The Modern Language department has decided to offer a new summer study abroad program in Arequipa, Peru for students interested in teaching English to non-native speakers. The Peru Field Study program will include the pre-requisite Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language, a class offered in the spring 2014 semester.
The program will also provide three credit hours as a field study and practicum for students hoping to get TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification. This program will begin May 29 and ends June 29 of this year. The program fee includes lodging, four meals, two group excursions outside of Arequipa, and three hours of TESOL credit.
Associate professor of Modern Language Ashley Krason said that MC students will participate in a four-week program that includes both observation and student teaching in a Peruvian English school, taking the practical information learned in the classroom and applying it in the field.
Furthermore, Students will shadow native teachers at first, and then later they will conduct their own only-English speaking class. Students will shadow three to four classes a day, accompanied by meetings with Krason about the TESOL methods.
Krason said that the program offers TESOL students a “condensed student teacher time” to get real experience in the field. She added that the field experience is beneficial because, though many students like the idea of traveling, they often do not know how they would enjoy the teaching experience. Professors hope that the program will provide these students a chance to see if the fantasy of teaching abroad suits their interest and capability.
Also Krason said the program is unique because students “go to work, rather than go to class,” enabling the students to practice the concepts learned in the TESOL classes offered state side within the context of another culture.
The chair of the Modern Language department, Beth Stapleton, said the Peru program will benefit not only students who plan to teach abroad after graduation, but it will also be helpful to those who plan to teach domestically, through a multi-cultural teaching experience.
As well as those in the Education department, she said that students planning on entering the mission field would benefit from the Peru field study in order to prepare for demands of living and serving cross-culturally.
Also, distinctively, this study abroad program does not require a student to learn a foreign language in order to participate and guarantees daily interaction with natives through both academic and social communication.
In addition to a unique teaching experience, students will live in Peru’s second largest metropolitan area in southern Peru, located in the Chili River valley of the Andes Mountains. Krason said the city has both a historical and an urban feel with many places to explore during students’ down time.
An interest meeting for the program in Peru will be held on Nov. 14 in Jennings Annex 101 at 3:30 p.m. At this meeting, Krason will describe the program in greater detail and answer any questions that students might have about the program.
Both Krason and Stapleton agreed that this study abroad program offers the student a rich opportunity to teach and witness change. However, Stapleton said that one of the most important reasons to consider studying abroad is that “studying abroad changes a person.”
So perhaps the prospective student can expect to witness change both within and without when venturing to Peru this summer.
Mallory Hudson, Opinions Editor