Published: March 13, 2019

The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of Kendra Staley, a lecturer at CU Boulder's International English Center, for a two-week English language specialist project focusing on teacher-training in Turkmenistan at the National Institute of Education. Staley is part of a select group, as one of approximately 80 U.S. citizens each year selected to serve on an English Language Specialist Program assignment.

Kendra StaleyKendra Staley

Staley earned her master's in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a bachelor's in English literature and women's studies from Kansas State University.

Since 2005, she has taught English as a second/foreign language (ESL/EFL) in the U.S., Guatemala, China, Indonesia, Colombia and Turkmenistan. Staley has twice been an English Language Fellow with the U.S. Department of State. She has presented at international English-teaching conferences and TESOL numerous times, as well as published articles in peer-reviewed journals and online newsletters about English language teaching and material development.

Her teaching and research interests include curriculum development, intercultural communications, social justice within language teaching, and the use of social media in language acquisition.

For this specialist assignment, her project duties include leading workshops on teaching with limited resources; TESOL methodology; material development; and communicative language teaching for elementary, middle and high school English teachers. 

English Language Specialist Program

The English Language Specialist Program is the premier opportunity for leaders in the field of TESOL to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way English is taught abroad. Through projects developed by U.S. embassies in more than 80 countries, English language 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, 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 English Language Specialist Program is administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University.

For further information about the English Language Specialist Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit the program page, contact 202-632-6452 or