Monday, June 27, 2011

ISTE Presentation a Success

As in prior years, Dr. Parks and Cathy talked to over a hundred educators from around the world. Many thanks to the Brooklyn board members who were in Philadelphia helped put together the display and provided support during the presentation hours.

Most visitors were impressed and had many questions about how this project has continued for three years. The answer, of course, is the commitment of the collaborating teachers to making it happen.

Pictures from ISTE

Sunday, June 26, 2011

ISTE - 2011 - Day One

Arrived in beautiful Philadelphia. Putting finishing touches on poster presentation. Global Connections: The third year... Great year of projects, interactions, and new friendships among students. As we are on summer break, it is important to remember that it is winter in Brasil and school is in session.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

US General Consulate's Invitation to a Mural Painting Unveiling

Salvador, Bahia June 1st, 2011

Invited by Mr. Mark Pannel, US Consul for Press and Culture - General Consulate Rio de Janeiro - I went to ACBEU (Brazil - United States Association) to take part of the 70th ACBEU's anniversary celebration whose one of the activities was the unveiling of a mural painting. This mural had been painted by young African-American artist Chanel Compton in collaboration with Bahian public school students. The painting was great and it presented clear Bahian cultural references. This event was also meaningful because students involved in the painting belong to a program sponsored by the US Embassy via ACBEU. This program called ACCESS gives lower class students the opportunity to study English as a second language.

Africa Day - May 25, 2011 Salvador, Bahia, Brasil

May 25, 2011: Africa Day – In order to celebrate this date, we had the 4th Africa Day event at Escola Parque. I was one of the speakers invited as I have a Specialization on African-Brazilian Social and Cultural History. My lecture was based on the essay “Black Religion: Core Emphasis and Orientations", by Gayraud Wilmore. I had the access to this essay through the excellent book you have donated, among many others, to the Escola Parque: “Essays on African-American History, Culture and Society", by William SCOTT & William SHADE. There were about 200 teachers at Escola Parque auditorium and I could talk about the African American history from the Africans’ arrival in the British colonies in 1619 to the 21st century, but, of course, I had to guide and delimitate my lecture and time, focusing on the principles of the black religion, accordingly to Mr. Wilmore: survival, elevation and liberation. It was fantastic and the audience reaction was grateful!!! This event was very meaningful as we had the presence of the well-known linguistics professor Ms. Yêda Pessoa de Castro, Doctor in African Languages – Zaire National University, who gave us a wonderful lecture on African languages influence in our Portuguese.

English Teachers' Workshop at Escola Parque

May 12, 2011: English Teachers’ workshop at Escola Parque
I have attended the Public School Teachers’ Development Program (PSTDP) sponsored by the US Embassy in partnership with ACBEU and Secretaria de Educação do Estado da Bahia, reason why I had the chance to multiply what I have seen at ACBEU with English teachers that work for Escola Parque Center. But I was not the only facilitator involved in the event: I invited two PSTDP colleagues that work at Escola Parque to present the event with me as well. The discussion was completely made in English which is something not so common for us public school English teachers and the themes of the meeting were "Language Teachers as Language Learners" and "Learning Styles", both themes were selected from the first chapters of the book "From Language Learner to Language Teacher – An Introduction to Teaching English as Foreign Language", by Don Snow – PSTDP book we have used at ACBEU. Teachers loved the meeting and certainly it served to increase our self-esteem as public school English teachers: we talked about the important role teachers of English as a foreign language play during students’ learning process, due to the fact that we know a lot about our students’ strengths and weaknesses, being able to help them efficiently in this regard.