Delegates from the Universidad de Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico visited the West Virginia University campus April 4-9 as part of a partnership with the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.
Troy Crawford, professor in the Department of Languages at the Universidad de Guanajuato, travelled to Morgantown with two language graduate students, Elizabeth Flores and Rosario García, as part of the accreditation process for the Universidad’s Applied Linguistics in English Language Teaching master’s degree program. Accreditation from the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology requires that the program extend through international borders.
Crawford and his colleagues decided to collaborate with WVU because of a long term partnership with the University that began in the 1980s.
“We felt that this would be a good starting place, because of that longstanding relationship,” Crawford said.
During their visit, Crawford and his students visited various classes in the Master’s Degree in Teaching English, Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and the Intensive English programs.
“You can feel isolated [at your university]. If you’re working and studying in a program where your world is just the school that you are going to, it gives you a very limited view of your profession and what you’re doing.
“By getting to go out and go to another university, it gives you an idea – ‘Wait, there’s somebody in another place, in another country, that’s experiencing some of the same frustrations, some of the the difficulties that I am facing. They’re having some of the same successes that I’m having.’ It opens up how you see your profession and how [students] see the whole idea of language teaching,” Crawford said.
Flores and García also presented research Friday, April 8.
Flores’ presentation, “Perceptions of a Constructionist Approach in a Bilingual School Community,” discusses how teachers do not necessarily follow the set curriculum for teaching in a bilingual classroom.
In her presentation, “Exploring Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers’ Beliefs Toward Classroom Management in Relation to Teaching Practice,” García addressed how pre-service and in-service teachers view moments of transition within their careers.
“Both of our universities are very interested in internationalization and student mobility,” Ángel Tuninetti, chair of the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, said.
In the future, Crawford and Tuninetti said that they would like to see students and faculty from both universities travel between the institutions.
“We want students to have a chance to see something different. What incurs in that, I don’t think really matters,” Crawford said. “I know it’s going to be positive.”