Areas of Specialization
Choose one of the following advanced seminars:
In a world characterized by unprecedented mobility and diversity, people from developed and developing countries alike are increasingly part of new and changing professional, educational, and business communities. Thus, they need the skills to communicate across linguistic and cultural differences. Within this setting, English plays a key role as a lingua franca, seen by some as a major tool of empowerment while viewed by others as a killer language.
Explore how plurilinguistic pedagogy differs from other in addressing the needs of learners. In this seminar, you’ll learn how to:
- Maximize learner empowerment while mitigating the negative impact of English in the ecology of languages
- Evaluate language practices and policies through the lenses of language as a problem, language as a right, and language as a resource
- Celebrate differences and move classrooms away from language hierarchy and marginalization of communities
- Overcome deficits created by monolingual ideologies
- Tap into the linguistic and cultural knowledge of teacher, students, and communities
- Change assessment systems to encourage a plurilingual exploration of language
Teacher Training and Teacher Development
This seminar is for TESOL students with a minimum of two years’ teaching experience who have been involved in supporting or advising teachers (perhaps without having been trained to do so) or who hope to work with teacher education in the future. The primary focus of the course may be pre- service, in-service teacher training, or a combination, depending on class make-up. The seminar will focus on teacher education and training in multicultural and multilingual contexts and will address teacher training and teacher development in culturally and linguistically complex contexts.
The seminar will address the following components:
- Various roles of teacher developer, trainer, educator, mentor
- Core tasks of training teachers
- Different ways to observe teachers
- How to give feedback sensitively and effectively
- How to set up and sustain a teacher development group in your school
- Skills required in managing groups of teachers
You’ll develop a literature review, identify a problem or issue to address, create a training plan that exemplifies your beliefs about teacher education/training, and create a blueprint for advocacy, including implementation of a training/teacher education strategy in your workplace.
Teaching Refugees and Displaced Persons
As the number of displaced persons grows, language teachers find themselves increasingly serving students in different stages of displacement, repatriation, and resettlement. Teachers need to be able to design programs to temporarily or permanently address the needs of a displaced population. Students are often multilingual and multicultural, requiring cultural negotiation skills and mediation. Also, they often suffer from trauma and isolation. These challenges can hide students’ rich backgrounds, personal agency, and learning resources.
You’ll create an instructional unit or training workshop focusing on a region or context. Because teachers are a significant bridge between students and the larger society and community, you will develop a personal advocacy blueprint for your students and student communities. You and your cohort will contribute to each other’s learning through weekly sharing and peer-to-peer teaching. In this seminar, you’ll delve into:
- Causes and experiences of displacement
- Program types and curricula (from crisis intervention to resettlement)
- The relationship between trauma and learning
- Best practices for teaching ESL to displaced communities, including literacy instruction, psycho-social support in the classroom, online learning programs for displaced students, and transitioning students from ESL to workplace
- Global realities presented through the daily UNHCR refugee briefing
- Participatory principles that promote optimal educational experiences
Students not currently teaching in this context will be required to informally tutor (online or in their own community) during the course.
Teaching Young Learners
As countries around the world require English instruction in schools, teachers find themselves working in complex multicultural and multilingual settings with ministries of education, school administrations, parents, and students to determine the appropriate integration of languages — including mother tongue, English, and other national or regional languages — in school instruction. Teachers in these contexts must be able to work effectively within different philosophical approaches to education while advocating for optimal learning for their students.
In this seminar, you’ll learn to work with children in public and private schools, including bilingual/multilingual education, Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), classroom management, and child development and early literacy. You’ll also explore models for community and school partnerships and advocacy so you can understand and navigate through national language policy and program design to meet the needs of your students. As part of the seminar, you’ll write a literature review, develop a context and age focus for your study, and create practical teaching lessons and a blueprint for advocacy within this context. You’ll contribute to and learn from other members of your cohort in peer-to-peer dialogue around readings and assignments.