CNM Instructor Receives Prestigious State Department Appointment
Amy Christensen, center, with a group of educators in India during a previous assignment.

CNM Instructor Receives Prestigious State Department Appointment

Amy Christensen will be working as an English Language Specialist and leading large virtual seminars for educators in India
June 10, 2020

It’s one thing to move a regular in-person college class online because of a global pandemic. It's a whole other thing to then figure out how to teach hundreds of Indian educators—who are thousands of miles away—how to become better English language instructors, using only video chat software. 

CNM instructor Amy Christensen decided she was up for the challenge. Amy works in CNM’s School of Adult & General Education and was recently appointed as a one of four English Language Specialists who will be in charge of leading weekly structured chat sessions for up to 200 Indian educators on how to better teach academic reading and writing.

The project, which lasts 10 weeks and starts in mid-June, is run by the U.S. State Department. Through programs developed by U.S. Embassies in more than 80 countries, specialists like Amy work directly with local teacher trainers, educational leaders, and ministry of education officials to establish partnerships that benefit local students and teachers.

Amy was a top choice because she had previously taught for 10 months in China with the U.S. Department of State as an English Language Fellow, and has also served as an English Language Specialist on the ground in India, Vietnam, and the Philippines. 

“I think it’s much harder to make connections when you’re not face to face, and I’m sad about not being able to extend our American hospitality,” Amy says. “However, I am excited to be able to work with Indian educators because they’re incredibly warm and full of good humor.” 

In addition to working with the educators, Amy will also serve as a mentor for 20 Indian college students taking academic reading and writing classes. 

“A lot of the higher education programs in India are conducted in English and many of the students are not reading as deeply as they could,” Amy says. “American students often face the same issue and my job will be to ensure these students are as successful as possible in college.” 

If you’d like to apply for the English Language Specialist program, you can find more information here.