Glendon program celebrates 10 years of International Teaching Practicum in Cuba

Every two years since 2006, the Glendon class GL/EN 4696 has visited the Faculty of Foreign Languages (FLEX) of E.J. Varona University of Pedagogical Sciences (UCPEJV) in Havana, Cuba to conduct its three-week international teaching practicum.

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From left to right: Professor Brian Morgan (Glendon English), Martha Neufville (Dean, FLEX/Varona U), Professor Ian Martin (Glendon English, Coordinator D-TEIL Certificate), Daisy Frage (President, Varona U), Professor Ruberval Maciel (State University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil)

In 2012, this student experience was awarded an honour by the Canadian Embassy in Havana for being the best such international student visit to Cuba in the field of education. The program has also attracted considerable international attention through conference presentations in 2015 at International Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc (TESOL), the American Association of Applied Linguistics conference, and the Brazilian Association of Applied Linguistics. It has also been featured in a book chapter in Unequal Englishes edited by Ruanni Tapas, (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015), for its innovative approach to language teacher education for a global society.

This year’s practicum was of particular significance; not only did the program’s 100th student travel to Cuba – and taught practicum classes in both English and French – but it was the focus of an international symposium in Havana dedicated exclusively to the program’s 10th anniversary with the topic “Glendon’s Cert D-TEIL Program: An Example of Post-Method Language Teaching for Global Society”.

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The program’s 100th student, Fiona McDonald, in her Cuban classroom

The event was hosted on May 7 by the English Specialists’ Group of the Cuban Academy of Sciences (GELI-ALC), and was attended by scholars from Cuba and Brazil concerned with preparation of global English language teachers.

Apart from the 16 Glendon students, who each highlighted a different aspect of the program, and Glendon English Department Professors Brian Morgan and Ian Martin, speakers included FLEX/Varona Dean Martha Neufville and, from Brazil, Professors Clarissa Menezes Jordao (University of Parana),  Ruberval Maciel (State University of Mato Grosso do Sul),  Iara Bruz (Doctoral Candidate, University of Parana) and Gustavo Moura (Master’s student, University of Mato Grosso do Sul).

Bruz’s doctoral thesis topic is the D-TEIL Certificate, and both Bruz and Moura spent a term at Glendon participating in and observing Cert D-TEIL activities.