SIT INTERLINK Fellowship Details

SIT Graduate Institute and INTERLINK Language Centers Fellowship

SIT Graduate Institute and INTERLINK Language Centers have signed an agreement that establishes an SIT-INTERLINK Fellowship. The fellowship is for experienced ESL teachers who wish to have full employment while working toward obtaining their MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Applications are now being accepted for this special fellowship, for which the start date is Sunday, June 21, 2009. After one summer on the SIT campus in Brattleboro, Vermont, Fellows teach English for two semesters at the Saudi INTERLINK Language Center (SILC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with supervision by SIT.  Fellows return to Vermont the following summer for their final coursework. After completion of coursework, Fellows return to their positions at SILC for a second year of teaching and complete a final project or thesis for SIT.

Benefits

  • Fifty percent (50%) tuition scholarship, contributed jointly by INTERLINK and   SIT
  • A $2,333 monthly stipend for the first academic year of teaching at SILC (September 2009 – June 2010)
  • A salary of $36,000- $40,000 per annum during the second year of teaching (September 2010 – June 2011)
  • A salary increase of $2,000 when degree requirements are completed
  • A 5% bonus for each year of service completed
  • Round-trip transportation to and from Saudi Arabia each year
  • Local transportation to and from the University
  • Furnished apartment
  • Medical insurance
  • 20 days of local holidays, plus 45 days of paid summer vacation with international transportation at the end of the second year of teaching

Qualifications

  • Acceptance by both INTERLINK and SIT
  • ESL/EFL teaching experience, minimum two years
  • A bachelor’s degree or an equivalent from an accredited institution that uses English as the language of instruction.  Online and correspondence degrees are not accepted.
  • Native or near-native English proficiency
  • Demonstrated agreement with  the pedagogical principles observed by SIT and INTERLINK
  • Commitment to learning-centered and student-focused educational approaches
  • Demonstrated sensitivity to cultural differences and ability to adapt to a new environment that requires understanding, conformity and flexibility
  • Demonstrated ability to work well with others
  • Peace Corps and other cross-cultural experience, proficiency in a language other than English, and exceptional professional / humanitarian work are advantages

SIT Course Offerings

First Summer Courses and Credits
Approaches to Teaching Second Languages.  3
Language Analysis for Lesson Planning.  3
Curriculum Design and Assessment.  3
Intercultural Communication for Language Teachers.  3
Beginning Language (undergraduate credit).  1

Interim Year Teaching Practicum at SILC.  6

Second Summer Courses
Teaching the Four Skills.  3
English Applied Linguistics.  3
Second-Language Acquisition.  3
Intercultural Communication for Language Teachers.  3
Professional Conference.  1

Independent Professional Project.  6
(follows completion of second summer courses)

Calendar

June 21 – August 14, 2009.  Coursework at SIT Graduate Institute
September 2009 – June 2010.  Teaching at SILC
June – August 2010.  Coursework at SIT Graduate Institute
September 2010 – Aug 2011.  Teaching at SILC while completing final degree project for SIT

Application Procedures

Learn more by visiting eslus.com and alyamamah.edu.sa.  The Fellowship requires a two-stage application, which is encouraged prior to May 1.  To request further details about the Fellowships, please send your inquiry to INTERLINK using fellowships@mines.edu.

  1. Candidate applies to INTERLINK (details below).  If accepted, SIT is informed of the decision.
  2. Candidate applies to SIT.  If accepted, INTERLINK is informed and the Fellowship is approved.

The selection process is a two-way street; we believe it is vital that you know as much as possible about the philosophies and instructional approaches of the two institutions prior to considering or applying for the fellowship. Before submitting your resume, you must read this announcement fully and learn as much as possible about both institutions by visiting these websites:

INTERLINK Language Centers

INTERLINK Mission and Curriculum Statements

MA in Teaching Principles and Distinctions

Summer MAT Description

Independent Comments on SIT

SIT Graduate Institute Online Application

If you decide that SIT and INTERLINK are the right organizations for you and you meet the requirements, then follow the application procedure exactly as outlined in this announcement. As well, following the section on application procedure below, please find additional information on INTERLINK and Al Yamamah.

To apply, please send:

  1. A cover letter, describing why you should be awarded this fellowship
  2. A copy of your resume
  3. Three letters in support of your candidacy from individuals who know you well  as a teacher

In the SUBJECT area of your e-mail, indicate “SILC Fellowship Application” and send all to fellowships@mines.edu.

NB: Applicants not meeting the requirements or not following the application procedures as outlined above will not be acknowledged.

