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This publication was prepared with funding from the National Library of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, under contract no. ED-99-CO-0008. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of NLE, OERI, or ED.
Wouldn't you love to spend a year abroad teaching? Wouldn't it be great if you could find an organization that would take care of your visa, find you a teaching position, assist you in finding housing, insurance, and banking, arrange your travel, and even help you further your education through professional development opportunities? Does all this sound too good to be true? Perhaps not with help from the Visiting International Faculty (VIF) Program.
The VIF Program was founded in 1987, the brainchild of brothers David and Alan Young, as a cultural exchange program for teachers. Based in Chapel Hill, NC, the VIF Program began with the placement of international foreign language and ESL teachers in the North Carolina public schools. It has since expanded to placing teachers from all disciplines in schools in California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The VIF Program also places teachers from the United States and other countries in the United Kingdom.
Although some U.S. school districts have used the VIF Program to fill slots in critical needs areas, the program was not envisioned as an answer to the teacher shortage. "This is a cultural exchange program," said Ned Glascock, VIF's Communications Manager. "While the teacher shortage does require districts to seek alternative recruitment methods, VIF is really most interested in the cultural exchange benefits of the program."
"We'll send about 65 teachers to the U.K. this year, and over 1,700 international teachers will come to the U.S. through our program," said Glascock. He also noted that the VIF Program can help school districts retain the teachers they've got. "The program provides an incentive to teachers to stay in education by providing opportunities for American teachers to go to the U.K."
Rob West was placed in a North Carolina school three years ago. Originally from Toronto, in the Canadian province of Ontario,West became interested in the VIF Program when a friend submitted West's resume, and he was accepted to the program. West taught French and Latin in North Carolina for 3 years and has recently left for the United Kingdom, where he will teach French, again through the VIF Program. "As far as the kids go, they're about the same in the U.S. as they are in Canada, and I presume they'll be about the same in the U.K." said West. "There are always the class clowns and the students who aren't particularly interested in learning anything. But mostly there are enthusiastic kids."
While teaching in North Carolina, West was surprised by the presence of police officers in the schools and the larger emphasis on sports in the United States. However, he found it hardest to become accustomed to something much more basic. "The most difficult adjustment working in the U.S. was the southern accent," said West. "The kids' accents really affected their French pronunciation."
West encourages his friends and colleagues to try the VIF Program. "It's really important to see another culture—to take your craft to another country, even if it's an English-speaking country—and experience that culture," West said.
VIF recruits teachers from more than 40 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Venezuela. J-1 visas are issued through the State Department for teachers coming to the United States for a maximum of 3 years. "These are cultural exchange visas," says Glascock. "The teachers must eventually return to their home countries."
All teachers placed through the VIF Program must be fluent in English, possess a university degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree, and have teacher training and experience. VIF verifies the credentials of all participants, checks references, and conducts personal interviews before placing teachers.
Rose-Anne Lawrence Reynolds recently returned home to South Africa from Atlanta, Georgia, where she taught third grade at John Hope Elementary School. While in the United States, Reynolds served as the school coordinator for the Atlanta Partnership for Arts in Learning program. This role helped her win the 2002 Georgia Cultural Educator of the Year Award (Daily Citizen, 2002). Despite her success in the States, Reynolds was determined to return home. "I'm truly South African and I want to share my experiences with my community back home" (Strydom, 2002).
This is exactly the kind of cultural exchange the VIF Program hopes for. "We don't want to contribute to 'brain drain' in other countries," says Glascock. "This is a true cultural exchange program. All the teachers return home and, hopefully, share what they've learned from their experience."
The cost for a school district to bring in a teacher through the VIF Program is equivalent to the average salary and benefits of a local teacher. VIF manages all the administrative details, such as work visas and licensure, health and disability insurance, and transportation. After teachers are placed, VIF continues to support them with housing location assistance, budget workshops, local advisor programs, cultural education guides, and professional development opportunities.
