By Kara McMurray, College of Education

Julia Melvin, a Washington State University alumna, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Greece as an English teaching assistant from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Melvin will support the teaching of English at the Hellenic-American Educational Foundation in Athens, Greece.

Melvin graduated from WSU’s College of Education in May 2015 with a degree in elementary education and an endorsement in English Language Learning (ELL). After graduation, she worked as a substitute teacher in Washington and then moved to Los Angeles, where she has worked as a nanny and a volunteer tutor at a local library for adult literacy. In addition, she has been learning Spanish at a community college.

Departing for Athens in August, she temporarily has switched gears and begun learning Greek.

“Other than from sorority life at WSU, I didn’t really know the Greek letters. So I subscribed to Rosetta Stone,” she said. “It’s helped quite a lot. I’ve only been doing it for a couple of weeks, and I’ve already learned a lot.”

Melvin’s Fulbright award will allow her to work in Athens from September through July 2019.

“I wanted to teach abroad since high school. I’ve always had a passion for traveling and I love that it allows for an opportunity to improve my abilities as an ELL educator,” she said.

The program was recommended to her by an ELL advisor and is expected to provide a broader understanding of other cultures.

As a nanny for a family in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, Melvin has traveled to Greece previously, serving as a teacher for that family’s children.

“I’ve enjoyed teaching outside the classroom walls, as it allows for more flexibility in figuring out practical lessons to teach the kids and the places I can best teach them,” she said.

Tutoring adults a local library, she said, has also been helpful in that regard.

“It’s been fun to work with adults as so much of my experience stems from working with children. It’s helped me gain a deeper understanding in how to cater to different types of learners,” Melvin said. “I’ve had to stretch my creative muscles by molding strategies designed for children to pertain more to the personalities and goals of an adult literacy learner.”

Melvin will be working with primary school children through this program. The HAEF had 13 positions in Greece available through the Fulbright Program.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, visit eca.state.gov/fulbright or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office at ECA-Press@state.gov.

 

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