UMBC ‘s TESOL Professional Training Programs recently hosted ten administrators from the Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano (ICPNA) which is located in Lima, Peru for an intensive one-week teacher leadership institute. The program, which ran from June 10-16, was tailored to the needs of their Young Student Program (YSP), which has approximately 10,000-11,000 students at the primary school level with about 250-300 teachers working in at any one time.
Joan Kang Shin, a clinical assistant professor in the school of continuing and professional studies, has traveled to Peru the past 3 years to help ICPNA teachers improve their growing YSP program. The Academic Director of ICPNA, Leonardo Mercado, originally came to Shin because of an internationally-known course entitled “Teaching English to Young Learners,” which she developed.
Workshops at the leadership institute were led by Shin, Jodi Crandall, professor emerita of education, and Heidi Faust, a LLC Ph.D. student. These workshops helped the teachers develop standards for their YSP program and create a plan for teacher professional development. In addition to the workshops, the teachers participated in a cultural program that included a trip to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Washington, DC.
UMBC is becoming known worldwide for expertise in teaching English as a foreign language to young learners of English, a rapidly growing field.
After years of interacting with hundreds of English teachers in over 100 countries through an online professional development program called the E-Teacher Scholarship Program, Shin and Crandall started to do research in this area. Now, they are co-authoring a book about teaching young learners English and are Series Editors for a 6-level English primary level series with National Geographic Learning called “Our World”.
At the end of the leadership institute, the National Geographic Society hosted the ICPNA group for a private tour of the Society and a special presentation by Johan Reinhard, the National Geographic explorer and anthropologist who discovered the Inca Ice Maiden in the Andes in Peru. The Executive Director of National Geographic Learning also hosted a dinner with Reinhard.