Jennifer Eidum selected as English Language Specialist for U.S. Department of State

Eidum will lead workshops and webinars for Russian teachers interested in active engagement, supportive and inclusive environments and differentiate instruction for individual students.

Jennifer E. Eidum, assistant professor of English

Jennifer Eidum, associate professor of English and coordinator of Elon’s interdisciplinary Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program, was selected by the U.S. Department of State as an English Language Specialist and will lead programming around resilient teaching practices for Russian educators.

Eidum will lead a series of four on-demand webinars and three live workshops this fall for an independent group of teachers in Russia who want to teach resilience in English language lessons, foster students’ growth mindset and incorporate inclusive teaching practices into their classes.

Eidum’s project is one of only 240 that the state department’s English Language Program selected for support this year. Participants will learn to actively engage students in English lessons to foster their motivation, build supportive and respectful spaces and use effective methods to cater to diverse student needs, differentiate instruction and provide feedback that leads to student growth.

Eidum applied to be an English Language Specialist and was added to the state department’s roster in 2022. Her selection for this project followed an interview with embassy officials.

“This role is meaningful to me for many reasons,” Eidum said. “Before my academic training in English language education, I dreamed of working for the state department. I am excited to represent the United States in this role, sharing my professional expertise with teachers in Russia.”

The English Language Specialist Program administers projects in more than 80 countries and is the premier opportunity for leaders in the TESOL field to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught abroad. 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.

“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 at home,” the U.S. State Department said in a news release about Eidum’s selection.

Eidum has spent 20 years in the TESOL field. Her career began as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Ukraine, where she enjoyed the opportunities for cross-cultural exchange. She continued teaching intensive and academic English at the University of Washington, developing teaching methods and a sophisticated understanding of language learning.

At Elon, she has developed programming and courses for Elon students to hone their abilities and prepare to teach English to new speakers in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to co-coordinating Elon’s TESOL program, she is also the coordinator of the university’s Peace Corps Prep program, which is regularly recognized among the top producers of Peace Corps volunteers annually.

“I love faculty development work and am thrilled to share my knowledge with English teachers in Russia and beyond,” Eidum said.