UI student awarded Fulbright to teach English in Turkey

amanda kloser

Amanda Kloser, a UI graduate with a M.A.T. in Secondary Education: English, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant to Turkey for 2016-17.

Amanda Kloser, a UI graduate with a M.A.T. in Secondary Education: English, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant to Turkey for 2016-17.  The Dubuque, IA, native plans to teach English to Turkish university students by focusing on group work and daily immersion exercises, and by exploring connections between Turkish and Native American literature. While in Turkey, Kloser plans to engage with a local Scouting and Guiding Federation of Turkey troop, and also use her experiences as a technology assistant to collaborate with her Turkish university colleagues on extending their curriculum to online environments.

Hometown: Dubuque, Iowa

Degree and field of study: B.A. in English, anthropology, and gender studies (Luther College); M.A.T. in secondary English education (University of Iowa)

What will be the focus of your teaching?

As an English Teaching Assistant in Turkey, I look forward to exploring the meeting of identities in Turkish students--who find themselves situated between cultures of the East and West--through U.S. literature that reflects a similar position, such as works by Sherman Alexie.

What drew you to this field of study?

I began my teaching licensure for Secondary English (grades 7-12) about three years ago. Recognizing and addressing the learning needs of students whose native language is not English is an integral part of the licensure and Master's programs at Iowa. Extending this learning to Turkish students at developing universities in Turkey and helping students grow in their language studies is a seminal element of my mission as an educator.

How do you see this Fulbright grant advancing your work?

Teaching in Turkey will certainly help me develop as an educator of language and literature, allowing me to not only develop flexibility in addressing my student's needs but also in teaching English in a setting where English is not the primary language.

How do you envision this will change your life?

 I think this experience will be an incredible opportunity to challenge myself as an educator, scholar and citizen of the world. It's easy to remain regional and disconnect; I expect my experience in Turkey will allow me to interact with individuals from different ethnicities, creeds, backgrounds and perspectives I may have never encountered without this opportunity. Ultimately, I will be able to better connect with my students for it.

Would you have any advice for future students interested in pursuing a Fulbright?

It's a long application process, but stick with it! Think carefully about how you can serve the country to which you are applying in addition to what you hope to gain through the Fulbright. The mission is all about exchanging ideas, perspectives, resources and experiences; how do you plan to contribute with a Fulbright?

The highly competitive Fulbright Program, created by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright in 1946 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, provides grants annually for international research and teaching in an effort to foster global partnership and cultural exchange. For more information on applying for a Fulbright through the University of Iowa, visit our Fulbright page.

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