English, the lingua franca of international business, marketing, law and many other disciplines, is increasingly in demand as the language of teaching and learning in university classrooms around the world. Imagine teaching Economics in English to undergraduate or postgraduate students whose first language is not English and who are taking your course at a university in Peru. Now imagine that you, as their professor, do not speak English as your first language either.
The challenges that arise for professors in this context have been successfully met through the Faculty Development Program designed by Audrey Olson, MRU Languages Institute Manager. Since 2005, more than 125 professors from 10 countries have either come to Mount Royal or taken part in the FDP at their own institution, benefitting from this program’s unique focus on the integration of the content of pedagogy and language support strategies.
From March 5 - 16, 2012, Audrey Olson and Karen Dodge co-delivered the program to a group of 12 professors at the Universidad del Pacifíco in Lima, Peru. Based on a Case Study approach, the program has the professors exploring issues related to the use of active learning methods that work best with second language speakers and focuses on strategies, methods and techniques that support language learning while still focusing on content. According to Cecilia Montes Corazao, Director of Institutional Relations, “The experience with the Faculty Development Program has been very positive. We had been looking for a while for a way of providing professors interested in teaching content courses in English with a training program that was challenging and that at the same time would give them the confidence to teach their course in a language other than Spanish. The faculty members that participated in the program were very excited with the outcome, and they pointed out that besides feeling more comfortable now with the idea of teaching in English, they also felt that they counted on a “tool box” that could actually be used when teaching in any language.”
Following in the steps of such a positive teaching and learning experience for the professors, the MRU Office of International Education is moving forward in establishing a linkage that could support future activities of MRU and Universidad del Pacífico students and faculty interested in academic exchange opportunities.
The Universidad del Pacífico is a non-profit academic institution that offers internationally recognized undergraduate and post graduate degrees and programs in economics, administration, law, marketing, international business and business engineering. Its MBA program has been accredited by the Association of MBA since 2004, and the University is an accredited member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the European Foundation for Management Development among other prestigious associations. Established in 1962, the university is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary. It also has a satellite campus in Cusco offering Spanish language immersion courses.
- Karen Dodge, April 12, 2012