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Ian Nichols Selected by U.S. Department of State for Prestigious English Language Specialist Assignment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Contact: ECA Press

Date:            09/09/2020                                                                              Telephone: 202-632-6452

The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of Ian Nichols of the University of Pennsylvania English Language Programs for a six-week virtual English Language Specialist project focusing on media literacy in Serbia. Ian is part of a select group, as his project is one of 130 that the English Language Specialist Program supports each year.  

Ian will host a weekly session with English language teachers from Serbia and around the world to discuss media literacy, the US election, and related topics in a sprint course titled “Media and Democracy: Activities for English Teachers.” The course is intended to inspire English teachers in Europe to examine the U.S. elections through the lens of the media and to compare U.S. events and issues with those in their local contexts. A primary goal of the program is to provide participants with activities they can bring back to their classrooms.

The English Language Specialist Program is the premier opportunity for leaders in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught abroad. Through projects developed by U.S. Embassies in more than 80 countries, EL Specialists work directly with local teacher trainers, educational leaders, and ministry of education officials to exchange knowledge, build capacity, and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities in the United States and overseas.

Since 1991, the English Language Specialist Program has sent hundreds of TESOL scholars and educators abroad to promote English language learning, enhance English teaching capacity, and foster mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries through cultural exchange. On assignment, EL Specialists may conduct intensive teacher training, advise ministries of education or participate in high-level educational consultations, and offer plenary presentations at regional, national or international TESOL conferences. These projects are challenging and those selected represent the best of the U.S. TESOL community. In return, the program provides professional development opportunities to help participants experience different cultures and build skills that can greatly enhance their TESOL careers back home.

English Language Specialists are counted among the more than 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. The Specialist Program is administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University.

For further information about the English Language Specialist Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit our, contact us by telephone at 202-632-6452, or e-mail

Featured Staff

Ian Nichols

Advising Specialist