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A distinguished University of Wisconsin Oshkosh professor of teaching and learning has added to his recent Board of Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award, with another honor.

Donald Hones

The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of UWO Prof. Donald Hones for a 3-month English language specialist project focusing on public policy in Yemen.

Hones is part of a select group. His project is one of approximately 240 that the English Language Specialist Program supports each year.  The project runs from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28 and beginning in January, Hones will provide three hours of virtual workshops to participants in Yemen each week.

“I am excited about this opportunity to work with the U.S. State Department,” he said. “My first graduate program focused on Arab and Islamic studies and I am eager to learn from colleagues in Yemen as I also provide English support and resources, especially in the area of grant writing. I am also happy that learning materials and modules that I develop in this project can be used in other countries in the region. This project will also provide me with an opportunity to further develop my skills as a virtual educator.”

Hones has more than 40 years of experience in the field of English language teaching and teacher preparation. Besides his work in the United States, he has worked with the Fulbright Commission and a consortium of universities for teacher training in Ecuador.

He will draw on his background in political science and Islamic and Arabian Studies as part of the online education project, which seeks to build capacity and English fluency among professionals in Yemen. Online instructional modules developed through this project may also be used for professional development in neighboring countries through the U.S. State Department. 

The English Language Specialist Program is the premier opportunity for leaders in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English 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 capacity, and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities in the United States and overseas. 

Since 1991, the English Language Specialist Program has supported in-country, virtual, and mixed projects in which hundreds of TESOL scholars and educators promote English language learning, enhance English teaching capacity and foster mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries through cultural exchange. During their projects, English language specialists may conduct intensive teacher training, advise ministries of education or participate in high-level educational consultations, and offer plenary presentations at regional, national or international TESOL conferences. These projects are challenging and those selected represent the best of the U.S. TESOL community. In return, the program provides professional development opportunities to help participants experience different cultures and build skills that can greatly enhance their TESOL careers at home

English Language Specialists are counted among the more than 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. The Specialist Program is administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University. 

More  information about the English Language Specialist Program or the U.S. Department of State, may be found at

Editor’s note: This post included an announcement from the U.S. Department of State.

Study ESL or Bilingual Education at UWO