******************************

OVERVIEW AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Al-Yamamah University and INTERLINK
Under the Private Colleges Act, which gives support to the private sector to establish institutions of higher education, Al Yamamah College, now Al Yamamah University, was authorized in May 2001 by the Ministry of Higher Education of Saudi Arabia to provide academic programs in business administration and information systems and technology. After more than three years of intensive planning, Al-Yamamah opened its doors to the public in September 2004.

As a new, academic institution, Al Yamamah has both an achievable mission and the potential to achieve the mission. The mission is to be a unique institution, a model of providing a Western style higher education in a local context which values and respects the students’ religion and Arabic cultural heritage. Our students receive most instruction in English, in a curriculum reflecting Western educational goals and content; the majority of their professors will be Western (primarily North American) trained, credentialed, and committed.

To prepare students to be able to function in this English language environment, from the onset Al Yamamah entered into a partnership with US-based INTERLINK Language Centers to provide quality EFL instruction and academic preparation. The Saudi INTERLINK Language Centers (SILC) academic partnership with Al Yamamah reflects a shared commitment to providing a higher education that is excellent and international in scope. In all their academic endeavors, both institutions will always view the student as the central focus of their shared commitment. INTERLINK expects to provide language training for three constituencies: 1) undergraduate students admitted to Al Yamamah; 2) businesses and government agencies whose personnel need tailored, short-term programs for special purposes; 3) persons in the larger community wishing to improve their English language skills for personal, professional, and study abroad purposes. The INTERLINK Al-Yamamah partnership is also aimed at increasing international understanding and educational exchanges between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and North America.

The University has been off to a very promising start.  It opened with an enrollment of 150 students the first year, and within four years, the enrollment reached 1,500. The total number of expected students is to reach 5,000 within the next 2-3 years.

The “Saudization” of the nation’s growing economy represents a major career opportunity for young Saudis who have English language and Western-style education to work effectively in that environment. Through close cooperation with Saudi businesses, the University intends to deliver state-of-the-art, innovative academic programs of the highest quality, and to integrate academic learning with the applied knowledge needed in the real work environment. Al-Yamamah’s commitment is to help students acquire both a deep understanding of modern business performance and the skills needed to compete in the modern business world. The INTERLINK Tradition

For almost three decades, INTERLINK Language Centers has provided literally thousands of international students with English language training, academic preparation, and cultural orientation to enable them to enter academic institutions in North America. The first INTERLINK center was established in the United States in 1979 at Guilford College in North Carolina. Additional centers were opened at Indiana State University in Terre Haute (1987), Colorado School of Mines (1990), Valparaiso University (1992), and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1997).

Biographical data of INTERLINK’s senior staff members can be found here.

The INTERLINK Program at Al-Yamamah
The Preparatory Program — a two-year course of eight-week sessions – is offered in eight terms or four semesters. The first year deals with basic English for false beginners and the second year, the Foundation Year – focuses on English for Academic Purposes.

Special Academic Preparation Course – an eight-week English and academic skills course – is designed for students with strong English skills who need a refresher course and academic preparation. This course may also be taken by students with strong English skills who are preparing to study in the U.S. or who need a refresher course for academic study (in English) at other institutions in the Kingdom.

Business English – two semesters of business writing is offered to students enrolled in a degree program at Al Yamamah.

Special Courses – General English courses for the public are specifically tailored ESP courses for businesses and government agencies. These will operate at different times (many during evenings) and for shorter numbers of weeks, usually eight to ten weeks.

Administration
The INTERLINK mission is the same as that of Al-Yamamah – one of “transformation”.  In a real sense, we intend to be part of a process of change in the Saudi educational system – one that the Saudis are initiating. We will be there to help Al-Yamamah students and people in the community learn English for different purposes as well as help academically bound students strengthen their critical thinking skills and apply them to academic work. This will require teachers to work collaboratively and cooperatively to reinforce each other, to rapidly make needed adjustments in our curriculum, and to lead students gently but firmly toward the ownership of responsibility for learning. The onus is on us to enable students to be successful.

Revised February 4, 2009

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10 Responses to “SIT INTERLINK Fellowship Details”

  1. matadmissions Says:

    Due to a flood of qualified inquiries about the fellowship, SIT and INTERLINK have begun discussions to limit the number of fellows per year. If you believe you are qualified and are seriously interested in beginning the fellowship in June 2009, please don’t delay in following the application instructions above. Please follow application instructions strictly.

  2. KAYIGEMA JACQUES Says:

    Please consider me for SIT INITERLINK fellowship.

