On August 1st, MSU welcomed Teresa K. Woodruff as its new provost. As part of her virtual tool with colleges around campus, she visited the College of Arts & Letters in September. During that visit, she requested more information on what units like the ELC are working on this semester. The faculty and staff shared the following update with her:
In a time of great uncertainty with international education and English language study within the U.S., the English Language Center (ELC) is working tirelessly to serve the university, the college, and our partnerships throughout the world. From language training students to provisionally admitted ones, we are dedicated to ensuring the success of international students across university life.
We have worked in close collaboration with the Graduate School on supporting a variety of needs for International Teaching Assistants and in providing excellence in testing for the overall success of our academic community. We also provide testing for approximately 10,000 students in Greece each year in a successful, decade-long partnership with two prestigious American universities there, one in Athens and one in Thessaloniki. Research based on ELC testing is conducted by ELC testing specialists and by faculty and students in MSU’s PhD Program in Second Language Studies, which is one of the leading programs in the country.
We have led our field nationally in adapting to Covid-related logistical challenges. For example, we anticipated the difficulties of getting ebooks to students residing in China (which many of ours are), so we prodded book publishers and vendors to create digital materials and negotiate novel sales channels, with the result that our students worldwide are using legal copies of top-quality materials.
We have also taken a lead role in developing new initiatives centered around language teaching, online language learning, and collaborative ventures within the college. We hope to continue expanding our programming and finding new ways of generating revenue through our excellence in teaching, special programming, and testing. Even as face-to-face conferences and symposia have been suspended, the ELC continues its regional and national leadership in organizing, promoting, and contributing to distanced professional-development events.
Provost Woodruff, one request we have as a center is for continued advocacy on behalf of international students currently at MSU and those whom we should welcome in the future. We have seen first hand the importance of our university’s voice in ensuring international students are an integral part of our Spartan community. We look forward to welcoming you to our center in the future.