Home Education OU’s OPIE program chosen to host Brazilian teachers in cross-cultural experience

OU’s OPIE program chosen to host Brazilian teachers in cross-cultural experience

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Lúcia Maria Araújo Amoedo, a teacher visiting from Brazil and 22 other teachers visiting from Brazil will be spending the first six weeks of the Spring Semester at Ohio University and participating in the Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE).

OPIE is a pre-academic English program, meaning that all the courses that the teachers will be taking will help them understand English in any area that has to do with academics, teaching and learning. Some courses include teaching methodology (teaching skills and the use of technology), computer assisted language learning, American culture and history and English fluency development.

All teachers that are visiting are also certified teachers in Brazil. Each participant had to apply and be accepted by the Brazilian government to acquire this opportunity.

In addition to courses, the visitors have also partaken in many cultural experiences outside the classroom. In the past three weeks since they have been at OU, they have participated in the Hocking Hills Winter Hike, trips to Cincinnati, Columbus to visit the Ohio Board of Education, Lake Hope State Park, Old Man’s Cave and Athens Middle School.

“This is a cultural exchange in which both sides benefit. We are learning about their teaching styles and are becoming ambassadors for Brazil and they are learning English and how to teach it better. They too are becoming ambassadors for the United States. It’s a win-win situation,” said Dr. Gerard A. Krzic, director of OPIE at the Department of Linguistics.

The program is funded by the Brazilian government, with the exception of the visas, in which the Institute of International Education (IIE) is footing the bill.

The exchange began when the Brazilian government contacted IIE, where they chose the program at Ohio University to submit a proposal. OPIE is now one of 18 programs in the U.S. chosen by the IIE to host a continuous flow of Brazilian teachers over the next five years. The goal is to train 3,000 Brazilian teachers across the U.S. over the next half of a decade.

Krzic spoke about the cultural exchange that is taking place between Brazil and America. “There’s a push to do more business with Brazil because their government is finally stable and their economy is continuing to grow. Brazil is becoming the superpower of South America. This connection couldn’t have happened 15 years ago,” he said.

“This is a very unique opportunity,” said Eliane, a teacher who is a part of the OPIE and teaches high school in Brazil. “I’ve never been out of Brazil before and this experience is helping improve my English and get in touch with the culture.” Elaine asked for her last name to be withheld.

Of her experience in America, visiting teacher Ceilia Fadigas Cuna said, “The facilitators and instructors are very patient and helpful. We’ve been working on breaking stereotypes of who Americans are and what American culture is all about. It’s been excellent.”

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One Comment

  1. Ana Claudia de Freitass

    April 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    I attended this course too. It was an unforgetable experience. I have been develloping the activities that I learned there in my classes. I really improve my English. Thanks all the teachers.

    Reply

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