TESOL Plus Program Travels to Brazil
Sheridan’s TESOL Plus Program has been working on a project with a goal to cultivate a sense of global connections and to provide intercultural experiences to students through virtual and physical educational models.
In the first stage, students in Language Learning and Culture (EDUC 53243) engaged in four weeks of collaborative online international learning (COIL) with students in our international partner institution in Brazil. Through direct virtual collaboration with students in Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), our students explored class topics and raised critical awareness on language, culture and communication.
The virtual collaboration was followed by two weeks of physical mobility to Brazil in May 2023. Professor Hee-Seung Kang and seven students from Sheridan’s TESOL Plus Program successfully completed their short-term study abroad trip to Belo Horizonte, Brazil. This was Sheridan’s first trip to be funded by Global Skills Opportunity (GSO, CICan).
During the study-abroad trip, the students engaged in a series of structured activities including UFMG seminar and visits to local schools. Our students learned and observed how English is taught as a foreign language in Brazil. Each student had an opportunity to teach English in a foreign language context after observing classes and receiving feedback on their lesson plans.
With two UFMG professors – Prof. Andrea Mattos and Prof. Leina Juca, Prof. Kang led several reflection sessions throughout the trip, helping students critically reflect on their experiences. She also gave a campus-wide talk titled, “Responding to L2 Student Writing” to faculty and preservice language teachers in Brazil.
Our TESOL Plus students had exciting cultural activities and excursions including trips to Ouro Preto and Inhotim Museum. During these international experiences, the TESOL students expanded cultural awareness, developed a better understanding of other cultures and made lifelong connections with students and faculty in Brazil.
This project was funded by Global Skills Opportunity (GSO, CiCan), and we are grateful for their generous support. This trip also would not have been possible without the support of many departments at Sheridan. We want to extend our gratitude to FALE in UFMG, especially the two professors (Dr. Mattos and Dr. Leina) and “buddies” who helped TESOL Plus students throughout the trip. Thanks to many people’s hard work and hospitality of UGMG, the TESOL Plus students made meaningful connections and broadened their horizons as preservice ESL/EFL teachers. The students who joined the trip commented that the global education experience significantly contributed to their growth as second language teachers.