WAESOL Grant Picture

LC State instructor Carmack earns honor for developing hybrid classes for international students

LEWISTON, Idaho – Teresa Carmack, an instructor in Lewis-Clark State College's Teacher Education Division, earned an award for her development of hybrid classes for international students at the college.

Working with Judy Emerson, academic coordinator for the college’s International Programs Office, Carmack received a $500 grant from the Washington Association for the Education of Speakers of Other Languages (WASEOL). Only one grant is competitively awarded by WASEOL each year.

Carmack, who has been teaching at LC State for three years, researched and developed hybrid courses for international students. For international students who come to the United States on student visas, no online or distance learning classes may count toward a student’s full course of study requirement in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program, such as the Institute of Intensive English (IIE) program at LC State.

However, because the purpose of the IIE program is to help students with their English and prepare them for college courses, many of these international students will likely wind up in online courses once enrolled in college, but are ill-prepared for them. Carmack developed classes that are face-to-face, but teach the international students how to use Blackboard, an online learning system used by many colleges, and other online tools to help them be more comfortable and successful.   

At the same time, Emerson developed online courses for international teachers to help them with teaching pedagogy. Emerson’s courses use either Skype or Zoom so the teachers also can have face-to-face meetings.

Carmack and Emerson recently presented together on their work at the WAESOL conference in late October where she was awarded her grant. Carmack also received a $1,000 professional development grant from LC State and the two grants will help pay for expenses when she and Emerson make another presentation, this time at the International TESOL Conference in Denver on March 31-April 3, 2020. The conference focuses on teachers of English as a second or foreign language.