A Summer Program at Dartmouth College for Mexican Teachers of English as a Foreign Language
Just to initiate a closed contact with all of you in Mexico, I will be informing you about this 2008 Summer Programme in Hanover, New Hampshire, day after day.
What you have to know about this journey:
- It will take place in Dartmouth College (http://www.dartmouth.edu/)
Worldfund’s unique mission is to support high-quality and results-driven education in Latin America—the key to transforming lives and reducing poverty.
- The Philosophy of Language Instruction in Rassias Method® - "Nothing is real unless it touches something in me and I am aware of it".
- "To Prof. John Rassias, language is ritual celebration, a momentous living theatre . . . Emotion and rhythm and movement make people remember things." - Linell Smith, The Baltimore Sun.
- The Rassias Method® is a unique approach that speeds language learning, increases language retention and has you speaking and understanding in "Ten days that make a difference". Originally developed for Peace Corps training, it has been adapted by language teachers in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
The Days Before the Workshop
Riiiiiiiiiiing… Riiiiiiiiiing… It was a phone call from Greengates School Principal Armando Avellaneda advising me about IAPE’s Scholarship Programme to attend a Professional Teaching Workshop in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. – Of course it is a unique opportunity, thank you very much Armando, I am going to tell every teacher I work with…
Application forms, essays, institutional letters, certificates of studies, TOEFL results, passports, VISAs, and so on. Just 40 Mexican teachers from around all the country, the original list was more than 120. Good and God, I was selected!
Dartmouth College was waiting for us... Here we are part of the group at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City.
A paper was given to us to be read, 'Methods That Work. Ideas for Literacy and Language Teachers' by John W. Oller, Jr. from the University of New Mexico. The following ideas were taken from that article:
- Acting and life are inseparable from effective teaching.
- All the world is a stage, every classroom is a theater and every teacher is an actor.
- Drama is a tool for a more effective teaching.
- The students have to got to be made stretch their powers, their capacities. Isn't that what teaching's all about?
- Sometimes in Rassias Method all mistakes are inmmediatly rightes, and the student must repeat it correctly. Aceptable responses are reinforced with embraces, pats, clucking noises, and smiles.
- The teacher must make eye-to-eye contact with his students.
- The most effective technique is to put students into real, living situations.
- Stress the importance of drama and emotions in teaching: "If you get the students involved and make them do what you want them to, they'll never forget what you teach them".
- John Rassias fused the essence of acting-the ability to touch an audience-and the essence of teaching.communication.
- John Rassias belives that, for both actors and teachers, the best way to be effective is to keep the audience's, or the students' attention. He does so by using surprise and spontaneity.
- John Rassias also belives that "there is no such thing as a bad student. There are only bad teachers. And they're bad because they don't care enough. They don't put enough energy into it, they don't show respect for their students, and they don't prepare their lessons".
Tuesday 8 July, 2008.
During the trip from NY City to Hanover, NH, we watched video “Rassias in China”. It caught my attention whit the idea of language energy. Because language is energy we teachers must let that power to emerge in the classroom.
It was very interesting to see how drama techniques make people produce language, and those words from John Rassias “the only thing between teacher and students must be love, must be air”. What a deep human approach!
Here it is John working with us...
The dormitories at Darmouth College in Hanover…
One of the most beautiful buildings oncampus, built in 1784...
The Library where a mural painted by José Clemente Orozco in 1932 is shown to be admired for visitors from around all the world.
By the end of the journy the group working with Jim Citron, our Tutor.