English Language Fellow Program Application and Review Process Webinar

English Language Fellow Program Application and Review Process Webinar


Hello everyone, and welcome to the
English Language Programs fellowship application review process webinar. This is Phil Dierking and Katie Subra from the English Language
Fellow Program team. The purpose of this video is to explain
some of the key components of the English Language Fellow Program
application and review process. We will start the video presentation with an
overview of the eligibility requirements to become an English Language Fellow.
Then we will go through each question on the application form. Along the way, we
will also provide some tips about what makes a great Fellow and what you should
be sure to include in your application and what the review process includes. So
who can apply? These are the basic eligibility requirements. Although our program website contains much
more detailed information about eligibility. First, applicants must be U.S.
citizens and they must have a graduate level degree in TESOL or a related field
that could be something like applied linguistics or other ESL degrees. We also
require that applicants have at least two years of classroom ESL experience.
Preferred eligibility includes the personal qualities of flexibility,
cultural adaptability, resourcefulness, the desire and ability to travel
abroad, and the motivation to be a fellow. We are also looking for candidates who
have additional experience like English Language teacher trainers, testing and
assessment, ESP, EAP and curriculum development. Next, we’ll go over the
application process which is four steps. The first step is to submit your
application online at application.elprograms.org. We accept
applications on a rolling basis for the academic year that you are applying to.
That means that you can apply any time during this current academic year to be
considered for projects during the next academic year. However, to increase your
chances to be considered for all projects, you should submit your application by our
priority deadline of November 30th. Applications that have been submitted
before that date will be reviewed first for project placement. At this point we would
like to spend a few minutes walking you through the application. We’ve selected
about 25 screenshots to show you. This should give you a good overview of the
application. Later, we’ll return to the last three steps of the application
process, which are the review process, matching, and selection. You will always
start on this login page. When you first register, you’ll be sent a verification
email. It can take a few minutes for this to arrive. Once it does, follow the
directions to start your account and soon you’ll be able to start your
application. The dashboard page will provide you with the status of your
application throughout the process. It will tell you what you still need to do
before submitting, and later where your application is in the review process.
From the dashboard, you can also go to manage account in the upper right-hand
corner. Here, you can change your username and password. The left-hand menu is an
easy way to navigate to the different sections of the system. The two elements
you need to focus on are applications profile and fellow application. The
application is in depth and thorough so please take your time, read the directions carefully, save
whatever you enter and return as often as you need before submitting. If you
submitted an application before, a lot of the information you entered will
automatically appear in your new application. But we’ve made some changes
this year. Some sections have additional questions, as well as additional details
about each question that are now required. Regardless of whether your
information has been saved from a previous application year, you’ll want to
review each question carefully to make sure that your answers reflect your
current skills and experiences. Okay, let’s start our tour through the
application. Of course, we’re going to begin by asking
for personal information, your address and contact information. We prefer that
you provide both a secondary email, if possible, just in case we have any
trouble contacting you, and a skype contact name since we prefer to conduct
our interviews via skype. We’re also going to ask if you participated in any
other U.S. grant programs before, including a previous fellowship. And we’ll ask if
you have any criminal history. In the education credential section, we’re
interested in your post secondary education. Most important is your
qualifying degree. The minimum requirement here is a master’s degree preferably in TESOL, applied linguistics
or a related field. If your masters is in a different area you may be eligible if
you have a TESOL certificate or state credential and ESL. Check the eligibility
page on the website for more details about these qualifications. If you are currently in a master’s
degree program, enter the date when you expect to receive your degree. Later in
this application process we will ask for a transcript. On this page, note the brown
box at the top. The brown box provides contact information in case you have any
questions during the process. We have a helpdesk you can send emails to for
technical problems, and you can write to [email protected] with
questions about the content of your application. The brown box will also remind you that
some sections are required, and those sections are flaged with a red asterisk.
