News Research

October 5, 2020 at 12:07 pm

State Department Selects Phillips to Help Develop Nationwide Writing Network in Brazil

Dr. Talinn Phillips, portrait

Dr. Talinn Phillips

The U.S. State Department announced the selection of Dr. Talinn Phillips of Ohio University for an English Language Specialist project focusing on developing a nationwide writing center network in Brazil at the Federal University of Paraná.

Phillips is part of a select group, as her project is one of 130 that the English Language Specialist Program supports each year.

Phillips is an Associate Professor of English and also directs OHIO’s Graduate Writing and Research Center, which she helped to create in 2013. She will be bringing together her expertise in second language writing, writing center development, and graduate writing support as part of this new effort to seed a network of writing centers across Brazilian universities.

In contrast to many U.S. writing centers, which primarily focus on supporting undergraduates, the immediate need in the Brazilian context is to support graduate students and faculty who need to publish in English. Thus, Phillips’ particular combination of expertise and prior work in faculty development have positioned her to support Brazilian institutions in this new endeavor.

The English Language Specialist Program is the premier opportunity for leaders in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught abroad. Through projects developed by U.S. Embassies in more than 80 countries, EL Specialists work directly with local teacher trainers, educational leaders, and ministry of education officials to exchange knowledge, build capacity, and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities in the United States and overseas.

Since 1991, the English Language Specialist Program has sent hundreds of TESOL scholars and educators abroad to promote English language learning, enhance English teaching capacity, and foster mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries through cultural exchange. On assignment, EL Specialists may conduct intensive teacher training, advise ministries of education or participate in high-level educational consultations, and offer plenary presentations at regional, national or international TESOL conferences. These projects are challenging and those selected represent the best of the U.S. TESOL community. In return, the program provides professional development opportunities to help participants experience different cultures and build skills that can greatly enhance their TESOL careers back home.

English Language Specialists are counted among the more than 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. The Specialist Program is administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University.

For more information about the English Language Specialist Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit, contact them by telephone at 202-632-6452, or e-mail

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