The VIF Program offers several professional and personal development opportunities for its teachers. The online VIF Educator Community provides a support network and contact with VIF teachers around the country. The Master's degree program is made up of a partnership with four U.S. schools—Wake Forest University, Elon University, Greensboro College, and Georgia State—that provide several Master's degrees at reduced tuition rates. VIF also organizes cultural programs to provide education to students and community members.
VIF accepts only one out of every 10 applicants. "We're looking for experienced, veteran teachers," says Glascock. "No rookies allowed." This level of professionalism and skill has been recognized by several school districts. Many VIF teachers have won awards and recognition for their work. Claudia Cuervo, a Spanish teacher from Chile, won the teacher of the year award for Fulton County, GA, schools in 2001 (Henry, 2001). Filomena Vinagre, a Spanish teacher from Spain who teaches in New Jersey, was co-winner of her city's 2002 Earth Day Award for instituting recycling at her school. Kirsty Davies, a fifth grade teacher from the United Kingdom, won the 2002 Distinguished Educator of the Year award at Farmer Elementary School in Asheboro, NC.
The Visiting International Faculty Program has grown from placing 12 teachers in 1987 to placing more than 1,700 in the United States this year. The program plans to expand by recruiting more host states and by placing more teachers in the United Kingdom. By providing school districts with a relatively easy way to obtain professional, experienced international teachers and by placing teachers from the United States in the United Kingdom, the VIF Program provides an important resource for cultural exchange.
Fulton wins award for international education. (2002, May 24). The Daily Citizen Online.
Henry, T. (2001, June 16). Teacher shortage gets foreign aid. USA Today.
Strydom, I. (2002, August 21). SA teacher back from US to share with local children. The Cape Times.
ERIC/CLL gratefully acknowledges Ned Glascock for his valuable assistance in the preparation of this article.
In each issue of ERIC/CLL Language Link, we feature one or more of the journals that we abstract and index for Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE), the ERIC database's index to education-related journals. In this issue, we profile the journal Language & Intercultural Communication.
Language & Intercultural Communication
This journal aims to promote an understanding of the relationship between language and intercultural communication. It seeks to advance a perception of the intercultural dimension in language within a complex and pluralist view of the world. The journal welcomes research into intercultural communication and research into language, especially where each explores the importance of the other. Language & International Communication seeks to disseminate new ideas and examples of good practice in educating students in language and intercultural communication.
Articles from recent issues of Language & Intercultural Communication include "Negotiating Silence in American Classrooms: Three Chinese Cases" (Vol. 2 No. 1); "Attesting the Self: Narration and Identity Change During Periods of Residence Abroad" (Vol. 1 No. 2); and "Hans-Georg Gadamer, Language, and Intercultural Communication" (Vol. 1 No. 1).
You can search online for articles from this and other journals indexed in Current Index to Journals in Education.
You can recognize journal abstracts in the ERIC database by their "EJ" prefix followed by a six-digit number. ERIC abstracts can be read at ERIC centers in libraries in the United States and overseas, as well as on the Web.
Subscriptions to the journals indexed in ERIC can be obtained from the publishers. Individual articles from many journals are available from the article reproduction service ingenta: 800-296-2221; www.ingenta.com, firstname.lastname@example.orgNews from ERIC/CLL
New Publications from ERIC/CLL
What Teachers Need to Know About Language
Carolyn Temple Adger, Catherine E. Snow, and Donna Christian, Editors
The most recent volume in our Language in Education series, this book addresses the knowledge about language that teachers need in order to be effective educators in a linguistically and culturally diverse society. Following the initial chapter in which Lily Wong Fillmore and Catherine Snow outline the courses in educational linguistics that they think all teachers should take as part of their preservice or inservice education, leaders in the areas of early childhood education, teacher certification, teacher preparation, and professional development point out the value and the challenges of improving educators’ understanding about language.
English Language Learners with Special Education Needs
Alfredo J. Artiles and Alba A. Ortiz, Editors
This book, the second volume in ERIC/CLL's Professional Practice Series, describes the challenges involved in identifying, placing, assessing, and teaching English language learners with special education needs. It describes model programs and approaches, including early intervention programs, assessment methods, parent/school collaboration, and native and dual language instruction.
