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Saturday, July 2, 2022

More Than Twenty Chilean Educators Had a Wonderful Stay At NSU Last Summer

Last July, Nova Southeastern University was the scene of wonderful multicultural activities. The university hosted more than twenty educators from Chile as part of a program designed to enhance Chilean teachers’ cross-cultural awareness. On July 12th, Dr. Ardain Isma, professor of Cross-Cultural Studies held a wonderful session for teachers at the Carl De Santis building, on the main campus in Davie. The students could not get enough of Dr. Isma’s flamboyant style. In the end, they all surrounded him for souvenir pictures.The educators’ glee was reinforced on July 21st, when the Office of Community Education and Diversity Affairs at the Fischler School of Education and Human Services organized a “Chilean Diversity” luncheon. Delores M. Smiley, Ed.D., dean of community education and diversity affairs, and Jean Prichard, program coordinator for CREAD, were principle organizers of the luncheon.Held in the ballroom at NSU’s North Miami Beach campus, it served to welcome the educators who had arrived on campus July 10th, as part of a study-abroad program sponsored by the Chilean government.During their stay in South Florida, the Chilean teachers took courses in the graduate-level Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TOSEL) program and received instruction on designing projects which will be implemented in their home schools to help their students learn to read, write and speak English.The study-abroad program was offered in conjunction with the Inter-American Distance Education Consortium-CREAD, which has its executive offices at NSU’s Fischler School. The Chilean government sponsors a study abroad program, which sends on-average 400 teachers to colleges and universities throughout the United States. “NSU was selected because it offered the educators an opportunity to receive graduate credits for their participation,” said Armando Villarroel, Ph.D., executive director of CREAD.The students took two courses: methodology and curriculum development for teachers of English to Speakers of other Languages. Upon their return to Chile , the participants will each launch a program which they’ve designed with help from faculty at the Fischler School. Additionally, they will be eligible to enroll in NSU’s distance learning programs to complete their master’s degrees.The study-abroad program is also important because Chile is working towards becoming a bilingual nation by 2010.Mauricio Ramirez, a teacher from Santiago, Chile ‘s capital city, said studying at NSU “improves my abilities as a teacher and gave me a unique opportunity to refine my knowledge of the English language.” “For any language instructor,” said Paola Barahona, a high school teacher from Coyhaique, the capital of Chile ‘s XI Region, “it’s important that you get an opportunity to learn while you’re fully immersed in the language and culture.”Barahona noted that the program makes her better equipped to prepare her students for the realities of the market.“Every day, it is becoming more and more important that our students are proficient in English because more companies are requiring that you speak English before hiring you,” she said.

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