• U.S. Fulbright Specialist Dr. Doris Macdonald conducted English language teaching methods at Universitas Mulawarman

    MacDonald 3Workshop how to prepare research proposal for master’s degree students

    During her stay in Samarinda from February 12 to March 22, 2019, Dr. Doris Macdonald, Associate Professor on Applied Linguistics in TESOL, was housed in a guest house close to campus, on a main road through campus: Jalan Ki Hadjar Dewantara. On being dropped off at home one day, a colleague referred to Dewantara as “our hero of education.” Having heard this, she decided that she needed to learn more about Dewantara—and it is his famous quote that inspired her as she tried to organize aspects of the specialist program. Commonly translated as “for those in front should set an example; for those in the middle should raise the spirit, and for those behind should give encouragement,” this saying has influenced the development of education in Indonesia for a century. Because it focuses on the skills and needs of all students, this quote was particularly compelling for her as a major focus of her Fulbright Specialist grant was to encourage teachers in training to adopt engaged learning practices and focus on learner-centered teaching strategies. While the desire to engage language learners in active classroom participation is ever-evident, the strategies to implement it are not always at hand.

    2&3The Specialist is giving a lecture to master’s degree students

    In workshops with English language students and teachers, she attempted to theorize as well as model some of these teaching strategies. Imagine 100 undergraduates reciting, in rounds, lines from the classic English pronunciation poem “The Chaos” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chaos). Or graduate students eagerly completing a picture story completion task then rigorously interrogating the cultural assumptions of the task and its content. Or high school English teachers taking half of their free Saturday to gather and discuss how to keep their students interested in studying English. These are just a few of the many pedagogical opportunities we shared.

    According to Dr. Macdonald, one aspect of this grant that has not yet been fully realized is the research partnerships that they are building. As a mentor to visiting Indonesian scholars at Northern Illinois University (NIU), she has some experience with the pressures to publish and to build an international reputation to enhance both personal and professional reputations. She looks forward to continuing to work with her two UNMUL hosts as well as with other faculty friends in developing meaningful research agendas.

    MacDonald 4Official visit to Vice Rector of Academic Affair

    Her host program is staffed with talented and caring lecturers whose mentorship of their students is apparent in their interactions both inside and outside the classroom. They truly inspire her to set an example, raise spirits, and encourage future English language teachers.

    Dr. Doris Macdonald is a Fulbright Specialist at Faculty of English Education Universitas Mulawarman in Samarinda, East Kalimantan from February 10 to March 23, 2019. Dr. Macdonald is a faculty member in the Department of English at Northern Illinois University. 

    Last Updated: May 3, 2019 @ 4:55 pm

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