Teachers from Iraq, China visit ASU to deepen understanding of English


August 27, 2013

Teacher Training Program also provides experience with American culture

Arizona State University’s American English and Culture Program, one of the largest intensive English as a second language (ESL) programs in the nation, is hosting two Teacher Training Programs this fall for academic professionals from Iraq and China.   Download Full Image

The training workshops are part of ASU’s efforts to engage with global partners and work with them to find solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.

Mark Rentz, director of the American English and Culture Program, says the group works with universities, embassies and ministries of education from around the world to offer customized programs and workshops to meet the needs of English language teachers at different levels of proficiency.

“Most teachers who visit us through the ESL Teacher Training Program are young individuals on the cusp of becoming critical influences on their students’ lives,” Rentz notes. “Our workshops combine instruction in American teaching methods with glimpses into American culture to offer immersive learning of the English language.”

Rentz says the program enables teachers from abroad to compare notes and absorb best practices from their American counterparts.

“In the U.S., we use the Socratic method of teaching that involves question and answer sessions to stimulate critical thinking,” Rentz notes. “As part of teacher-training classes and workshops, program participants observe interaction between ASU professors and their students from various fields, such as business, sustainability and education. The process helps them apply similar skills in their own classrooms.”

Additionally, classroom learning is accompanied by lessons in American culture through field visits.

“We seek to expand the classroom to reach into the local community,” Rentz explains. “ASU offers many opportunities to explore the arts, desert life, desert plants, and college and professional athletics. We take our guests on trips to museums, ballgames, nearby towns and cities, historic sites and even shopping malls. The idea is to provide participants ample opportunity to practice their language skills in real life situations.”

According to Rentz, the group of 25 teacher trainees, including English language instructors and graduate students from Iraq will participate in a six-week workshop, complete with extensive English lessons and homestays with American families to practice the language. The group’s visit was facilitated by a grant awarded by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

The Chinese group, comprised of professors representing nearly a dozen disciplines from Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, is partaking in a three-week program that involves meeting with their ASU counterparts, observing classes in their area of expertise and building English language skills for presentations and publications. The Chinese university has shared a familial relationship with ASU since 2006.

“Although the two groups from Iraq and China are quite different in terms of cultural background and resources, the goals for all these teachers are strikingly similar,” Rentz says. “They all want to better utilize English, technology and interactive teaching methods in the classroom, and maintain new friendships with the American colleagues and counterparts for years to come.”

The American English and Culture Program Teacher Training Program covers classes, seminars and workshops on topics such as key concepts of language teaching; teaching approaches, methods and techniques; best practices for teaching English as a second language; teacher language development; communicative language teaching; classroom management; and cultural patterns of language learning.

More information is available at https://international.asu.edu/aecp.

Media projects manager, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development

Hear from top business leaders during new Economic Club season


August 27, 2013

Top leaders from Sprint, U-Haul, Humana and Deloitte are among those headlining the new season of the Economic Club of Phoenix speaker series. Every year, Phoenix-area audiences are invited to attend the club’s luncheons and hear from some of the biggest names in the business world.

“We want to offer people in the Phoenix area the opportunity to hear directly from the heads of major local companies and international firms,” explains Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “In this series, they cover both what’s happening in their own companies and larger trends in the business arena.” Dean Amy Hillman Download Full Image

The Economic Club of Phoenix was founded by a group of prominent business executives called the Dean’s Council, in conjunction with the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The club is now the preeminent Arizona forum for the exchange of ideas about business and the economy. Its monthly luncheons and other activities offer business leaders and others a chance to network and engage.

This season’s speaker lineup (subject to change) is:

Thursday, Oct. 3 – Bruce Broussard, president and chief executive officer, Humana

Tuesday, Nov. 19 – Dan Burns, chief executive officer, Athletes’ Performance, and John Stobo, managing general partner, ABS Capital

Thursday, Jan. 23 – Joe Shoen, chief executive officer, U-Haul International & chairman and president, AMERCO

Thursday, Feb. 13 – Punit Renjen, chairman of the board, Deloitte

Tuesday, March 18 – Dan Hesse, chief executive officer, Sprint Corporation

Thursday, April 17 – Jim Davidson; co-founder, managing partner and managing director; Silver Lake Partners; Dean’s Council Executive of the Year

Thursday, May 8 – Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon

All luncheons run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The October event will take place at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, with the rest of the locations to be announced.

Non-members are welcome for a $75 luncheon fee. Funds in excess of the cost of lunch are used to support scholarships and faculty research at the W. P. Carey School of Business.

For more information about the club or to reserve seats, call (480) 727-0596, e-mail wpcarey.ecp@asu.edu or go to www.econclubphx.org.