My Experience of International Access Teacher Training
Bharat Babu Khanal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My curiosity to interact with global Access teachers was quenched when I got an opportunity to participate in English Access Microscholarship Teacher Training Programfrom 7 to 28 June, 2014 in the USA. The program was collaboratively organized by America-Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST) and University of South Carolina. I was in a team of 24 Access colleagues especially from south Asia. Undoubtedly, I was with lots of enthusiasm to gain knowledge and skills in a well equipped training hall. Every moment was a part of learning for me with the people of language and cultural diversity. But, English was the only medium of communication throughout the program.
The orientation program on the first day helped us to be familiar with all the participants and program coordinator.We were welcomed by English Language Teaching (ELT) experts and English Language for Internationals, Second Language (EPI SL) teachers. Meanwhile the group interview helped us to become more familiar. We received a schedule which mentioned about the system for international participants. E.g.visa card from AMIDEAST, computer system and EPI email, Macintosh –Program and Tax form, health insurance, books for my tenure. After the orientation for training requirements, the program took a smooth speed.
My experience can be divided into two aspects. The first is pedagogical aspect in which different ELT practitioners facilitated us about English language teaching in Access class.In this portion, I gained some practical ideas to facilitate English language lessons with varieties of activities including games and rhymes. In every session learner centered approach was practiced. I actively participated in all the sessions to materialize the passion of global Access teacher training. The topics covered in the trainingwere: accommodating Learners diversities, poster project and digital diary, exploring cultural diversity, communicative language teaching, best practices in assessment, common European framework using task based learning, introduction and application ,best practices in teaching speaking, second learning myths and realities, , recipes for success, leadership, community engagement and volunteerism, Technology in language teaching, best practices in teaching reading, career development skills, resumes and interviews, best practices in teaching writing, best practices in teaching grammar, exploring US diversity and ethnicity race and gender, best practices in teaching pronunciation, vocabulary, class observation of four teachers, best practices in teaching listening, lesson planning and curriculum development, debriefing of observations, sharing access success assignment, peach festival, opportunities for graduate studies in the US, success classroom strategies, program evaluations.
In addition to regular sessions, I participated in class observation on speaking and listening classes. I observed ten classes of different teachers in the University of South Carolina, English Programs for Internationals. I found all the teachers using learner centered methods. All the classes were well organized with language games and activities. The instructors easily welcomed me in the classroom and did her facilitation as usual. This enlightened in me a sense of sharing and observation for professional growth.
The most interesting and significant part of training was Poster Presentation. We enjoyedworking in pairs and developed a lesson plan. Then, we collected the materials for poster decoration. It took two whole days to design and decorate the poster. Finally, each group presented their poster, which was observed by the Chief of the EPI program and all the faculty teachers and students.
The second aspect of the program was Field Trip. In between the training, we visited many interesting and important places of South Carolina.We had a tour to the University of South Carolina. We observed the premises and got our ID cards made. We visited theState House which carries its historical legacy. Then we visitedCharleston, a historical town of the USA which has living history with old cathedrals and public buildings. The carriage boy gave a detail description of the town while making the trip. I was both curious and serious to have a new experience to visit the place of Juvenile justice.But, when I conversed with the youths in the department building, I was comfortable with them.Another attraction of the visit was Columbia Museum which contained hundreds of antiques that represented the ancient and modern culture of the USA. Similarly, our shopping trip to Wall Mart, Base Buy and Columbia mall made us familiar to American market and shopping culture.
Indeed, my participation in English Program for Internationals was an opportunity to share Access teaching experience among twenty four instructors of ten Asian countries along with ELT experts from the US. From the training, I received some effective and innovative ideas to apply in my Access class in Nepal. This has added to my professional demeanor and I am committed to share and implement my learning in my class.
(*Mr. Khanal is an instructor of English Access Microscholarship Program, Nepal since its inception in Nepal. Currently, he is a third cohort instructor working in Lalitpur Access center who also worked for two years in Kathmandu as an instructor for the first cohort of Access Program. Besides, he is also a head teacher of Mahendra Gram Secondary School, Tikathali, Lalitpur.)