An Najah Welcomes an English Language Fellow for the Fifth Year
For the past five years, the Office of International Development and External Affairs (IDEA) has hosted English Language Fellows through the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affair's Georgetown University global fellowship program. This English Language Fellowship enables highly qualified English teachers from the United States to work with educational institutions around the world to support their English language education programs.
This year, An Najah received Ms. Natalie Murray as their English Language Fellow who comes to the University with over four years of teaching experience in the Middle East as well as a Masters of Arts in Global Affairs from George Mason University. Ms. Murray started her fellowship at An Najah in September, at the beginning of the first semester 2019. During this first semester at An Najah, she launched several highly successful educational initiatives in addition to a full teaching academic load of 12 hours. These programs included the establishment of the Model United Nations university team, a 5 part, 10 hour IELTS series, and a business innovation competition and final showcase for all of her English students.
Initiated through the Office of International Development, Natalie helped develop the Model United Nations team which proved to be the most competitive in the West Bank when they won 'Best Delegation' at the first national Palestine MUN Conference on November 30th, 2019. Reflecting on his experience preparing for the conference, one of the members of the best country delegation, Ziad Hasiba, noted how he felt very prepared due to Natalie's trainings and preparation sessions, 'I had a lot of academic work that made it difficult to keep up with the preparation requirements for the conference, but Natalie's support and training was so valuable and I'm grateful now that I see the hard work has paid off.'
For Ms. Murray's for-credit standardized English courses, she decided to integrate an additional competition component into her course curricula in order to develop a structure of learning that required students to utilize their English language skills while also fostering entrepreneurship and creativity. This extra component included a small showcase to honor the best project ideas. Masa , one of the first place winners, noted 'I was completely shocked at how nice the showcase was and felt really validated for my team's hard work. The overall experience helped me feel more confident in my ability to create a business idea after graduation.'
Ms. Murray also taught a five part IELTS training series open to the public over the course of five weeks to support current students and recent graduates who planned to apply for international study programs. The training program covered each section of the test itself including writing, reading, listening, and speaking and was attended by over 200 people.
For the second academic semester, Ms. Murray plans to continue developing the Model United Nations Team, teaching courses, and offering workshops and extra curricular programming to support the learning experience of students at An Najah National University.