One of those required elements is your resume. Please note the guidelines we
provided for your resume. We will cross-reference your resume with other
sections in the application. At this point in the profile, you’ll be
asked about your language skills. Having proficiency and other languages is not
required, but having information may be useful in making a match. All applicants will
want to select English, and for each language that you do select you’ll be
asked to indicate your proficiency level in three basic skill areas: reading and
writing, listening comprehension, and oral proficiency. We will also ask you to share
information about affiliations, minority-serving institutions, and awards
that you may have received. Here’s a screenshot of an application that’s been
started but not completed. Whenever you come back to work on your application,
adapter will have this missing information panel to remind you what you
still have to work on. It will list both required items and optional items. We are
now going to start looking at the questions in the fellow application
itself, where we start to really learn about who you are and what you have to
offer the program. You will begin by letting us know if you have any regional
preferences. You can select from three options for each region: prefer, open to,
or not interested. This is a worldwide program and if
you’re added to the available pool, your best chance of being matched to a project is if
you’re open to worldwide placements. But if you do have specific areas you’re
interested in, that can be useful information. We’ll also ask about assignment preferences. If you
haven’t done so already, look at the website under “fellow projects” to see the
assignment descriptions of the current fellows. You may also benefit from checking
out the “stories from the field” section for a selection of current and past
fellow highlights. Additionally, on our English Language
Programs channel on youtube, you can view videos about “A day in the life” of a
fellow. What you will find is that fellowship assignments are quite varied. While many include teacher training and classroom language teaching, others may
be more specialized, focusing on ESP, materials development or work with other
nonprofits, Ministry of Education and more. Moving on, we require two recommendations
from references, one from a current or recent supervisor, and one from another
professional reference. If you are a former fellow, the second reference must
be your past relo. When you submit your application, the system automatically
send out a request to your references asking them to complete a questionnaire.
You can tell your references in advance that we will be asking about the
following areas: your work ethic, initiative, leadership skills,
resourcefulness, flexibility, judgment and classroom management skills. If you
submitted an application last year, you will see your reference information
carried over. However, you have the option to change
your references or keep them the same, and if you keep them the same, your
references will be contacted again with the option to keep or change their
previous answers. Just one more detail about references. Review of your
application will not begin until both references are received. On the dashboard,
you can keep track of this in the “references summary section” which will
show which references have submitted the questionnaire. The application system
sends two reminders. The first after 10 days, and the second after 20 days, and
you can also send a reminder right from the dashboard. If you need to, you can go
into your application and change your references. Other than contact information, this is the only change you can make to
your application after it’s been submitted. In the professional experience
section, we’ll ask you to list relevant work history. As we said before, we’ll
cross reference this information with your CV. Be sure to include all the
required fields including average hours per week, and instructional hours, if
applicable, which we may need to calculate your eligibility. In this
section we’re interested in relevant ESL or EFL experience, so no need to list that
summer job as a lifeguard. On the other hand, do include a previous career track
as a perhaps, journalist or lawyer or environmental engineer. This could be
useful in matching you to a project. In the professional capability section, you
will have the chance to tell us more than your CV shows about specific
professional skills and experience. We’ll be asking if you have experience in the
following areas: ESL; EFL; K-12; content-based instruction, teacher
training, training of trainers, methods and techniques, materials and/or resource
development, syllabus evaluation/design/ development; curriculum evaluation/design/development, needs assessment; EAP, and in particular academic writing; ESP, for
example, but not limited to law, STEM, business, tourism; instructional technology (CALL); testing and assessment development; TOEFL or IELTS test prep or scoring; and
leading relevant extracurricular activities. When you say “YES” to any of these, you will be
asked to give us more information including a 70 words or less highlight
of your experience in that area. This highlight should be more than what
is on your CV. It should describe a specific accomplishment in the area. The
biggest mistake you can make in this section is to simply repeat what is
already on your CV. We realize some applicants have been the field for just a
few years, and others for decades. Therefore, will be looking for
experiences appropriate to your own career. For technology, that might mean
innovative use of smart boards or it might mean creating an entire LMS for your IEP. Because
fellowship assignments are region specific and assignment needs change each
year, it is important for you to highlight your unique skills in these areas. This information will help us to make
the best match possible. The next section we’re looking at is the Essays, Lesson
Plans, Transcript, and Additional Documents section. The statement of
purpose should be 500 words or less. You’ll tell us about your motivation for
applying to be a fellow. It is an opportunity to explain what you hope to
contribute to the program and why you want to live and work abroad on a U.S.
