Talinn Phillips selected for State Department project, releases film project with former


Talinn Phillips of Ohio University has been selected by the U.S. Department of State for a month-long English Language Specialist project focused on writing retreats for faculty and graduate students in Russia at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow.

Phillips, an associate professor of English at OHIO’s College of Arts and Sciences, is among a select group because his project is one of more than 240 the English Language Specialist Program supports each year.

This project is an extension of work Phillips completed last spring to help faculty and graduate students publish in English-language journals. Along with Dr Ron Martinez of Academic English Specialists, she taught three workshops and an eight-week course to HSE faculty. The course ended with a discussion and strategy session on how to continue their writing momentum after the course. Now Phillips has been invited back to support the HSE Academic Writing Center as it offers a writing retreat for professors. After teaching three workshops to English language teachers who will lead small writing support groups, Phillips will then teach teachers during the writing retreat and offer one-on-one writing support sessions. The format of the retreat will build on models she developed with funding from an Ohio University 1804 grant for the former Graduate Writing and Research Center.

Phillips co-chairs the international association

Phillips currently co-chairs an international association called the Consortium on Graduate Communication, for which she also co-edits a new series that includes a book on the practice, pedagogy and programming for graduate communication, “which seeks to identify pressing issues in graduate communication. writing and communication at the university level and the impact of these issues on practice, pedagogy, implementation and building of institutional programs,” said Phillips.

“This series addresses two ongoing challenges. First, scholars in a variety of fields have begun to pay more attention to the writing and communication needs and experiences of graduate students for their academic disciplines and professional communities,” said Phillips said. “At the same time, there are few published pedagogical frameworks, manuals, or curriculum models based on empirical research that provide guidance on how to implement effective practices or adapt existing models to different contexts. institutional.”

Phillips is launching a film project with a former

Another Phillips project supporting faculty and graduate students as writers is a film project with Ohio University alumnus Rachael Ryerson, just released by the University of Michigan Press. , Supporting the Growth of Graduate Writers. Ryerson earned a Ph.D. in English and a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2017 and is now an Adjunct Professor of English at Eastern Illinois University.

Supporting the Growth of Graduate Writers, Pouch

The film project is a series of short scenes that capture the work of OHIO-certified writers and writing consultants.

“Each scene was written collaboratively to represent common issues facing grad students. Each scene also includes specific strategies that writing consultants can use to help graduate students grow as writers. We had planned that most writing programs would use individual scenes to train writing consultants on a particular problem,” Phillips said. Everyone in the film was an OHIO student or faculty member when the film Have been realised.

The filmmakers were Matt Love, director of photography at Scripps College of Communication, and Carrie Love, who also worked at Scripps when the film was made in 2020. Both received master’s degrees in film from the College of Fine Arts in 2018 The narrator, Casanova Green, is currently a PhD student in English.

“Working with Matt and Carrie and with these writers and consultants has been such a joy. We were really under pressure this time around as we originally planned to film in April 2020. After weeks of limbo and quarantine, we had to work very quickly to get it all together before many actors graduate. We also had to figure out how to negotiate COVID. What you don’t see here is a plexiglass shield hanging between the writer and the consultant to ensure the safety of everyone because Matt and Carrie are absolute wizards and I edited it!” Phillips said.

It wasn’t Phillips’ first film project, as she and her colleagues produced Becoming an Ally: Tutoring Multilingual Writers in 2017.

“What’s amazing about these projects is being able to work with the writers and build on their experiences. They’re acting, but they’re also using their own early writing projects and building on on their personal experiences as much as they feel comfortable in. Screenwriting is a collaborative process where Rachael and I negotiate our goals for the stage – what is the grad writing problem we want to teach people – with the particular experiences these writers have had and how much are they willing to share versus how much they are willing to act,” Phillips said.

“Then we develop a storyline that draws on their experiences to discuss the issue. We try to draw a fine line between the things they are willing to share and their ability to have a shared graduate student experience. And we We never know what the answer will be until we film the scene!What appears in the scene is never exactly what happened to the writer, but it’s never completely fictional no more. Then we have to decide how to frame that scene with a narrative based on what really happened,” she added.

Although Phillips majored in rhetoric and composition, she enjoyed using film as a genre to teach students how to write.

“The other thing I liked about these projects is challenging myself to compose beyond the print, which is what I’m most used to. We have to decide how to develop an attractive setting, what type of music to use in the soundtrack, and what take is most effective. We also had to figure out how to use the visual space that occurs when narrating the opening scene where we frame each scene. Is the screen too cluttered, is there too much dead space, or are the pauses too long? Phillips said.

“I also had to learn how to edit in different ways. We are constantly working on draft scenes, looking for moments to cut so we can tighten the focus and identifying other moments we want to highlight. Developing these scenes also meant working in new genres for us and I have to ask myself questions like, “How does storytelling work, exactly? What do we need to say here? It gives me great empathy for my students when I ask them to switch to an unfamiliar genre,” she said.

Phillips and Ryerson’s film project has been posted on an open-access site so that others can benefit from the experience of these writers and consultants.

About the English Language Specialist Program

The English Language Specialist program is the first opportunity for leaders in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages ​​(TESOL) to embrace meaningful and lasting change in the way English is taught. is taught abroad. Through projects developed by U.S. embassies in more than 80 countries, English language specialists work directly with local teacher trainers, educational leaders, and Ministry of Education officials to exchange knowledge, build capabilities and build partnerships to benefit participants, institutions, and communities in the United States. United States and overseas.

Since 1991, the English Language Specialist Program has supported national, virtual and blended projects in which hundreds of TESOL scholars and educators promote English language learning, improve the teaching ability of the English and promote mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through cultural exchange. . During their projects, English Language Specialists may provide intensive teacher training, advise Ministries of Education, or participate in high-level pedagogical consultations and deliver plenary presentations at regional, national, or international TESOL conferences. . These projects are challenging and those selected represent the best of the American TESOL community. In return, the program provides professional development opportunities to help participants learn about different cultures and learn skills that can greatly enhance their TESOL careers back home.

English language specialists are counted among more than 50,000 people participating in US Department of State exchange programs each year. The program is administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University.


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