MONMOUTH – Western Oregon University is sponsoring three-week and six-week study abroad opportunities in Morelia, Mexico for Oregon educators who are working toward their English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or ESOL/bilingual endorsement. The application deadline for the program is March 30. Participants will stay with a local Mexican family during their session, gaining first-hand knowledge and experience in Mexican culture and communicating with Mexican families.
“I feel more prepared to educate immigrant children of different generations in my classroom, more prepared to communicate with their families, and more confident as an ally for Mexican-American children,” said Kylie Bayer, a Western Oregon University student who participated in the program last summer.
The first three-week session is July 4 through July 26. The second three-week session is July 27 through August 16. The six-week session runs from July 4 through August 16. A three-week session costs $2,465 and the six-week session costs $4,510. That includes tuition, excursions, homestay and meals with a local Mexican family, books and course materials, medical insurance, an International Student Identity Card and on-site orientation and support.
The focus of the first three-week session is culture and community, with special emphasis on utilizing local excursions and the homestay experience to introduce important concepts about culture and identity of English language learners. The second three-week session will focus on language acquisition and educational linguistics. Opportunities for exchanges with students and teachers from Mexico will be encouraged. Each course will be 40 hours, with approximately 30 of those hours spent in the classroom and the other ten used for extra-curricular activities.
Assistant professor of teacher education Karie Mize coordinates the program. “Spending time in Latin American countries helped me to understand how being an effective bilingual teacher for Latino students was more than being able to speak Spanish because cultural perspectives are inextricably intertwined with language,” she said.
This program is part of WOU’s Bilingual Teacher Initiative, which is an effort to recruit, retain and recognize bilingual students in the teacher preparation programs at WOU. These students are known as Bilingual Fellows and receive specialized support services to help them be successful in their college career.
The ESOL and ESOL/bilingual endorsements can be completed in conjunction with WOU’s undergraduate and graduate education programs, or by itself for any educator. To receive this endorsement, a candidate must show proficiency in a foreign language with at least six credits in upper division foreign language coursework, or by passing the Praxis II Language Specialization exams.
For more information please visit the ESOL–bilingual endorsement’s Web site at http://www.wou.edu/education/teacher_ed/esol_bilingual/.
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Karie Mize, Ed.D.
Assistant professor of teacher education
503-838-8724 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures from summer 2008