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The French Ministry of Education has selected Lafayette to conduct a workshop for some of its high school teachers who teach English.

Lafayette was chosen over colleges and universities from across the U.S. to host 26 teachers in a program designed to help them improve their oral proficiency in English, develop pedagogical programs, and learn about American culture.

The workshop will run July 11–22 for teachers from throughout France and will involve a broad cross-section of Lafayette faculty and administrators.

The College’s proposal to host the workshop was put together by Nancy Ball, director of sponsored programs; Roxanne Lalande, professor of foreign languages and literatures; Camille Qualtere, visiting part-time instructor of foreign languages and literatures; and Mary Toulouse, director of the Foreign Languages and Literatures Resource Center.

The selection pays tribute to the College’s foreign languages and literatures department in a number of ways, says Lalande.

“There is an initiative in France to use the American teaching method as a model. The fact that we use so much technology in our teaching here at Lafayette is something they want to see,” she says.

The extensive involvement of faculty in the cultural aspect of the program was another strength of the Lafayette bid, according to Lalande.

Oral proficiency workshops will be led by Qualtere. Toulouse put together an extensive program of guided and self-guided learning activities that take advantage of Lafayette’s wide range of classroom multimedia technology, including video conferencing, audio software, web authoring, video taping and editing, instructional CDs, and PowerPoint.

An extensive program of lectures and visits to historic and cultural sites will make up the cultural component of the program. Lafayette professors will lead visits to historic sites in Philadelphia and museums in New York City, as well as the College’s art collection. Lectures on Western films, the U.S. business environment, the civil liberties movement, American comedy, writers and artists, religion, Broadway musical and dance, and football will be presented by faculty and staff.

Toulouse’s pedagogical program also will instruct the teachers on development of a student forum, which will enable U.S. and French students to create a collaborative web project, the goal of which is to promote understanding between young people.

“We are honored to be given the responsibility of developing this kind of collaboration between French and American school teachers,” says Toulouse. “We have excellent language facilities here which will enable us to demonstrate how we use technology to make learning more creative and relate to students in a modern way.”

Categorized in: Academic News