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Specialist Program

Because specialist assignments vary so much, it can be difficult to sum up the duties of a typical specialist. Below you will find a brief summary of three sample Specialist assignments completed in different parts of the world, all with very distinct scopes of work.

Recent Participant Profiles

Anne Marie Burk – Djibouti
Anne Marie Burk spent four weeks in Djibouti developing a course on “Business English for Writing and Speaking” for the Institute of Diplomatic Studies. Burk, an expert in curriculum design and assessment, provided the Institute of Diplomatic Studies with a business English curriculum published in book form, which totals 108 pages and includes 12 units with complete syllabi, lesson plans, and training materials. This collection of lessons will provide a sustainable and adaptable four to six-week curriculum for future business English courses.

Fred Davidson – Vietnam
Dr. Fred Davidson spent two weeks in Vietnam conducting intensive teacher training and consultations for the University of Languages and International Studies at Vietnam National University in Hanoi, on assignment for the Vietnamese Standardized Test of English Proficiency. Dr. Davidson applied his expansive expertise in testing and assessment to align the standardized test with the Common European Framework of Reference for Language standards and contextualized it for a Vietnamese audience. As a result, Dr. Davidson laid the groundwork for two additional phases of testing and assessment.

Wendy Ashby – Philippines

Ashby, Wendy - FY13-RP-001 - Philippines - Photo 2Dr. Ashby spent two weeks in the the Philippines working with teachers and students on various special education initiatives. Specifically, she:

  • Gave the keynote speech at a conference on disability and education/language learning that was sponsored by Miriam College in Quezon City and funded by the U.S. Department of State
  • Conducted school visits with the purpose of exposing special needs children to U.S. culture
  • Provided support, contacts, and consultation for special education teachers across the country


Daniel Lopez – Venezuela

On assignment, he:

  • Gave a series of workshops across the country on helping students maximize language skills outside of the classroom
  • Led presentations on using free resources provided by the U.S. Department of State
  • Gave a plenary discussion at the VenTESOL Regional Convention in Caracas


Dawn Bikowski – India

Bikowski, Dawn - FY14-IN-004 - India - Photo 1During a three week assignment, she:

  • Gave several workshops for Indian teachers in Delhi and Hyderabad on teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and grant writing
  • Met with 200 technical education students and key administrators in Hyderabad at the training facility to discuss their goals and needs for English language education
  • Reviewed the materials created by the Ministry of Technical Education for their classes and made recommendations for improvements
  • Gave a keynote presentation during the TEC 14 (British Council, Teacher Educator Conference) in Hyderabad on the topic of technology and language learning: “The Pedagogy of Collaboration: Teaching Effectively with Evolving Technologies”

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