    • matadmissions Says:

      Hello, Jacques! You can be considered for the fellowship if you meet the qualifications. Please closely examine them above and, if you believe yourself to be qualified, then follow application instructions exactly as detailed. Your consideration of the fellowship should not be about the money, but about your teaching and learning goals. Does the fellowship enable you to develop your teaching and learning in ways you would like? You are welcome to discuss this with me using admissions@sit.edu. I look forward to hearing from you!

      Marshall Brewer
      Admissions Counselor
      SIT Graduate Institute

  3. Charles Vincent Says:

    Hello….

    I am nearly complete with my application process. I am extremely interested in the fellowships program and feel/ hope I am qualified to be admitted. Can you tell me what might be some major stumbling blocks that might denie any potential canidate of this oppotunity? Thank you for you time.

    • matadmissions Says:

      Hello.

      There are the obvious potential stumbling blocks and some that are less so.

      Obviously, you must meet the stated standards of the Fellowship. That is, you must meet the INTERLINK employment standards (except the masters degree in teaching) and the SIT admissions standards (except the employment requirement).

      Less obviously but still importantly: attitudes of respect for cultural and linguistic diversity; awareness of the relationship between learning and teaching; skills in teaching reflectively; and awareness of your own values as an educator. Your ability to learn not only from experience but also to apply that learning will be extremely useful.

      A shorter response to your question is another question. Do your skills, attitudes, values, knowledge, and awareness complement the Saudi INTERLINK Language Center’s program and SIT’s MA in Teaching?

      When you have additional questions, I’d be pleased to hear from you.

      Marshall Brewer
      Admissions Counselor
      SIT Graduate Institute

  4. Ahad Shahbaz Says:

    I am glad to see the above exchanges. The SIT INTERLINK advertisement spells out the qualifications in detail to help applicants with their decision regarding the fellowship. To us, the most important attributes/skills in an applicant are: genuine interest in a student-centered approach (true focus on what this means and learning about it during the summers at SIT), prior knowledge of, sensitivity to and interest about the new teaching environment (doing this prior to arrival in Riyadh), and while there focusing on the many aspects of cross-cultural communication since this is an excellent opportunity for a sojourner to learn and to educate.

    Answers to the employment questions and the admission questions are pretty good indicators for us. They give us sufficient information about the applicant’s readiness for academic studies at SIT and employment at INTERLINK.

    As you learn more about us, please feel free to send us your questions should anything not be clear or need further clarification.

  5. Taheerah Ahmad Says:

    I am in Riyadh at the Al Yamamah Women’s University. They just opened the new women’s building. It is absolute grandeur. There are henna designed walls, huge water fountains, and an open courtyard with soaring date palms. I am teaching in the SILC department. I love it so much! Riyadh is a very big city. The women’s university is also very large. I have about 15 students per each class. I have complete freedom in developing the course outline. I enjoy including the student’s in developing the outline for the course. They are very eager to give their input about what they want and need to learn. Negotiating is a key element in the culture here. It is quite enjoyable to see someone engage in negotiations on daily basis. The student’s are very polite and sweet. I was also very happy with the accommodations that INTERLINK provided for my family. I came with my husband and 2 daughters. The apartment is very large and spacious. We have everything that we need in the apartment. The school also takes us shopping twice per a week. It is a little difficult to get adjusted the first month. I loved it even though the first month was quirky. I am very comfortable here. I feel as though I made the best choice to come to Riyadh. There can’t possibly be more hospitable people in the world.

  6. Mazie Black Says:

    Taheerah, congratulations on your assignment at Al-Yamamah in Riyadh, KSA. Recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit the campus. I must agree with you that the university is as beautiful as you described and the people were very accomodating and pleasant. I am in the application process for SIT and pray that I can follow in your path to SILC at Al-Yamamah. The student-centered approach is a model that I want to earnestly learn more about and apply in reality. I believe that there is no better way to connect in human communication and learning than this type of direct and practical approach. Please continue to write about your experiences there. It is inspirational to the hopeful candidates reading this blog. What was campus life like at Brattleboro, VT? Can you describe the classwork load and the type of experiences that contributed to your success during the first term? Thank you in advance for any feedback on the aforementioned questions.

  7. rafik Says:

    hello,
    I am a tunisian male teacher. I taught 2 years in tunisia. Currently i am teaching in oman. I feel this fellowship relates strongly to my experience in teaching english. Do i practically qualify for this perfect opportunity.

    • matadmissions Says:

      Hello.

      It would appear you meet at least one of the selection criteria, two years of teaching experience. Your current location, citizenship, and gender are not considered in the decision. I encourage you to re-read the selection criteria. If you believe you are qualified and would like to consider the fellowship, please follow application instructions closely. Your further questions are welcome!

      Marshall Brewer
      Admissions Counselor
      SIT Graduate Institute

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