International English Teachers Visit Kentucky

From March 21-25, the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana hosted 10 international teachers. The visitors, from Turkey, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam, were all English as a Second Language educators studying ESL teacher training programs. Our visitors traveled across the state, first meeting with professors from the Masters in Teaching ESL program at the University of Kentucky. Next, they traveled to Frankfort to tour the state capitol and meet with officials from the Department of Education to discuss Kentucky’s foreign language standards.

Finally, on Friday, the group saw these training programs put into action through a visit to ESL Newcomer Academy at Shawnee High School, a middle and high school that works with students beginning their first year of school in the United States. These students are typically at beginning levels of English proficiency, so instructors help students develop their English skills and provide emotional support during their transition to American life. The visitors sat in on English classes at Newcomer before meeting with officials from the Jefferson County Public Schools system to discuss the hiring of ESL teachers and curriculum development.

Our international visitors’ trip to Louisville concluded with a fun cultural day on Saturday. The group visited the Muhammad Ali Center and Kentucky Derby Museum before finishing the day with a dinner cruise on the Ohio River. From Louisville, the visitors went to Chicago, IL to participate in the TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo. Our visitors enjoyed their visit to Kentucky and will take many valuable skills back to the training centers and universities in their home countries!

Regardless of our experience in the field, there is always so much we can learn from one another. ‘Professional learning’ is endless! | – Bahar, Turkey


My strong belief is that people like us, teachers and educators, make the differences and build understanding between countries and nations. We shape and influence young generation’s minds and future and it was great to meet professionals from Kentucky to learn from them! | – Svetlana, Uzbekistan

Visit the group’s Facebook Album!

Real power is locked within us and we are unaware of it. Visiting the Muhammad Ali Center helped me to unleash my vital energy! | – Michel, Gabon


This program was funded and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Office of English Language Programs and implemented locally by FHI 360 & World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana.


Multiregional | Rule of Law and Judicial Reform

March 21 – 26, 2019

Countries: Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Guatemala, Iraq, Israel, Macedonia, Poland, & Tunisia

Project: Rule of Law and Judicial Reform

No. of Visitors: 8

Details coming soon…

Multiregional | Youth and Civic Engagement

February 12 – 18, 2019

Countries: TBA

Project: Youth and Civic Engagement

No. of Visitors: TBA

Details coming soon…

Conversation on Qatar with Judge Angela McCormick Bisig

Local Circuit Court Judge, Judge Angela McCormick Bisig, just returned from a week-long World Affairs Council Leadership Mission to the Country of Qatar. Qatar is a strategic ally of the United States and has the Al Udeid Air Base which is home to the United States Central Command.

Judge Bisig learned about a blockade of the small oil-rich country by its neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE who blocked imports into the country and gave Qatari citizens 14 days to leave their countries. The Qataris believe this is evidence of Saudi threats to Qatari sovereignty. They point to the recent killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as evidence of nature of the current Saudi regime.

During the Leadership Mission, Judge Bisig was able to meet with numerous high level officials, including: Qatari Shura Council (Senate) President, HE Mohammed bin Abdullah al Sulaiti; Al Jazeera News; 2022 FIFA World Cup Supreme Committee; Ministry of Defense; the Deputy-Minister of Counter-terrorism; the Ministry of Finance; the President of Qatar Petroleum; and the Al Udeid Air Base; among others.

Join the World Affairs Council and Judge Bisig on January 24th to gain unique local insights into this complicated region and international relations. Judge Bisig will provide a local perspective on the country and answer questions.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration and a $10.00 donation are encouraged.

5:30pm Registration & Networking
6:00pm Conversation begins

Hosted at Saffron’s Persian Cuisine

No Host Event. Guests are encouraged to purchase drinks or food from Saffron’s.

Judge Angela McCormick Bisig has been a member of the Kentucky Judiciary for 17 years. She is currently a Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge. She was elected to this position in November 2012. Prior to this post, Judge Bisig was elected and served for 10 years as a Jefferson County District Judge, where she was first elected in 2002. Judge Bisig worked as a Juvenile Court Judge for many years and also helped to establish a special program called the Enhanced Supervision Docket requiring court supervision of domestic violence offenders. Judge Bisig was elected the Chief Judge of District Court in 2012. Before becoming a Judge, Judge Bisig worked as a prosecutor in the area of domestic violence and sexual assaults for 7 years. She also practiced civil law in the firms of Brown, Todd & Heyburn and Greenebaum Doll & McDonald.