Agreements Signed with Two Chinese Universities

By: Kevin Spensley

Shandong Normal University's Prof. Ma Maoxiang with Dean Jeffrey Trumbower, Dr. Elizabeth O'Dowd, Dr. Karen Talentino, Dr. Mahmoud Arani, Kevin Spensley, Dr. Benjamin White, and Dr. Juefei Wang. Above are Qufu Normal University's Vice President Hu Qingxue, Prof. Cao Li, and Prof. Li Shanyang, with Dr. Wang and the Saint Michael's team.

Saint Michael’s College recently signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with two major Chinese universities for bringing Chinese graduate students to study in the Applied Linguistics Department.

Chinese graduate students will complete one year of study in China before transferring to the MATESOL Program at Saint Michael’s College, where they will complete their degree. They will earn two Master’s degrees: one from Saint Michael’s College and one from their home university.

The two Chinese universities with whom Saint Michael’s College now has partnerships are Shandong Normal University and Qufu Normal University, both in Shandong Province. “The agreements are intended to initiate a program of collaboration in the planning, development, and implementation of a joint Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages between Saint Michael’s College and the two Chinese universities,” said Professor Mahmoud Arani, Chair of the Applied Linguistics Department at Saint Michael’s College.

According to Juefei Wang, a Professor Emeritus in Education of the University of Vermont, the demand for specialists in TESOL is growing in China, as more Chinese students are enrolling in English programs, and institutions are trying to meet that increasing demand.  “St. Michael’s College enjoys a high international reputation in training of TESOL specialists, and it is an ideal institution for Chinese students to pursue professional knowledge and skills in that field,” Prof. Wang indicated.  

The MOUs were agreed upon following a visit to Shandong Province in August 2017 by Dr. Arani and visits by the officials of the two Chinese universities to Saint Michael’s College in the fall of 2017.

“These partnerships with Qufu Normal University and Shandong Normal University represent an important part of Saint Michael’s College’s strategy of engaging with institutions outside the United States and providing a truly world-class education. I’m very excited about these initiatives and look forward to the growth and evolution of the partnerships,” said Dr. Karen Talentino, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Saint Michael’s College.

Saint Michael’s College and the Applied Linguistics Department have been welcoming international students to our campus since 1954, when Hungarian freedom fighters immigrated to the United States, stopping first at Saint Michaels’s College to learn English. Since then our Applied Linguistics Department has trained more than 20,000 students from over 120 countries in English, and is internationally renowned in English-language training and TESOL.

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