Blog Archives

Teaching Award: Nominate your favorite language or literature teacher for the Quantrell and Booth Undergraduate Teaching Awards, Deadline April 8

Nominate your Best Teachers for the oldest teaching prizes in America


The Quantrell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
The Quantrell Award honors three or four faculty members. The awards include a cash prize of $5,000 and are presented at the College Diploma Ceremony in June.

The Wayne C. Booth Graduate Student Prizes in Undergraduate Teaching
The Booth Prize honors graduate students who have taught in a formal capacity in the College for at least two quarters. Up to four awards of $2,000 are given at the annual Honors Awards Reception.

To nominate your instructors:
Write a letter describing the contribution the nominee made to your education, include the name of the nominee and the course in which you met.

Submit in hard copy to: John W. Boyer, Dean of the College, Harper 241,
or send via email to: Michael Jones.

Questions? Contact Michael Jones, Associate Dean at (773) 702-8929 or

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Workshop: Teaching with the iPad: Is it Ready to Replace Your Laptop in the Classroom? Faculty Technology Day 2011, University of Chicago, March 31

Faculty Technology Day 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Gordon Center for Integrative Science

The University of Chicago Umbrella Initiative welcomes you to attend the second annual Faculty Technology Day on Wednesday, March 30, 2011. Faculty Technology Day showcases the use of technology in faculty research and instruction, and provides consultations and presentations designed to enhance your use of technologies.

Faculty Technology Day offers:

·         Faculty members presenting their projects and the technologies they use;
·         “Next steps” information on some of the most popular teaching and learning technology tools;
·         One-on-one consultations with your technology partners;
·         A poster session on popular IT services that you may not yet be using.
Of special note is a luncheon keynote address “The Dome and the Web: Electronic Epigraphy to the Rescue of the Persepolis Fortification Archive” presented by Matthew W. Stolper, John A. Wilson Professor of Oriental Studies.
The Faculty Technology Day is a full-day event, but all-day attendance is not required. You may register for a single session, lunch and keynote only, or customize a full day’s schedule.

1:30–2:15 PM

Faculty Presentation: Teaching with the iPad: Is it Ready to Replace Your Laptop in the Classroom?
Steven Clancy, Senior Lecturer and Academic Director, Slavic Languages & Literatures
Quinn Dombrowski, Manager, IT Services Academic & Collaborative Technologies
Steven Clancy and Quinn Dombrowski will discuss the use of off the shelf apps for teaching with the iPad 2, and provide examples of
customized iPad apps they have created to enhance language teaching
Please register for the sessions of interest to you, as space is limited. Be sure to stop by the registration desk for a detailed schedule and your welcome gift. More information, the full schedule, and registration is available here:

Faculty Technology Day Co-Chairs
Valerie Archambeau, College IT; Astrid Fingerhut, IT Services; Allison Kallo, IT Services

Faculty Technology Day Planning Committee
Valerie Archambeau, College IT; Steve Bandyk, Physical Sciences Division; Lynn Barnett, IT Services; Karen Baum, IT Services; David Borycz, University Libraries; Kevin Brooks, Solution Center; Nikita Campbell; IT Services; Jacqualyn Casazza, Office of the Registrar; Ambrose Cohen, Social Sciences Division; Astrid Fingerhut, IT Services; Bill Geraci, Divinity School; Allison Kallo, IT Services; Jackie Larson, University Libraries; Bart Longacre, Social Sciences Division; David Neuhoff, IT Services; Alison Phillips, IT Services; Ken Sadowski, IT Services; Avi Schwab, College IT; Rebecca Starkey, University Libraries; Joe Stupar, College IT; Sara Ware, IT Services

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“America Engages Eurasia, 19th Century-Present: Studies, Teaching, and Resources”, Columbia University, Application Deadline March 1

A National Endowment for the Humanities
Summer Institutes Program

America Engages Eurasia, 19th Century-Present:
Studies, Teaching, and Resources

Monday, June 13-Friday, July 1, 2011

Columbia University

Co-Director Edward Kasinec, Research Scholar, Harriman Institute
Co-Director Robert Davis, Librarian for Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies
Principal Investigator: Timothy Frye, Director, Harriman Institute

For more information about the program, please visit their website.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Posted in: Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.)
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ESL Teaching Positions, American Home, Vladimir, Russia, Deadline March 15

English Teaching Opportunity at the American Home in Vladimir, Russia

*Application deadline is March 15th of every year!*

Serendipity American English and Culture Program has been in continuous operation at the American Home in Vladimir, Russia since September 1992 under the auspices of Serendipity: Russian Consulting & Development, Ltd.—now called Serendipity-Russia. Demand for English lessons from native speakers remains very strong. In addition to classes, our teachers offer lectures on topics of special interest to Russians. Recent topics have ranged from the “realities” of American higher education to much lighter fare such as the American preoccupation with physical fitness.

