CATT in Brazil

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Content Area Teacher Training (CATT) in Brazil

By Jim Epstein, CESL Faculty.

Fortaleza is a city of over 3 million in the northeast of Brazil.  The private University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR) sprawls across a lush campus with monkeys, emus, peacocks and ducks, and students from across the world.  The University teaches a number of courses in English, which has attracted students from Korea, Japan, Germany, France and even the US.  Its plan is to offer more and more courses, even full degree programs, in English to make it a truly international university.  

Toward this end, 25 UNIFOR professors from a variety of departments have just completed, in late June, a 6-week course with CESL faculty to help prepare them for the challenge of EMI (English Medium Instruction).  For the first and last week of this CATT (Content Area Teacher Training) program, several CESL instructors went to UNIFOR for on-site training.  The middle 4 weeks were done on-line.  

I was lucky enough to lead the on-site final week, which was highlighted by UNIFOR professors teaching 30-minute lessons in their area of expertise, using the methods and techniques they learned to make the content more accessible to their non-native speaking students.  We capped off the week (and the end of the program) with an animated 6-hour lunch/celebration!

"CESL makes active students rather than passive students. Students must give opinions, argue and even sing in order to practice the new language."