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Alonso García, who has worked with Providence nonprofits to support English
language learners, is looking forward to tackling a new language of her own
as a Fulbright scholar in Russia.

Alonso García heads to Russia on Fulbright

Dr. Nuria Alonso García, associate professor of Spanish, has received a Fulbright Scholar Global Teaching English as a Foreign Language Award (TEFL) to Saint Petersburg, Russia. 

Each year, about 1,700 U.S. citizens pursue research or teaching assistantships in more than 155 countries through the Fulbright Program, an international education exchange opportunity sponsored by the U.S. government. Scholars from other countries also travel to teach and study in the United States. 

The TEFL program is open to U.S. citizens with doctorates or master’s degrees in applied linguistics, teaching English as a foreign language or for speakers of other languages, second language acquisition, or related fields.

Alonso García will spend the 2014-15 academic year collaborating with the Institute of Applied Linguistics at the Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University, where she will be teaching seminars in language acquisition and sociolinguistics and offering workshops in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). These courses will build on the work Alonso García has been engaged in locally, partnering with Providence nonprofits to support populations with limited English proficiency. 

“I’m deeply honored and excited about this opportunity. It blends very well with my commitment to foreign language education and my keen desire to understand how societies shape languages, and how language entities are being transformed and redefined in an increasingly globalized age,” she said.

In addition, Alonso García, who is a native of Spain, will spend the year as a language learner herself. She has started to study Russian and intends to continue while she is living in the country. 

“That’s going to be an incredible challenge, in the most amazing way,” she said. “It will allow me to connect even deeper with the struggles and joy experienced by language learners when attempting to understand the world through the lens of a new language, to think and express one’s true self with new words.”

Alonso García has taught at PC for 14 years. She was named Rhode Island’s Professor of the Year in 2010, the same year she received the Joseph R. Accinno Teaching Award, the College’s top teaching honor.

— Liz F. Kay

 

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