- Four, or maybe six, weeks teaching English to children and youth in Taiwan or China while mastering the curriculum and methodology for teaching English as a Foreign Language.
- Exposure to different cultures.
- Immersion in teaching to diverse populations and an NIU faculty member on site to coach that process.
- A differentiating accomplishment on a resume.
- Round-trip airfare, housing and meals covered.
For up to 30 students in the NIU College of Education, that opportunity is coming soon through the Educate Global program.
Thanks to agreements with the Miaoli County Government Education Department in Taiwan and the Beijing Royal School in China, an application-and-interview process will begin this month to send 20 students to Taiwan and 10 to China.
NIU’s Asian partners are willing to underwrite student-teachers from the United States because they regard English as “the world’s language,” says Terry Borg, director of the college’s Office of External & Global Programs.
“Learning English as a Foreign Language is a highly sought-after skill in Asia,” Borg says, “and close to learning English is the opportunity to interact with native speakers, preferably U.S. native speakers.”
Students selected for Taiwan will teach English for four weeks in July at a day camp. The private Beijing Royal School, meanwhile, will host students for six weeks from early July through mid-August.
Both groups will also enjoy opportunities for cultural field trips on the weekends.
Applicants who are native English speakers and have completed their third year in a teacher-preparation program with some classroom experience under their belts are eligible, Borg says. Graduate students with pre-K-12 teaching experience are also invited to apply.
College administrators and faculty will choose travelers based on their applications. The process begins in February. For more information, call Barbara Andree at (815) 753-8697 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, as the NIU College of Education’s relationship with Taiwan and China grows, other opportunities are blossoming.
Leaders of the Miaoli County Government Education Department hope to offer NIU students who have graduated and secured licensure the chance to teach English for a year in Miaoli elementary schools and middle schools.
Pending signatures on a Memorandum of Agreement this month, the program would launch this fall. Miaoli will pay round-trip airfare, a generous subsidy for housing and a salary for terms that begin in mid-August and end in mid-July.
For those NIU students who’ve interacted with Miaoli County high-schoolers who’ve visited DeKalb via the Open Imagination Program, and then perhaps taught English during the July day camp, the year-long opportunity brings the international experience full-circle.
“The concept is to provide global career opportunities for our students,” Borg says. “It could make them more valuable in their marketability. We’re developing a niche in preparing students for teaching jobs beyond the Chicago area, and that gives us a competitive edge in Student Career Success.”