers and cool and wet winters. Some snow falls almost every winter, but it usually melts quickly. The city has a system of organized public transportation that is administered by a private company. The fare is approximately 4 cents in U.S. dollars. Public transportation to other cities is also available by bus. Trains are not currently operating in the country. Taxi companies are reliable and run to different parts of the city day and night. The capital is about a 30-minute ride from the international airport.
Host Institution: University of Tirana
The Faculty of Foreign Languages at the University of Tirana, a public university, is home of the English Language Department, the oldest and the largest of its kind in Albania. It offers three main study programs: teacher training; translation and conference interpreting; and civilization and cultural studies.
The English Language Department is the largest language department at the university, both in terms of the faculty and student body size. In order to meet the high demand for English language learning, 60% of the faculty teach full time and the other 40% are adjuncts. The lecturers and other supporting faculty are devoted to enhancing the teaching quality and harmonizing comprehensive cultural training with vocational training in order to better respond to the current requirements and demands. Extensive pre-service and in-service teacher training represents a major institutional commitment towards training foreign language teachers for the national and international markets; therefore, the department is interested in adopting the best international developments in teacher training and adapting them, in order to make sure that an adequate supply of highly-qualified teachers will be available to meet the national and international requirements of the prospective employment needs and markets.
- The Fellow will co-lecture and run workshops with a host instructor for the pre-service teacher training program, with specific topics mutually negotiated based on skills, interest, and need, for example, English teaching methodology, teaching English through technology, and intercultural education.
- The Fellow will help revise the Master’s Degree pre-service education curricula and advise in formulating an in-service Teacher Training Curriculum to be developed by the English Language Department.
- The Fellow will introduce and teach a new version of the Master’s Project Proposal course (an academic writing course for pre-service teachers) that will provide a step by step guidance to Master’s students in research and methodology, including writing academic reflections on their teaching practice.
The Fellow may be asked to:
- Work with the Institute for Education Development (IED) to design and implement an observation and monitoring plan for quality professional development of the Training of Trainers (TOT) and empowerment of the English teachers’ professional networks
- Offer assistance to the Foreign Languages professionals in Regional Education Directorates (RED) to ensure the implementation of the new curriculum and offer support on how to use learning technologies.
- Work with the IED Foreign Language Education Expert (FLEE) and RED professionals in assisting with material development for sustainable teacher training using IT skills in language teaching.
- Support the English Language Department at the Faculty of Foreign Languages in becoming a center of excellence in in-service teacher training