SCS Plays Host to South Korean Teachers

2013-2014 Issue 1

PHOTO CREDIT: MEGAN HUDSON

PHOTO CREDIT: MEGAN HUDSON

McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies is building something of a relationship with South Korea. A special project between SCS’s Language and Intercultural Communication and the Daejeon Educational Training Institute saw 19 South Korean primary and secondary school teachers come to McGill for a four-week program combining courses in English as a Second Language with practicum training in schools around Montreal. This is the second time teachers from this school have visited McGill and the fourth group of Korean teachers SCS has hosted.

“A lot of countries’ ministries of education are trying to upgrade their English teaching,” Kevin Stanley, the Assistant Program Coordinator for English Programs, explains. “They need teachers with better proficiency to meet the demands of the new curriculum.”

SCS works with partner organization to develop programs that eflect their needs. “One of the big features of this program was the practicum, where teachers go to local schools. We worked with seven schools this time, and students spent nine days in the schools out of a total of 20 class days.”

PHOTO CREDIT: MEGAN HUDSON

PHOTO CREDIT: MEGAN HUDSON

One of the highlights of this group’s time here was a poster fair at the Children’s World Academy, an elementary school in LaSalle, for which teachers created posters covering some aspect of Korean culture. David Estok, the school’s principal, said of the fair, “What strikes me about the presentations is how you can really tell that they’ve been designed by teachers. The kids are engaged, the activities are interactive, the kids are really enjoying what they’re doing, and clearly they’re learning things and absorbing information.”

The Korean teachers were just as excited about the encounter. “They were triumphant,” Stanley says. “The whole school was excited about the presence of the Korean teachers, and the teachers were thrilled with the turnout and response.”

The success of the project bodes well for the future, as SCS intends to pursue this sort of program. “We have the expertise, we have the program, so it’s one of our main drives to expand our activities,” Stanley says.

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