Fulbright ETA changes life of participants: Kerry

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 11, 2013): United States Secretary of State John Kerry (pix) said today the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programme has changed the life of its participants not only through language but their views as well.

He said learning English language was a huge tool for a person to be able to dream and think about a whole different self possibilities.

"It really teaches confidence as well as changes the possibilities of life itself," he said when addressing ETAs, their students and mentors in a meeting today.

Kerry is in Kuala Lumpur to attend the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2013 held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, here.

He cited an example during the recent Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Bali, where most of the participants, especially from Asean, spoke in English.

"Fifteen to 20 years ago, that would not have happened. Now, English has become the language of business, exchange, diplomacy and has helped the world in many ways," he said.

Kerry also congratulated all ETAs and their mentors for taking part in this remarkable transformation. He said participation at Fulbright has become a measuring point and also a starting point for them to become better in life.

The Fulbright ETA Programme places recent American college graduates as assistants in English classrooms at schools and universities in 69 countries. It became a federal-level programme spanning four states after a 2010 meeting between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak in which they spoke of ways to strengthen people-to-people connection through learning English.

Also present at today's meeting were three ETAs, two of them served in Perak while another in Terengganu, with a few of their students.

Every ETA will serve in the country for 10 academic months. The programme in Malaysia, supported by both governments, is slated to become one of the world's largest Fulbright ETA programmes in 2014 when it expands from the current 75 ETAs to 100 ETAs.

"Fifteen to 20 years ago, that would not have happened. Now, English has become the language of business, exchange, diplomacy and has helped the world in many ways," he said.

Kerry also congratulated all ETAs and their mentors for taking part in this remarkable transformation. He said participation at Fulbright has become a measuring point and also a starting point for them to become better in life.

The Fulbright ETA Programme places recent American college graduates as assistants in English classrooms at schools and universities in 69 countries. It became a federal-level programme spanning four states after a 2010 meeting between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak in which they spoke of ways to strengthen people-to-people connection through learning English.

Also present at today's meeting were three ETAs, two of them served in Perak while another in Terengganu, with a few of their students. Every ETA will serve in the country for 10 academic months.

The programme in Malaysia, supported by both governments, is slated to become one of the world's largest Fulbright ETA programmes in 2014 when it expands from the current 75 ETAs to 100 ETAs. – Bernama