Fourth-year CW&P Students Collaborate with Universidad de Sonora, Mexico

This semester in Glenn Clifton’s fourth-year Creative Writing Pedagogy class, senior students in the CW&P degree developed a COIL collaboration with first-year students at Universidad de Sonora in Mexico.

As the students at Universidad de Sonora are aspiring English teachers themselves, the goal of the collaboration was to give each student group a partner group of students to whom they could teach lessons. Sheridan’s CW&P students taught two lessons to the students in Sonora: first a close reading lesson prepared by the class together with their professor, and then a creative writing lesson that was planned and executed by the students themselves. The Sonoran students, conversely, taught English grammar to the Sheridan students, practicing the skills they’ll use in their future careers and honing their grasp of the vocabulary of grammar.

CW&P students Arianna Zangara, Jordan Munro, Rachel Ragbir, and Parker White in action teaching a creative writing lesson to their partner group in Mexico.

It was a significant milestone for both groups of students to try their teaching practices in the field. The Mexican students had to get over the hurdle of their first teaching experience while confronting the nerves that accompany not only teaching, but also explaining English grammar to native English speakers. The Canadian students, however, were blown away by their partners’ grasp of the language, remarking how often they know what is correct and incorrect in English phrasing without knowing the correct terminology. CW&P students had their own challenges to meet, preparing their first creative writing and literature lessons for students working in an additional language.

Both sides of this equation felt that their partner groups were remarkably engaged, thoughtful, and kind. “Once both groups realized that the other group was equally nervous, I think the groups felt a lot of fellow-feeling,” one student remarked.

The Sonoran students finished the collaboration by making certificates of appreciation for our CW&P students, so the CW&P students have responded with a collaborative poem.

Congratulations to all involved!