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kimberly moxley, spain, 2012-2013

Fulbright Year: 2012-2013
Country: Spain
Fulbright Field of Study: English Teaching Assistantship
Proposal Summary: Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Degree: B.A. in Linguistics, Spanish
Hometown: Lawrenceville, GA

Before she ever sets foot in Madrid’s Instituto Isaac Albeniz to teach English during her Fulbright year in Spain, Kimberly Moxley first learned about the languages of America’s first inhabitants.

“I am spending my summer before I leave for Spain at the American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI) at the University of Arizona in Tucson,” says Kimberly, who is a member of the Cherokee Indian Nation and lists education, immigration and language policy as her primary interests. “My classmates and I represent approximately 17 other American Indian tribes from around the United States.”

At AILDI, whose mission is “to provide critical training to strengthen efforts to revitalize and promote the use of Indigenous languages across generations,” Kimberly is taking two master’s level classes in Language and Culture in Education and Activism in Language and Education Policy.

Kimberly adds that her long-term goal is to work with American Indian language education programs and to work on national language education policy through legislation or within the U.S. Department of Education.

In Madrid, Kimberly says she won’t just be teaching English, but will also carefully observe the bilingual education operations of the various school systems located in Spain.

“I hope to observe how the different autonomous regions are implementing bilingual education programs – to see what is working and what is not working in these environments,” says Kimberly, who in the summer of 2011 had an internship at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington D.C.

“The United States currently has many school systems attempting to implement foreign and heritage language bilingual programs, and I hope to be able to bring back the knowledge I gain working with Spanish bilingual schools to the United States so we can benefit from their insights.”

Kimberly also plans to connect her students in Spain with the Model UN team at her high school alma mater – Collins Hill, in suburban Atlanta -- by creating a cultural exchange web site (“Think of this as a 21st century pen-pal system,” she says) and she adds she hopes to interact with Spanish educators and policymakers “to see how they are revitalizing regional heritage languages through bilingual and trilingual education programs.”

During her time at UGA, Kimberly worked as a manuscript assistant in the Hargrett Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, a project assistant for the Language Atlas of the Gulf States, and – most recently – as an archives assistant processing the recently acquired works of author and UGA professor Judith Ortiz Cofer. She also spent three months in 2009 in Seoul, South Korea, as a teaching assistant at Sogang University.

At the completion of her Fulbright year, Kimberly has her sights set on graduate school, although her precise destination has yet to be determined.

“I hope to attend graduate school in the United States, United Kingdom or maybe Norway,” she says. “While in Spain, I will apply to several master’s programs in Comparative Education, Education Policy and/or Language Policy. I will focus my studies on the historical development of U.S. foreign and heritage language education policy. I am also considering law school after completing my master’s degree.”

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