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  • By Alyssa Brennan

CCU professor receives Fulbright Award to teach in Kazakhstan

Photo courtesy of CCU

Coastal Carolina University assistant professor of English Emma Howes has received the Fulbright Scholar grant to go teach in Kazakhstan. The award is given by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars which is a division of the Institute of International Education.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website said, “the Fulbright Program offers international educational and cultural exchange programs for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach, or pursue important research and professional projects.”

The University sent out an email explaining what Howes will be doing while abroad.

“[Howes will be] teaching English composition pedagogy, academic writing, and research methodologies to undergraduate and graduate students studying English at the Kazakh Ablai Khan University of International Relations and World Languages from Sept. 2019 through July 2020,” the email said. “She will also be studying alternative approaches to language-learning in the linguistically diverse country of Kazakhstan, where most students are taught in a bilingual or trilingual educational system.

She is the sixth CCU faculty member to receive the award since 2016.

“The interconnected relationship between language and identity makes language learning not only a cognitive skill, but also an act with ethical implications,” Howes said in the University email. “It is for this reason that teaching language to students requires great care: competency in English language opens up tremendous opportunity for individuals and communities to participate in global communities, expanding cultural opportunities as well as economic and intellectual ones.”

While knowing English can be very beneficial and open up opportunities, she also explains that it is important to respect diversity.

“However, in the face of increasing globalization and advanced technologies that risk homogenizing distinctive aspects of culture, we must also be careful to honor the indigenous cultures and the unique identities that allow us to experience diversity,” she said. “Kazakhstan offers a very special context for this conversation, as the use of Russian language unites many ethnic groups across the country and allows easier global communication, while the presence of Kazakh maintains a unique sense of national and regional identity that pre-dates the Soviet Union’s presence there.”

Darla Domke-Damonte, associate provost for global initiatives for CCU, commented on Howes’ achievement.

“Dr. Howes has been an active collaborator in global programming here at Coastal Carolina University, leading education abroad programs and working with colleagues from multiple departments on work last year in Kazakhstan,” she said. “Coastal Carolina University encourages and supports participation in prestige international scholarship programs like the Fulbright Program for both students and faculty. Such programs advance global perspective and enhance scholarly collaboration and opportunities for CCU students. We are proud of Dr. Howes and her work in Kazakhstan on language learning in a multilingual setting.”

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