Critical Language Scholarship Program | Amanda Barbour
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Amanda Barbour

Aman­da Bar­bour par­tic­i­pat­ed in CLS Ara­bic pro­gram in Tunis, Tunisia in 2010 as an under­grad­u­ate stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty at Buffalo.

[Par­tic­i­pat­ing on the CLS Pro­gram] influ­enced the tra­jec­to­ry of my study. I com­plet­ed my under­grad­u­ate work short­ly after my sum­mer in CLS and even­tu­al­ly went on to do research and receive my doc­tor­ate in sec­ond lan­guage learn­ing and education.”

On the CLS Pro­gram I learned valu­able prob­lem-solv­ing skills that I’ve con­tin­ued to use through­out my work.”

Aman­da spent a year in Grana­da, Spain as part of her grad­u­ate pro­gram in Teach­ing Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage (TESOL) stud­ies, where she used inter­cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills she devel­oped on CLS to nav­i­gate a new lan­guage and cul­ture.

With­out my CLS expe­ri­ence in Tunisia, I wouldn’t have been suc­cess­ful abroad in Spain. I was more inde­pen­dent, pro­duc­tive and com­fort­able being in a dif­fer­ent cul­ture. I learned how to meet my needs with­out rely­ing on lan­guage: a skillset that I’ve con­tin­ued to use through­out my work as a teacher.”

Amanda went to Nanning, China to teach an English as a Second Language course to encourage students to study abroad at Niagara University

Begin­ning in ear­ly 2011, Tunisia made inter­na­tion­al news fol­low­ing pop­u­lar upris­ings that quick­ly spread across the Arab world, and Amanda’s friends and fam­i­ly turned to her for details. 

It was an inter­est­ing expe­ri­ence to watch the Arab Spring unfold after being in Tunisia with the CLS Pro­gram. As many Amer­i­cans do not have expe­ri­ence in that region, being able to speak back on the neg­a­tive nar­ra­tive that was infil­trat­ing the media by giv­ing anec­dotes of my CLS host fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty was a pow­er­ful expe­ri­ence for me.” 

Aman­da is the Assis­tant Direc­tor of Eng­lish Lan­guage Devel­op­ment at Nia­gara Uni­ver­si­ty, a pro­gram for inter­na­tion­al stu­dents to inten­sive­ly study Eng­lish. She is respon­si­ble for the over­sight, devel­op­ment, and con­tin­ued growth of the Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage pro­gram, which is sim­i­lar to the CLS Pro­gram pro­vid­ing 20 hours of Eng­lish instruc­tion each week along with a lan­guage part­ner and peer men­tor­ship com­po­nent. Her expe­ri­ences with the CLS Pro­gram, and her knowl­edge of Ara­bic have helped her sup­port her stu­dents in their lan­guage learning.

On CLS I vivid­ly remem­ber the unan­tic­i­pat­ed stress and emo­tions asso­ci­at­ed with being abroad and inten­sive­ly study­ing a lan­guage for the first time. It has sig­nif­i­cant­ly impact­ed the way I approach my dai­ly pro­fes­sion­al work of teach­ing and admin­is­trat­ing in a pro­gram for inten­sive Eng­lish study.”

Alumni Profiles

Amanda Barbour
Amanda Barbour
Arabic 2010
Tunis, Tunisia

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Posted Date

December 04, 2019