As an ETA, Charissa will co-teach with a seasoned ESL instructor for a unique educational exchange: the instructor, a non-native English speaker, will gain fluency in conversation with Charissa, while Charissa improves classroom technique under the instructor.
“These teachers have a lot of head knowledge, but not a lot of conversational experience,” said Sally Harris, Ph.D., Northwestern’s Fulbright Program Advisor, “The skills of the non-native speaker are going to improve exponentially.”
Fulbright’s ETA program actually piloted in Taiwan with nine students in 2003; the value of instructor/ETA experiences have drawn annually increasing enrollment, which peaked this year, according to Harris, with 850 students teaching in 65 countries.
One overseas instructor was so impressed with ETA Julianna Scheumann ’05, Harris remembered that she requested a Northwestern student for the next year. Faculty can’t help beaming at the ninth appointee in nine years, espcially after frantic beginnings of the Fulbright Program at Northwestern in 2004, as Harris recalls: “We pulled all-nighters scrambling to get the paper application Fed-Exed in by deadline!”
Charissa revealed her gratitude for faculty members like Johnson and Kathleen Black, Ph.D., who “dropped everything to help me, editing my papers,” and gave her confidence to finish the application.
“I felt super supported and I thought, ‘I really hope I get this, not just for me,’” she said.