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PHD Composition and TESOL, Iraqi Translator

Earning the PHD Degree in Composition and TESOL at XXXX will provide me with the optimal, inclusive, interdisciplinary, and research-based understanding of first and second language acquisition, literacy, and education. I especially appreciate the way in which your program incorporates several distinct facets of language literacy into the curriculum: TESOL, rhetoric, and applied linguistics. Thus, I feel that I am a good fit with your program at IUP given my interests in language literacy and culture. The teacher-researcher aspect of your program is something else that I find most appealing as I look forward to exploring and contributing to the expansion of literacy and language education around the world. I see our program at UXX as having the right mix of emphasis on theory and practice.

I feel drawn to the colorful backgrounds and areas of specialization of your faculty at UXX, the teacher-scholar model that informs your entire curriculum, multilingual writing, researching language and culture internationally, TESOL pedagogy – IUP strikes me as an ideal location for the full immersion experience in research that I seek to undertake.  I have always preferred the Eastern coast of the US and find myself most attracted to the relaxed pace of a small town like Indiana. I have visited once and love the calmness; Indiana is also relatively affordable.  

Currently teaching English in Vietnam, I am a mature, experienced, and very hard-working student and teacher originally from Iraq, as well travelled as I am read, living and working extensively in the USA, most of Europe including the former Yugoslavia, South East Asia, and Africa. If accepted to your program I would most certainly be one of the oldest students at 58, contributing to the diversity of your program in several important ways, including my age.

I spent years working for NATO as a civilian translator, both inside and outside of Iraq; this served to further drive my profound interest in and passion for language, translation, and especially language education. Working for NATO was a thoroughly multicultural and multilingual experience that I most enjoyed. In addition to English and Arabic, I also speak conversational French and I am currently learning some of the basics of Vietnamese. Finally, I have spent a lifetime off and on working to resurrect a better understanding of my own original language, Babylonian, to the extent to which I have time and such a thing is possible. I am an artist with a special historical connection not only to caricature, but also acting and drama. I see this latter form of the arts as especially compatible with my central professional goal, becoming a world class English as a Foreign Language teacher and teacher of teachers. Someday I hope to return to my native Iraq, my home, once it is safe to do so. I also look forward to many years of teaching in the USA as well as abroad.

Humble, unpretentious, non-materialistic, I intend to work another 20+ plus as a teacher of prospective English teachers – with a focus on speaking abilities. My extensive travel around the world, Asia, Europe and the Middle East provides me with stories to share of English-language-learning in diverse cultures. I also look forward to contributing to research in the area of culture and language literacy and learning.

By the time I was an MA student in TESOL at XXXX, I had come to more fully appreciate the fact that the English teachers who taught English to me in Iraq lacked any specialized training or expertise in the process of language acquisition and teaching and unfortunately, this is still the case. Since the Iraqi Ministry of Education provides the curriculum, English teachers have no control over the materials they use and there is still little to no interactive teaching where students engage in speaking activities. I hope to earn the doctoral degree primarily so as to be in a position to make important contributions to the teaching of English in Iraq, making EFL instruction much more effective, productive, and beneficial. I want to contribute to change in methodologies and instructions used in teaching English in Iraqi schools - especially high schools and universities

Once it is finally achieved and Iraq is again stable, I want to contribute to helping peace to endure for new generations of Iraqis by helping to make English language instruction more accessible and effective, helping us to integrate within the global community with English as our planetary language. I hope to make major contributions to TESOL in Iraq on a variety of dimensions. I would like to teach Linguistics and TESOL at the University of Babylon. Using cutting-edge, computer and internet-related resources, I want to harness the power of English for peace building and the promotion of harmony among different peoples, democracy, justice, liberty, equality and freedom.

Babel (Babylon), where I was born, is a city in the Euphrates River Valley in present day Iraq. I have enjoyed many wonderful laughs around the world over the years when I tell people that I am a language teacher from Babel. Nevertheless, the realities on the ground are quite sad since Iraq has been the scene of war which has been destroying rather than nurturing life for some time now. I see language learning as something central to the process of building peace, particularly appropriate and in fact urgent for the entire Middle East – much of it engulfed in war.

Being accepted to the PHD Program in Composition and TESOL at XXXX will enable me to make my fullest contribution to our profession, spending a couple more decades working to improve speaking ability and communication skills. I am presently very much engaged here in Vietnam with epic struggles for more effective ways to improve pronunciation with my EFL students and I find it extremely enjoyable.

I thank you for consideration of my application to XXXX.

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