Ansley Wong (IES ’18, MACI ’19) was recently named a Fulbright Scholar and awarded an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grant in Taiwan.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering research, study, and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to students and young professionals. Each year the program awards around 2,000 grants in all academic fields, with roughly a 22–25% acceptance rate. It facilitates cultural exchange between U.S. students and citizens of the host countries through shared daily experiences and direct interaction in the classroom, field, and home. The pool of Fulbright U.S. Student alumni boasts ambassadors, members of Congress, judges, CEOs, university presidents, journalists, and artists. 

Wong is the fourth Attallah College student to be named a Fulbright Scholar in the last seven years. The other students granted the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Awards include Ashley Barba (Czech Republic, 2016–2017), Caitlyn Nguyen (Vietnam, 2017–2018), and Nou Vang (Taiwan, 2013–2014).

English Teaching Assistantship

As part of their applications, Fulbright candidates submit a Statement of Grant Purpose to explain the activities they’re interested in during one academic year in a participating host country outside the U.S. Candidates may be allocated either an open study/research award, allowing them to design their own project and report to advisers at foreign universities, or an ETA, which places them in classrooms abroad to assist local English teachers and allows them to serve as a cultural ambassador for the U.S.

As part of her ETA, Wong will be assisting in English development at both a junior high school in Taipei and at an elementary school in Taiwan. Starting August 1, Wong will collaborate with local teachers and provide English instruction while incorporating cultural perspectives to expand student learning for 11 months.

“I am excited for this new experience,” Wong said. “I have always been interested in working with emergent bilinguals, so this will be a great opportunity for me to work with this population for the whole year in a different country.”

Student-Faculty Research

Attallah faculty who have worked with Wong on research projects and presentations during her time at Chapman were eager to endorse her.

Professor Cathery Yeh, Ph.D., who has worked closely with Wong, said that faculty and students in Chapman’s MACI (accelerated five-year bachelor’s plus MA in Curriculum and Instruction) program consider her a leader, problem solver, innovator, and caring educator. Dr. Yeh assisted Wong with a research project, “Mathematics is More Than Numbers: The Role of Language in Mathematics Learning,” an examination of the complexity of language in teaching mathematics to English language learners. The study has been referenced in a scholarly publication titled “Co-Construction of competence: An activity system perspective for leveraging and strengthening students’ language and mathematics competences” in the peer-reviewed journal Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics.

“Ansley underwent the entire research process in a little over a year, which speaks to her amazing scholarly talents,” Dr. Yeh said. “Ansley is extraordinarily bright, highly committed, and overwhelmingly humble.”

Dr. Yeh said she also presented alongside Wong on culturally and linguistically responsive teaching pedagogies at the California Mathematics Council-South national education conference to more than 3,000 attendees.

“It is extremely rare for a student to serve as a presenter. This speaks to the academic prowess Ansley displays for someone just beginning her career as a teacher,” Dr. Yeh said.

Wong believes Attallah faculty in the IES (Integrated Educational Studies) and MACI programs have prepared her to be a Fulbright ETA.

“I will constantly be referring back to strategies I have learned from the IES and MACI programs,” Wong said. “I would encourage anybody to apply. If you have any interest in teaching, this is a wonderful opportunity. It does not hurt to try!”