These publications may be ordered online at the CALstore.
The latest ERIC/CLL Digest is Using Call-and-Response to Facilitate Language Mastery and Literacy Acquisition Among African American Students by Michèle Foster. This digest defines call-and-response, discusses relevant research on the use of this instructional strategy, and presents examples to illustrate some of the fundamental dimensions of this discourse pattern.
ERIC/CLL has recently published two new Resource Guides Online.
Less Commonly Taught Languages lists publications, institutes and programs, Web sites, and listservs related to the teaching and learning of less commonly taught languages.
Teaching Language Through Content includes links to Web sites, online lesson resources, instructional materials, ERIC Digests, books, journals, email discussion groups, and sample citations from the ERIC database related to content-based language instruction. The resources included in this guide are relevant to ESL/EFL teachers, foreign language teachers, mainstream classroom teachers, and other educators who are interested in integrating language and content instruction.
English that Works
This ERIC Brief discusses efforts in adult ESL education to link language instruction to workforce and civic skills development. The author provides background information and perspectives on the topic and describes related learner-centered instructional strategies and classroom management techniques.
Latest Issue of NCLEnotes Now Online
The Summer 2002 issue of NCLEnotes offers articles and resource updates that focus on health literacy and adult ESL and includes regular features such as The Book Shelf and News Notes.
Research on Reading Development of Adult English Language Learners
This new annotated bibliography presents a comprehensive view of the research that has been conducted on reading development among adult English language learners in the United States in the last 20 years. Annotations can be accessed by topical keywords as well as by type of research study. Details on studies' structures, target populations, findings, and implications for practice are included in the annotations.
Visit the U.S. Department of Education's Web site for links to Department initiatives and priorities, grant opportunities, publications, and research and statistics.
Rod Paige and Connie Morella Hear From Key Researchers On Ways To Teach Students Whose First Language Is Not English
On August 2, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige and U.S. Rep. Connie Morella (MD) met with leading researchers and experts at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to discuss current scientific findings on teaching children whose first language is not English. Since 1999, NICHD and the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) have been working on an initiative to address the issue of biliteracy. Research is underway to study more than 5,400 children at multiple sites in eight states. The initiative addresses three overarching questions: how children whose first language is Spanish learn to read and write in English; why some of these children have difficulties acquiring English reading and writing skills; and which instructional strategies and approaches are most beneficial to which children and under what conditions. (Read more.)
New National Middle East Language Resource Center Announced
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the creation of the National Middle East Language Resource Center, the first Title VI Language Resource Center to focus solely on the languages of the Middle East. The center will be headquartered at Brigham Young University and represents a consortium of language experts from more than 20 universities. Dr. Kirk Belnap, BYU associate professor of Arabic, will serve as the center's director.
The center will work with the country's Middle East language professionals and other Title VI centers to coordinate efforts aimed at increasing and improving opportunities for learning the languages of the Middle East. The center will also undertake and support projects in areas such as teacher training, materials development, testing and assessment, integration of pedagogy and technology, study abroad, and K–12 programs.
The center will begin by surveying the needs of each language and then work closely with each to create a strategic plan to be implemented in stages. A significant portion of the center's funds from the Department of Education will be used for its grants program. Grants will serve as seed money to attract matching funds from other institutions and encourage broad field participation. These grants will target the development of materials and programs that complement the center's other projects in building an integrated system of language learning support. (Read more.)
New What Works Clearinghouse
The Office of Educational Research and Improvement has selected a group of research organizations to build and maintain an $18.5 million database, called the What Works Clearinghouse, that will help education decision-makers identify high-quality research on various programs, practices, and products used in teaching. The 5-year contract was awarded to the Campbell Collaboration of Philadelphia and the American Institutes for Research of Washington, DC, along with their subcontractors, Aspen Systems (Rockville, MD), Caliber Associates (Fairfax, VA), and the Education Quality Institute (Washington, DC). The Clearinghouse will provide easily accessible and searchable online databases that characterize the strength and nature of scientific evidence on the effectiveness of different educational programs, products, and practices claimed to enhance important student outcomes. The Clearinghouse will also include a registry of evaluators who have indicated their willingness to conduct evaluation studies that will meet high quality standards of scientific rigor as determined by the Clearinghouse.