This is an exceptional opportunity to experience Russia in a uniquely supportive atmosphere and to accomplish something worthwhile in the process. Previous teachers have commented very favorably on the quality of our facilities and teaching materials; the tremendous support provided by their colleagues, including our dedicated Russian staff; and, how much they have enjoyed their Russian students. Several of our teachers have parlayed their experience in Vladimir into employment in Moscow or stateside—or into admission to major graduate programs.

Contract period: Second week of August through the end of June (2nd year renewal possible)

Benefits include:

• A stipend

• Room and board with a Russian family

• Three hours per week of individual Russian lessons taught by trained native speakers

• Pleasant, well-equipped working environment in the “first American home in Russia”

• Assistance from the very knowledgeable and supportive Russian staff

Teacher Responsibilities:

• Round trip airfare to Moscow; one year multi entry visa—Serendipity provides full visa support and pays the visa fee on the Russian side–teachers pay the visa fee on the American side; and maintenance of health insurance coverage in the U.S. plus emergency medical evacuation coverage. (Basic limited medical expenses in Russia, with the exception of medications, will be covered.)

• New teachers will be required to take an online TESOL course. The cost of this course is about $265. All the new teachers will take this course at the same time and will share the feedback they receive.

• Fulfillment of the contract teaching obligations–which includes teaching summer school if asked.

• Some knowledge of Russian is strongly recommended, although not required.

Application Information

*Application deadline is March 15th of every year!*

The Microsoft Word file from the link below provides a list of the information and documents you need to submit in order to complete your application, and it includes instructions for the submission of your letters of recommendation. Download the application instructions and apply now!

Download Application Instructions

Download a Sample Contract

Download the Contract Supplement

If you have any questions about joining the American Home team, please contact Dr. Ron Pope at!

Notes from former teachers

In response to the question, “What are the best things about your present job?”

Hands down, the people. The teachers that I work with are from all over America and all have different educational backgrounds. Most have studied Russian, but not all of them have. We are all teaching for the first time, and teaching EFL in Russia has its own unique set of challenges that we are facing together. The Russian staff at the American Home is also wonderful, and very supportive when we have questions. The students are the people who are really making my experience great though. It’s incredible to see their progress in class, and also to learn about their lives outside of school and meet their friends and families on the weekends.
Sarah Forman, from the AATSEEL Newsletter Vol. 51, February 2008

During my time in Vladimir I have been able to learn an immense amount about teaching, Russian culture and language, and myself…. Every day here provides me with new perspectives and experiences that I know I would never have had if I were still in the United States. Coming to Russia as an English teacher is a powerful experience, one that will test you in many ways. It is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture and to get some valuable teaching experience in the process.
Michael “Misha” Kogan, Indiana University

Note: The above is from an article in the School of Russian and Asian Studies newsletter. For the complete article:

I started studying Russian my third-year of college and then graduated knowing that I wanted and needed to learn much more Russian and more about Russia — and what better way to spend the year after graduation than abroad. The Serendipity program was the best way I found to do that. I was able to live with a family, experience provincial Russia (I figured it would be fairly easy to find a way to live in Moscow or Petersburg at some later point), develop my Russian language skills, be part of a community, have a network of other Americans (but not too many) and explore what the other side of the desk is like after 18 years as a student. All of this and more was what I got. My co-teachers were people to learn with and from, and provided a support base — when we learned a new custom, or had a question, we were able to share. The staff at the American Home were also an invaluable and constant resource. Galya had answers to all questions, and the “night guards” were always happy to call a cab for us or drink a cup of tea. And then there were the students. I learned so much from them, about teaching, learning, Russia, them and myself. I had some of the same students for two semesters. It was astounding seeing their improvement, and having them comment on my (constantly growing) teaching skill. I felt that I really gave them a feel for the poems we read, the movies we watched, the words we used — and they, through their learning process, opened up the English language to me. Would I do it again? YES.
Bowie Snodgrass, Vassar

Teaching English at the American Home in Vladimir is the best way I can imagine to get to know Russia. You live with a Russian family and take Russian lessons from an excellent teacher at the same time that you have the support, assistance and friendship of the other American teachers and the wonderful Russian staff. As you get to know your students better they begin inviting you to dinner, to the theater, to go dancing, etc. Thanks to the friendships I’ve established here, I feel even more comfortable than I did last year in France where I was more familiar with the language and culture. However, I do recommend learning as much as you can about teaching English to foreigners before you get here. There is an orientation before classes begin, but the more experience you have, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
Nicole Mercer, University of California at Santa Cruz

