Apr 122011
Authors: Bonnie Cleveland

Editor’s note: In the lead, it is inaccurately stated that Salasca,Ecuador is on the beach, when in fact, Salasca is located in the mountains. This quote was taken out of context and instead refers to Kuehster’s time vacationing in Canoa prior to her trip. In addition, it was incorrectly stated that she was involved in the English graduate program at the time of teaching in Salasca, when instead, she was involved in the SKY Ecuador program independently of the department, though she was enrolled in the English department at the time. Finally, it was incorrectly reported that the Peace Corps offers more training than the English graduate program in languages when this is not the case, and the English graduate program generally offers more language training.

When graduate student Lauren Kuehster taught English at the Katitawa School in Salasca, Ecuador, she said that the roads were paved in sand and the locals rarely wore shirts and shoes.

“Beer is cheaper than water,” Kuehster said.

Kueshster is one of many CSU students involved in the English graduate program teaching English abroad, going through the SKY Ecuador.

The option to complete the traditional two-year master’s program is available. But graduate students can experience the world through a four-year Peace Corps Master’s International program, or the Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (TES/FL) while obtaining their master’s degree.

Kueshter and others spoke on a panel about what programs are available to teach English abroad on Tuesday afternoon.

Rachel Dedeyn, also in the English masters program, taught fourth through sixth grade students English in Thailand and Uganda through English World, aprogram compatible with TES/FL.

“I was graduating from college and I wanted to travel,” Dedeyn said.

Dedeyn said Thailand and Uganda were both affordable. Her housing expenses in Thailand cost $100 a month and a bus trips cost 20 cents per trip.

While Dedeyn’s students in Uganda spoke English well, she found her students in Thailand, who spoke little English, more of a challenge to teach.

“English lessons typically involved lots of flashcards and interactive activities,” Dedeyn said.

Compared to the TES/FL program the Peace Corps offers more language training.

English graduate student Caitlin Philp taught English at the Longdong Teacher’s College in China through the Peace Corps International Program.

Philp’s students were her, “reason to get up in the morning.” The students and people she met made a strong impact on her life.

The Peace Corps requires a 27-month commitment. This includes three months of training and 24 months of volunteering. Additionally, there is a six to 12 month application process.

While out of the country, the Peace Corps provides a volunteer’s training, salary, medical expenses, housing, support and deferment of loans. They also provide a readjustment allowance for volunteers once they return to the states.

A volunteer’s salary is in theory the same as a worker native to the country they are sent to doing the same job. But Philp said in reality she was paid less than her Chinese coworkers.

The panel also brought in someone who teaches Arabic to English speakers at CSU.

On loan from Egypt, Fulbright Scholar Fatma Abdelrahman is a teaching assistant of Arabic. The Fulbright Scholarship is funded by the Department of State, according to the Fulbright website.

“You never get the chance to experience other countries until you’re in them,” Abdelrahman said.

Abdelrahman said she has thoroughly enjoyed her teaching experience at CSU. She was particularly excited to experience Colorado snow.

The CSU English graduate program allows students to travel and teach across the globe.

For more information on the English graduate program, contact Marnie Leonard at 970-491-2403 or visit http://www.colostate.edu/dept/English/programs/tesl.htm.

Staff writer Bonnie Cleveland can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:25 pm

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