Report on Academic
Specialist Visit to Indonesia
June 28 - July 20, 1999
By Mary Ann
Christison, University of Utah
About the Specialist
Mary Ann Christison is a professor
in the Linguistics Department at University of Utah, Salt Lake
City, Utah. She teaches courses in the graduate programs and coordinates
the K-12 teacher education programs for ESL certification and
endorsement. Before joining the full-time faculty at the University
of Utah, Christison was a Professor ESL and Director or the International
Center at Snow College in Utah. Dr. Christison received her BA
degree in Theater and Spanish at Utah State University and two
MA degrees--one in Communication and one in TESL, from that same
institution. Her Ph.D. is in English/Linguistics from the University
of Utah. Dr. Christison has traveled and lectured to EFL teachers
in over 20 countries, including Morocco, France, Canada, Peru,
Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica,
Thailand, Malaysia, People's Republic of China, Czech Republic,
Slovak Republic, and Germany. She consults for many public school
districts within the United States on designing curricula for
ESL students and L2 teacher educators. She has authored over 85
articles and 15 books and serves on several editorial advisory
boards. She served as TESOL 1995 Convention Chair in Long Beach,
California, USA and as TESOL President 1997-98. Christison is
also on the Board of Trustees of the TESOL International Research
Areas of Specialization
Second language acquisition, learning
styles, multiple intelligences, applications of brain-based research
to second language teaching and learning, teaching second languages
to young children, L2 curriculum design, content-based instruction.
During the three-week stay in Indonesia
Adrian Palmer, Kenneth Michael Jenson, and I spoke to and interacted
with over 1000 EFL teachers on Java and Bali. In Jakarta, We all
spoke at the LIA (binational center) Conference which attracted
about 750 teachers. LIA Jakarta and its branches throughout Java
teach English to about 90,000 students. They employ about 1,250
English teachers. At the conference in Jakarta, I delivered two
plenary addresses on "Applications of Brain-based Research" and
"Applying Multiple Intelligences Theory" and two half-day workshops
to smaller groups of teachers on "Content-based Instruction" and
"Brain-based Research". After the conference, Adrian Palmer and
I spent three days consulting with LIA on their magazine for EFL
students, their professional journal for their teachers, their
teacher education program, their undergraduate curriculum in English,
their editorial staff, their curriculum staff, and their testing
department. The consultations were extremely helpful and valuable
for long-term cooperation and networking.
Palmer, Jenson, and I also did a
two-day conference in Yogyakarta in Central Java. I did three
plenary addresses and two half-day workshops. The conference attracted
about 100 teachers at IKIP (teacher training institution) Yogyakarta.
In Bali, Palmer and Christison presented at a one-day conference
jointly sponsored by USIS, IALF (Indonesia Australia Language
Foundation), and Udayana University in Den Pasar. This conference
was a groundbreaker for USIS in this area and the conference created
many networking opportunities for USIS in the future. The conference
attracted over 100 teachers from all over Bali. Palmer and Christison
also did all day workshops at IALF the following day for about
40 teachers. The teachers came from IALF and other language centers
in and around Den Pasar.
Responses to the Indonesian Program:
a. I was very impressed with entire
LIA organization and, in particular, LIA, Jakarta. The quality
and commitment of the teachers and professional staff are unsurpassed.
They are committed to excellence in TEFL.
b. I was also impressed with the
sincere desire the EFL teachers, at all of the sites, had to
improve their teaching skills. They were very interested not
only in the newest teaching techniques and strategies but in
the latest in L2 research as well.
c. The program was meticulously
planned and executed. I thank RELO Kenneth Michael Jenson for
his flawless organizational skills. Each event spoke well for
USIS and the role the United States plays in supporting English
language teaching worldwide.
d. It also seems that there were
opportunities for the establishment of long-term programs between
LIA and the University of Utah. Some of the teachers are interested
in joining our graduate programs in the next few years. In conjunction
with the review of LIA's undergraduate programs, we also talked
about the possibility of establishing a joint graduate degree
program in TEFL with LIA in the future.
e. The program was important pedagogically
because it offered a quality teacher education venue. It was
important politically because it brought together many different
arms of English language teaching in Indonesia and presented
the United States' role in furthering ELT worldwide in a positive
Armstrong, T. (1994). Multiple
Intelligences in the Classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association
for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Campbell, L., Campbell, B. & Dickinson,
D. (1996). Teaching and learning through multiple intelligences.
Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Christison, M.A. (1996a). Teaching
and learning languages through multiple intelligences. TESOL
Journal, 6, (1), 10-14.
Christison, M.A. (1999a). Applications
of Research for Second Language Teaching and Learning, Part I.
TESOL Matters. Vol. 9. No. 3, pgs. 1-3.
Christison, M.A. (1999a). Applications
of Research for Second Language Teaching and Learning, Part II.
TESOL Matters. Vol. 9. No. 3, pg. 9.
Christison, M.A. (1999). Applying
Multiple Intelligences Theory in ESL/EFL Classroom. Burlingame,
CA: Alta Book Center Publishers
Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple Intelligences:
The Theory of Practice. New York: Basic Books.
Teachers of English to Speakers of
Other Languages (TESOL)
University of Utah
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