About the Author: Courtney Beale serves as Acting Spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
On February 2, 2011, a group of 15 English teachers from Rawalpindi and Islamabad completed a U.S.-sponsored six week teacher training course administered by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC). The "Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages" (TESOL) program is one of many U.S. government programs to invest in English instruction for teachers and education for youth in Pakistan. The 15 teachers will be awarded an internationally recognized TESOL certificate.
U.S. Embassy Deputy Cultural Attache Julia Fendrick congratulated the group and encouraged them to share what they have learned with their colleagues to further improve English instruction in Pakistan. The course was conducted by Mr. David Hopkins, Senior Fellow from the U.S. State Department's English Language Fellow Program. This program brings American experts to Pakistan to partner with local education institutions.
The U.S. government is committed to expanding English programs through the E-Teacher Scholarship Program, which provides opportunities for Pakistani teachers to take rigorous online courses directly from U.S. universities, and the English Access Microscholarship Program (Access Program), which teaches English to underprivileged young people. Pakistan currently has the largest U.S.-funded Access Program in the world with more than 5,000 students participating.