Government exchange program as a cultural ambassador and English language
teaching professional. We also want to know how you would assess your cultural
adaptability and how this experience will relate to your future goals as an
English language teaching professional. This information that you share is
important, so is the writing itself. This is basically a writing sample this
is one task you’ll probably want to compose in a word doc and then cut and paste in.
Next up are a series of short answer questions where we ask you to assess and
give examples of your work ethic, initiative, leadership skills, resourcefulness,
flexibility, judgment, and classroom management skills. We also require one
classroom teaching lesson plan. We’ve supplied guidelines explaining exactly
what this lesson plan should be- and what it shouldn’t be. If you think you’d like to be considered for teacher
training projects, you should also submit a teacher training module. (but note- it is
optional) This is also the area where you’ll
upload your qualifying transcript- that is a transcript from the University
where you earned your Master’s Degree. This must show the date on which your
degree was conferred or awarded. If your degree isn’t in TESOL or a related field,
you should also upload a scan of any certification or endorsement that you
have in TESOL or ESL. If you are currently working on your MA degree, upload a
student record or transcript to show the course work you’ve done so far. If you are selected, you will need to
provide a final transcript that shows degree conferred and the date. You can
also upload other documents they think will support your application; you can
submit letters of recommendation- but these will not count as your primary
references, which must be submitted through the application system. In the
Additional Experience Abroad section, the focus is on what you’ve done
overseas that you haven’t mentioned anywhere else- so for example, study
abroad for a summer volunteer program. Please don’t list personal vacation.
While volunteering, studying or presenting experience abroad is not required, it does help us better understand your
adaptability and cultural knowledge. The final section is a series of optional questions.
Answering these will not preclude you from selection; in fact, information that
you give us here may help us in making a successful match. We’ll ask if you’re
planning to travel with any dependents- that is adults or children who will be
dependent on you when you’re in your country of assignment. And we’ll ask if
there are any health considerations that we should know about before matching you to certain assignment locations. So- that’s it. If you have completed all of these
sections when you visit your Dashboard, it should look something like this. The Missing information section should
show nothing at all, and you should have a green Submit button. Once you hit
submit your dashboard will show that you moved into the next phase, which is
Submitted and waiting for references. Down at the bottom the Reference Summary
shows the status of your references. Check regularly, and if any of your
references haven’t submitted the questionnaire in three weeks, you probably will want to consider
asking someone else. The review process will begin as soon as both references have
been received. The initial review is the eligibility review: where we’ll check to
see if you have a qualifying master’s degree and if you have a minimum of two
years ESL/ELF experience. The final review
determines if you have experience and qualities that will make for successful
Fellow and fellowship. This is a rigorous multi-step process- the reviewer will
read everything, cross-referencing the information you’ve supplied. This phase may
include an interview. Within two to three weeks of all references being received and all
necessary information and documentation being available, you’ll be notified about
the outcome of the review, that is- whether or not your application has been
added to the available pool of candidates. Being in the pool doesn’t guarantee placement.
This is a competitive program and we have more applicants than projects. The next is matching. This begins in mid-January
and continues until all projects are filled. Matching is determined by project needs. If you’re matched to a project, we’ll notify you, tell you about the location,
and send you a project description. If you agree to be considered, your
application will be sent to an Embassy. If you don’t want to be considered for
that project, your name will go back into the applicant pool. Flexibility is
especially valued at this stage; it’s best to be open to different locations.
If you decline several projects, it becomes less likely that you’ll be
considered further. If you do agree to be considered, your name is sent to the
Embassy which makes all final selections. At this point, the Embassy may ask to
interview you. This is also your opportunity to ask the
Embassy specific questions about the assignment, country, and region. Therefore,
you should come to the area with some questions prepared. The Embassy may also
have updates about the project description during this interview. If you
aren’t selected, your name will go back into the applicant pool. If you are
selected- you’ll have two days to tell us if you accept the fellowship. During the
matching and selection stage, only applicants who are matched will hear from
us. Before we end our presentation, we want
to remind you that November 30 is the deadline to receive priority consideration.
January 16 is the date when we’ll actually begin the matching and selection process. We hope that you will apply to be an English Language Fellow! For
more information or to apply online please visit elprograms.org. You may
want to check out our FAQ page on our website before you begin your
application. If you cannot find the answers to your questions, you can also write to us
at [email protected] You can also find us
on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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