I would highly recommend this job, not only to Russian majors, but to anyone with an interest in Russia. Vladimir is a nice place–quiet and provincial, but within daytrip-distance from Moscow. The teachers here all live with Russian families and are offered three hours a week of Russian tutoring as part of their salary, so even though we’re teaching English, there’s ample opportunity to speak Russian. In terms of teaching English, there are many opportunities in Russia, but I can’t imagine finding a better situation than I have here. The staff at the American Home (both Russian and American) is incredibly supportive and encouraging and has been a wonderful part of my experience here. Because of the maximum 2-year contract, there is a constant influx of new ideas and passing on of learned lessons and experience.
Kira Lee, Carleton College

Vladimir offers a real opportunity to immerse yourself in Russian language and culture. Such immersion can be very frightening at first, and that is why working at the American Home is such a plus. Here I am given the opportunity to work with Russians in an atmosphere that is very familiar, fostering, and comfortable. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to experience Russia for what it really is–and be involved in an internship-style occupation that is both flexible and rewarding.
Matt Plischke, Miami University (Ohio)

Vladimir and the American Home are ideally situated. Vladimir is a part of Russia’s famed Golden Ring, and the American Home lies in the heart of downtown Vladimir. Here, you have all the advantages of Russian city life, but with all the charm of the nearby dachas. The American Home really is the meeting and mixing point for two cultures. You live and work with a friendly staff and friendly students. The Russian lessons and the Russian homestay give you a chance to improve your speaking abilities while experiencing Russian culture firsthand. The longer I stay, the more I discover how much Vladimir has to offer me.
Erika Boeckler, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Working in Vladimir is the best thing I have ever done to improve my Russian, learn more about Russian culture, and give myself time to decide what my next step will be.
Rachel Lu Owens, University of Montana

One of the things my current professors [at Columbia University] have pointed out to me is that, for people interested in pursuing anything related to Russian or post-Soviet studies, there’s a real advantage to living in a city like Vladimir. Because of the political situation which restricted most travel and research outside of Moscow and Leningrad for so long, a lot of the current specialists are people who may very well not have spent much time outside these two major cities. For this reason, I’m told, the younger Americans who are living in small towns in Russia are seen as possessing a “unique and valuable experience” when compared to those who worked pretty much exclusively in the larger cities.
Jason Muse, Occidental College

For more information, be sure to check out The American Home English Program:  Participant Comments & Observations!

Student Comments

The lectures the American Home organizes about American traditions help to eliminate stereotypes….

The conversation classes are a great addition to the regular courses. If we ever have a chance to go to the United States it will definitely be easier to understand people…..

Having 10 different levels of proficiency [i.e., 5 years with two semesters each] is a great thing. The people who are studying with me are all at the same level which allows us to use our time in class efficiently…

Their extraordinary sense of humor, kindness, understanding, and even their artistic abilities–all this is a great combination in our teachers….

The opportunity to communicate with American teachers is wonderful….

This program is great. The classes are taught in an open, relaxing way, and this makes you feel the same…

We like our classes very much. We don’t feel intimidated in the American Home like we do in our regular foreign language classes. When the class is over each day we don’t want to leave…

The relaxed system of teaching, the humor, the willingness to answer all of our questions–all of this helps to break down the language barriers…

Everything we talk about is very interesting, as are all the videos. I think they have found the best way of teaching here at the American Home…

The discussions in class, the home work, the audio and video materials–all of this provides a solid foundation for learning….

I took the TOEFL test [Test of English as a Foreign Language–required of all students who want to study in U.S. or Canadian universities] at the beginning of our special class. After just two months I had improved my score by 30 percent!

Our son is confined to a wheelchair, but thanks to his English classes, he has been able to enter a new world and to be with others. He is able to study a different culture and to feel the warmth and caring of the people who work at the American Home…. We want to thank the administration of the American Home for giving him a chance to study here….

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Teaching Opportunities, The Humanities, Arts, and Sciences division at the Graham School of General Studies, Course Proposal Deadline January 7


The Humanities, Arts, and Sciences division at the UC Graham School of General Studies seeks instructors to teach noncredit courses to adult students. We are looking for course proposals. We offer courses in: African & African-American Studies, Art & Art History, Chicago Studies, Classics, Culinary Arts, Drama, Economics, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, Global Studies, History, Languages, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Science.

Visit to see current course descriptions, instructors, and instructor bios.

Who teaches the courses and who takes them?
Courses are taught by graduate students in advanced residency, faculty, and experts in their field. The students are serious, active learners who bring extensive life and academic experience to class. No grades, papers, or exams are given. The typical salary for an 8–week, 20–contact hour course is $1,225.

Where and when do courses take place?
Classes take place at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive, just east of Michigan Avenue, on the north side of the Chicago River. Courses are offered on weekday mornings and evenings as well as Saturday mornings and afternoons. While other formats are possible, courses usually last 8 weeks. Autumn 2011 courses will begin in mid-September and end before Thanksgiving.

