For the past six weeks, the Drexel English Language Center has played host to a group of 24 high-school English teachers from Brazil, many who have never left their country before this trip.
The program is a collaboration among the Institute of International Education and Brazilian sponsor CAPES, a foundation within the Ministry of Education in Brazil whose purpose is to improve the quality of Brazil’s faculty and staff in higher education through grant programs, the Fulbright Commission in Brazil, and the U.S. Embassy in Brazil.
The program aims to bring 1,080 teachers per year to the United States for at least three years for intensive English language and teacher training. The inaugural group of 540 high school English teachers from Brazil arrived in the United States in January to begin a six-week professional development program. A second group is scheduled to arrive in July 2013.
“What better way for these teachers to improve their English language skills than to come to an English-speaking environment?” said Barbara Hoekje, director of Drexel’s English Language Center. “And for them to come to Philadelphia, such an historic place in America, is really exciting.”
"The teachers had a demanding but enriching program that we believe they will continue to benefit from when they return to Brazil," added Mara Blake-Ward, associate director of secial programs at the English Language Center.
The program fits easily into an important component of Drexel’s strategic plan, set forth by University President John Fry, which details Drexel’s commitment to establishing international partnerships. In fact, President Fry, along with Dr. Julie Mostov, vice provost for Global Initiatives, Dr. Daniela Schidlow, dean of Drexel’s College of Medicine Medical School, and several other academic leaders will travel to Brazil in April to set the stage for building academic and research partnerships with three leading universities in the country.
A final poster presentation and farewell reception for the group will take place this Thursday, Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. in One Drexel Plaza, Suite 10 (garden/basement level). Enter at 3001 Market Street. Drexel ID is required for entry into the building. All members of the University community are welcome to attend. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.