Fulbright Grant for English Teachers
21.08.18
Fulbright Grant for English Teachers

Fulbright Grant for English Teachers

Anastasia Zhdanova, a teacher at Global Ambassador, became a member of the Fulbright program for English teachers. This year she will spend at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA), where she will take several courses for teachers, will teach American students the Russian language and study American culture. Watch the video or read the text about the process of entering the program.

What is FLTA and what are the requirements?

The desire to participate in this program appeared long ago after I graduated from the magistracy and continued to teach English. I realized that I would like to learn more about the culture of the country whose language I teach and improve my teaching skills. I wanted to get an indispensable experience, get to know American culture closer and become such a cultural mediator between the two countries.

FLTA is a Fulbright program for young English teachers. The essence of the program is that a young English teacher leaves for the United States and teaches Russian language and Culture there. Also, the participant has the opportunity to take two subjects per semester, in order to get acquainted with the structure of an American university or college.

To become a member of FLTS, you must work as an English teacher or study in the last year of the university with a degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Also, you should be fluent in English at a good level, you must have the ability to work as a team and individually, interest in your own culture and a desire to communicate with a huge number of people.

The first stage of the competition

The first stage, in my opinion, is the most difficult. You submit an online application in which you indicate basic information about yourself, but here you encounter several obstacles:

First, you need to find three people who will write you recommendations. Here I would advise you to carefully choose your recommenders, as this will greatly affect the decision on your application. I had two recommendations from my employers and one recommendation from a university professor.

Secondly, you need to write a motivation letter and clearly state why you need this program and why you should be the one to take it. One of the most important documents is writing an essay on how you will teach your culture to Americans. Here you can choose any event, any format - everything is at your discretion and depends on your creativity. You also need to write an essay in which you talk about how you would conduct a Russian language lesson, what you would emphasize, what innovative approaches and methods you would use in conducting this lesson.

The second stage of the competition

The second stage is no less important. This is a personal interview and surrender TOEFL exam. Also at this stage you need to provide additional documents, such as certified copies of diplomas. Here I encountered certain difficulties, as I received my diploma in St. Petersburg. Therefore, you need to worry in advance about how you will receive the necessary documents on time.

Also, by the second round you need to provide confirmation that you are working as a teacher and fill out a form called the Language of nomination report. In this form, a university teacher must confirm that you can really teach Russian. It was quite difficult for me to sign this form, since I was not personally acquainted with the teachers of Russian as a foreign language. Here colleagues and acquaintances can come to the rescue - anyone who can give any kind of contact. I was lucky - one of our colleagues provided me with the contacts of a teacher of Russian as a foreign from UrFU. I needed to come, attend the lesson and try myself as a teacher of the Russian language. It was an interesting experience: I actually saw what it is and what I have to face in the United States.

Interview

I filed an application for participation in Fulbright for the second time - for the first time I did not pass at the interview stage. After analyzing, I realized that I could not clearly explain my goals, what my motivation is and why I need this program. Therefore, my main advice is a clear understanding of the goals. It really seems that the program is interesting, but this is not enough, you should understand how the program can contribute to your future career growth and professional development, and convey to the commission how you can apply the experience gained in the USA upon returning to Russia.

TOEFL change

The program requires passing the TOEFL exam. The scores obtained affect the choice of universities - the higher the score, the greater the choice of universities. In order to pass the exam for a high score, you need to carefully prepare. I passed the 106 score test and in this case the experience of teaching training courses really helped me. You can prepare on TOEFL Preparation Courses for a high level of language or take a couple of introductory lessons with a teacher. Moreover, preparation for the exam will allow you to evaluate and improve the academic skills that you will need to apply in the process of studying in the USA.

Deadlines

When applying for Fulbright, you need to be patient, because the whole process takes about a year. First, you submit an application until June, after a few months you are notified that you have entered the second round, and you need to provide documents for the second round, the second round is usually held in October or November in Moscow (personal interview and exam), then are you waiting semifinalist ads a few more months (before the end of the year), if you are declared a semi-finalist, you are already almost at the finish line - you just need to choose the universities you want to meet the requirements and make sure that your candidacy is approved by the Council for International Education, then you have a series of bureaucratic moments associated with medical forms and obtaining a visa - this also takes quite a long time, so patience is very important. See the exact dates of the new set on the program website.

Wish you luck. If you have a goal, go to it and everything will surely work out! "

Anastasia Zhdanova

Global Ambassador Lecturer

member of FLTA 2018, University of Notre Dame

Learn more about preparing for TOEFL Other grants and scholarships

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