What should be submitted with the course proposal? CV and 40–word bio. 100–word course description, written in clear, concise prose free of academic or technical jargon. Syllabus including course objective, weekly requirements, and a reading list. (2) Letters of recommendation attesting to your mastery of the subject matter and your ability in the classroom. These may be submitted electronically. Schedule including preferences for days, times, and terms.

The deadline for autumn course proposals is Friday, January 7, 2011.
Winter (January–March), spring (March–May), and summer (June–August) course proposals will also be considered at that time. Course proposals may be submitted on an ongoing basis after January 7, but the room schedule may already be filled.

Submit all proposals and syllabi electronically to Pamela Wickliffe at

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Grant Proposal: The Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning & The Center for the Study of Languages

At the University of Chicago


PROPOSALS DUE Friday, January 14, 2011

The Autumn/Winter deadline for Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning grant proposals is Friday, January 14, 2011. Proposals submitted at this time will compete at the campus level. Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded from the Center for the Study of Languages web site ( — Services & Policies>Services for Teachers>Grants and Funding). Please submit completed proposals as MS Word email attachments to (Michael Berger); proposals will be reviewed by the Consortium Committee in early February, 2011.

The proposed project must pertain to the teaching or the learning of language. We are urging those of you involved with language teaching to consider in particular a project that might explore new ways of making use of already existing technologies and materials, such as commercially available audio and video files or computer programs. We also encourage you to formulate projects that are aimed at developing teaching skills–your own and your colleagues–using the hardware presently in use at the University, in the Center for the Study of Languages, and in the various multimedia-equipped classrooms around campus.

Posted in: Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.), University of Chicago Events
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Language Tutor/Instructor, Multilingual Chicago

A new language school in Chicago (Multilingual Chicago) is currently looking for language tutors and instructors. Languages of interest include Russian and Polish: Polish instructor who lives near the location in Logan square who can substitute for classes and also teach immersion classes in the Spring. Russian teachers who live near the city who can tutor students at their center. Please send resume, CV (in the body of the e-mail) and 2 references to Also see the original posting.

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Teach and Learn with Georgia: English speakers wanted for 6-12 month teaching positions in Georgia

The Republic of Georgia is recruiting English speakers to help teach English through the project “Teach and Learn with Georgia”. They are offering benefits of housing and living accommodations; medical insurance; round-trip tickets for work related travels and a vacation; and a 500 lari monthly per diem.

Teachers will stay in Georgia for 6-12 months with the once in a life-time opportunity of helping Georgian children learn the English language and thus influencing their lives; become familiarized with amazing Georgian customs and traditions by living in local families; experience unique Georgian folklore and cuisine by socializing with local communities and if willing, learn the Georgian language, one of the oldest and most unique languages of the world.

For more information please contact Jason DuPont at or visit

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Call for Proposals: Campus Competition for Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning Grants, Deadline: June 4

PROPOSALS DUE Friday, June 4, 2010

The Spring/Summer Quarter deadline for Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning grant proposals is Friday, June 4, 2010. Proposals submitted at this time will compete at the campus level. Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded from the Center for the Study of Languages web site ( — Services & Policies>Services for Teachers>Grants and Funding). Please submit completed proposals as MS Word email attachments to (Michael Berger); proposals will be reviewed by the Consortium Committee in early June, 2010.

The proposed project must pertain to the teaching or the learning of language. We are urging those of you involved with language teaching to consider in particular a project that might explore new ways of making use of already existing technologies and materials, such as commercially available audio and video tapes or computer programs. We also encourage you to formulate projects that are aimed at developing teaching skills–your own and your colleagues–using the hardware presently in use at the University, in the Center for the Study of Languages, and in the various multimedia-equipped classrooms around campus.

(Open to UChicago faculty only)

Posted in: Calls for Papers and Upcoming Conferences

Summer Travel Programs for Teachers, Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO)

Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that runs professional development travel programs designed for teachers.
GEEO currently has openings in their summer travel programs to Peru, India, Tunisia and China.

Educators have the option to earn graduate school credit (3 credits through Indiana University) and professional development credit while seeing the world.  The trips include school visits and are deeply discounted so as to be affordable to teachers. GEEO also advises teachers on how to find funding to subsidize the cost of the trips.The trips are open to all K-12 and University educators and administrators. Educators are also permitted to bring along a non-educator guest.

Detailed information about each trip, including itineraries, costs, travel dates, and more can be found at GEEO can also be reached 7 days a week, toll free at 1-877-600-0105 between 9AM-9PM EST. To sign-up for GEEO’s listserv, please send an email to with the subject line “subscribe.”

Posted in: Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.)
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