New on the No Child Left Behind Web Page
The No Child Left Behind Web site has recently published the new fact sheet, Facts About English Fluency.
OELA’s First Summit on English Language Acquisition
Theme: Celebrate Our Rising Stars!
November 13-15, 2002
The Hilton Washington Hotel
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) will hold its first Summit on English Language Acquisition under the No Child Left Behind Act. This special summit will feature leaders in education and government, including First Lady Laura Bush (invited), Education Secretary Rod Paige, and nationally recognized experts in education. All participants are invited to a special Wednesday evening reception with key members of Congress who worked to develop the No Child Left Behind Act. Sessions will feature panels and presentations and include discussion on such topics as accountability and assessment, early childhood education, parental involvement, professional development, building on scientifically based research, and effective working relationships between state education agencies and local school districts under the No Child Left Behind Act.
There is a $250.00 registration fee per person. Register online at http://www.barreraassociates.com.
Education Resource Organizations Directory Flyer Available
The latest flyer that lists the many features of the Education Resource Organizations Directory (EROD) is now available online. EROD is a database of education-related organizations that helps information providers identify and contact organizations that provide information and assistance on a broad range of education-related topics.
The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)
Professional Development for Bilingual and ESL Paraprofessionals: The Aspire Curriculum Trainer's Manual
This Trainer's Manual provides a professional development curriculum that is designed to teach paraprofessionals (also known as teacher aides or assistants) how to help English language learners succeed in school, meet high standards, and perform well on rigorous state assessments. The manual contains everything needed for the program: workshop agendas, presentation notes, and overhead transparency and handout masters. The program is flexible and may be scheduled in several different ways depending on school and district needs. Order from Delta Systems, 800-323-8270.
Second National Conference on Heritage Languages
The Second National Conference on Heritage Languages in America will be held in Tysons Corner, VA, October 18-20, 2002.
Preparing for Success: A Guide for Teaching Adult English Language Learners
Recent legislation, including welfare reform initiatives and the Workforce Investment Act, underscore the current demands being placed on education by the employment market. This resource text, designed for teachers of adult English language learners at all levels, addresses these issues. It includes classroom activities and instructional resources that help to ensure that all students will have the language skills necessary to thrive in employment. Order from the CALstore.
October 17-19, 2002
CREDE is co-sponsoring an intensive 3-day institute for professional developers and teacher educators to learn the SIOP Model, as developed by CREDE researchers, for teaching content to English language learners. The SIOP Model was derived from research on the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol. Participants will receive training and materials to become a SIOP trainer for school districts and schools of education.
New Video Released by CREDE
CREDE has just released the video, Studies in Native American Education: Improving Education for Zuni Children. This video is a valuable resource for educators working with Native American students, presenting effective strategies for improving classroom instruction. It explores the vision of a classroom community in the Zuni Public School District that works for the success of everyone, where students work together on a variety of challenging activities. Studies in Native American Education features exemplary teachers using CREDE's Standards for Effective Pedagogy, which stress vital approaches for the effective education of all culturally and linguistically diverse students when adapted to local cultures and communities.
New Educational Practice Report
Educating Hispanic Students: Obstacles and Avenues to Improved Academic Achievement examines factors that must be considered in the development of effective educational programs that serve Hispanic students. It provides a synthesis of the research on the education of Hispanic students, summarizing the problems confronting them and suggesting possible practices and solutions for approaching them.
New Practioner Brief
Educating Hispanic Students: Effective Instructional Practices presents five research-based practices that have been particularly successful for teaching Hispanic students. It draws from CREDE's latest Educational Practice Report, described above.
Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT)
The following publications from JALT are now available on CD ROM:
- The Language Teacher, vols. 1-10 (1976-1985)
- The Language Teacher, vols. 11-18 (1986-1993)
- The Language Teacher Millennium Edition, vols. 23-24 (1999-2000)
- JALT Applied Materials: Second Language Acquisition Research in Japan
- On JALT99: Teacher Belief, Teacher Action: Connecting Research and the Classroom. Proceedings of the 25th Annual JALT International Conference
- Combined CD: On JALT2000: Towards the New Millennium. Proceedings of the 26th Annual JALT International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning and PAC Journal: A Journal for language teachers in Asia
Visit the JALT Web site to download an order form.
The National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC)
NCLRC's Language Resource
The September issue of the Language Resource is now online.
Portfolio Assessment in the Foreign Language Classroom
This interactive tutorial in portfolio assessment complete with forms and rubrics is now available online.
National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition & Language Instruction Educational Programs (formerly National Clearinghouse on Bilingual Education)
New Web Site Address
The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs (NCELA) has a new Web site address: www.ncela.gwu.edu. To request information from NCELA, send an email message to email@example.com.
Technical Assistance Network Directory
As part of the technical assistance and information network of the U.S. Department of Education, NCELA has created the Technical Assistance Network Directory. This directory includes state-by-state information on state and federally sponsored technical assistance providers. The directory also provides a state-by-state listing of grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs (OBEMLA) under Title VII of the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994.
National Foreign Language Center (NFLC)
Funding of Language Initiative at Flagship Universities
The National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland has announced the award of four institutional grants as the next major step in implementing the National Security Education Program's (NSEP) National Flagship Language Initiative Pilot Program. These grants—to the University of Hawaii; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Washington; and Brigham Young University—provide important resources to further the development of curriculum and programming designed to prepare graduates with high levels of proficiency in languages critical to U.S national security. The pilot flagship efforts will focus on Arabic, Chinese, and Korean.
The new pilot grants have been awarded based on a merit review process initiated by NFLC in April 2002. NFLC, together with a panel of language experts, reviewed more than 15 proposals for programs in six different languages.
The National Council of State Supervisors of Foreign Languages (NCSSFL)
NCSSFL’s annual meeting will take place in Salt Lake City on November 20-21, 2002. New members are welcome to attend. Membership forms are available on the NCSSFL Web site. NCSSFL White Papers on various foreign language issues are also available online.
National Limited English Proficiency Advocacy Task Force
The National LEP Advocacy Task Force, a group of over 300 stakeholders who actively support the laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of national origin because of language and cultural differences, has a new Web site. The Task Force is now welcoming additions to their online resource directory. Send LEP-related reports, surveys, news, conferences, jobs, links, promising practices, and real-life experiences to Kathy Poulos-Minott for inclusion in the directory.
National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL)
Small Grants Awarded for Less Commonly Taught Languages
The National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) is pleased to announce the awarding of mini-grants for projects that promote field building in the less commonly taught languages (LCTLs). All awardees have provided a significant personal or institutional contribution to the success of the proposed project. The grant recipients are required to submit a final report describing how the grant was used, the results of the project, and a copy of any product stemming from the project. Read more about the grant winners on the NCOLCTL Web site. Inquiries may be directed to the Council Executive Director Scott McGinnis.
American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)
The American Association for Applied Linguistics is now offering Student Travel Grants to help support travel of four graduate student members of AAAL to the 2003 annual meeting in Arlington, Virginia. Applicants must be current members of AAAL at time of application and enrolled in a university Master's or Ph.D. program in applied linguistics or a related field. A maximum of four awards will be given: $800 each for up to two Ph.D. student awards and $600 each for up to two Master's student awards. In addition, the awards include the waiving of conference registration fees. Deadline for receipt of application is December 3, 2002.
See the AAAL Web site for more application information.
Linguistic Society of America
LSA Video Archive
The Linguistic Society of America has established a Video Archive to provide information about language to the general public. Short videos created by LSA members, on topics of general interest concerning language, are accessible for browsing by all web users. The aim of the archive is to fuel interest in language among non-linguists. The videos are intended to be entertaining as well as informative. It is hoped they will meet the interests of language enthusiasts, will spark the interest of others, provide topics and projects for classroom use, and show the many ways in which the work of linguists can contribute to industry, education, and other human concerns.
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