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Graduate Student Earns Fulbright Teaches English in Morocco

Tracy Karim
Tracy Karim's love of language and teaching has taken her far. Karim, a student who plans to graduate with an M.A. in linguistics, was in Morocco since September as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant that she was awarded last year. From September 2010 until June 2011, Karim taught English to third-year university students at Moulay Ismail University through activities that include speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

"The combination of my interest in sharing American culture abroad as well as my academic background and prior teaching experience resulted in me matching very closely to the Fulbright's candidate profile for an English Teaching Assistantship," she said. "Applying was easy given the willingness of my professors in the linguistics and TEFL departments to act as resources during the application process."

Judith Kaplan-Weinger, professor, linguistics, was one of those resources. "One of the many things an education in linguistics prepares you for is to teach languages," she said. "Tracy will be able to come back here and talk to our students about the use of language and careers in linguistics."

While she was in Morocco as a teacher, Karim also continued her graduate studies. "I am taking first-language acquisition through NEIU and am looking forward to observing the use of language in bilingual or multilingual households that have children under 36 months of age," she said. "I will also be gathering data to use when writing my thesis." Additionally, Karim taught eight hours a week of Darija (Moroccan Arabic) lessons and worked toward learning to read and write standard Arabic.

The Fulbright program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities to students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. Karim joins the more than 47,000 students from the U.S. who have benefited from the Fulbright experience.