USIA English Language Programs

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs


Report on Academic Specialist Visit to Mexico:
June 7-20, 1999

By Charles Hall, University of Memphis


About the Specialist

Charles Hall is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee. He came to Memphis in 1984 to help start the M.A. in English with a Concentration in ESL/EFL Program. Prior to his appointment at UM, he taught in the German Department and the Intensive English Institute at the University of Florida. Professor Hall received his BA degree in linguistics from Oakland University in 1976 and his MA in Linguistics in 1979 and his Ph.D. in Linguistics in 1983 from the University of Florida.

Professor Hall has held two Senior AY Fulbright Fellowships to the Czech Republic [89-90 Charles University, Prague, and 93-94 University of West Bohemia, Pilsen]. Additionally, he has lectured at the Salzburg Seminar in Austria, in Italy, Germany, Slovakia, Egypt, and China.

He is the co-author of American Legal English [University of Michigan Press, 1999] designed specifically for the EFL environment and several others texts for use in either ESL or EFL composition courses.

Visit Charles Hall's home page


Areas of Specialization

English for Specific Purposes (ESP): legal English and EAP; teacher training for TEFL; curriculum development


Trip Report

At the request of the Centro de Idiomas [Language Center], I undertook a complete external review of the staff, the courses, the materials, the goals and the future of the Center. At this time, the Center houses no degree programs but rather provides service courses for thousands of students in the University’s many degree program. I interviewed students, faculty, support staff about the make-up, structure, reputation, and successes of the Center.

Since I was extremely impressed with the organizational skills, the high level of professional training, and the creative solutions to standard problems of all language centers, I agreed with the staff and the staff’s Director that the Center was well-prepared to propose a new B.A. program in TEFL/TESL targeting mainly in-service secondary school teachers of English. Working in conjunction with the core faculty, we developed a four-year curriculum and the necessary supporting documents for the proposed BA program. That proposal is currently under review by the University.

This new degree program would be the first for the Center and would provide opportunities for increased, systematic professional education not only for the State of Guanajuato but also neighboring states. The demand by in-service teachers (no BA is currently required to teach English in the secondary schools) guarantees that the Program will be both successful and instrumental in raising the general level of instruction in the entire region.

Since this degree program has such significant potential, I have recommended that the Center apply for a senior Fulbright scholar to help them design the course content, teach academic writing, and assist in the implementation of the new curriculum. Additionally, since this was the first USIA project at the University of Guanajuato, I must add that extremely pleased with both my reception, the quality of the work we completed, and the generosity of my hosts.



Recommended Links

Charles Hall's home page

The University of Guanajuato

The Language Center/University of Guanajuato



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