English teachers from Jiangsu Province, China, are in the final weeks of an eight-week professional development program that is being delivered through the Faculty of Education at York University. The 158 primary, middle and high school teachers arrived in Toronto late July and since then, they’ve been immersed in learning about classroom strategies for teaching English as a Second Language, while simultaneously studying Canadian culture and literature.
|Above: Some of the 158 teachers from Jiangsu Province during a class at York University|
The program is one of many professional development programs, which are facilitated by the Toronto-based SuOn College and delivered by York’s Faculty of Education. The curriculum, which has been tailor-made for the students through the International Education Office in York’s Faculty of Education, involves a blend of classroom and community learning. While in Toronto, the Jiangsu teachers will stay in residence at the SuOn campus in the west end of Toronto. They will participate in field trips to cultural sites in Toronto and southern Ontario, visit schools in Toronto, attend children’s theatre events and a host of other activities related to teaching and learning.
During an opening ceremony held at SuOn College on July 23, the teachers from Jiangsu Province were greeted by a number of people, including Lorna Wright, York’s associate vice-president international, and representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities, the Consul General’s Office for the People’s Republic of China, and York’s Office of International Education and the Faculty of Education.
At the completion of their program, the teachers will return to their classrooms in China equipped with new classroom strategies and resources, and an understanding of Canadian culture, Ontario’s education system and York University.