42 New IAPEañeros complete the IAPE Inspiring English Teacher I
On Thursday, September 14, 42 new IAPEañeros completed the residential component of the IAPE Inspiring English Teacher I program. For ten days, the English language educators, who came from 17 Mexican states from Chihuahua to Chiapas, were immersed in a dynamic, intensive session focused on bolstering their English skills and learning and practicing to implement the Rassias® Method’s philosophy and several of its techniques in their classrooms.
IAPE Academic Coordinator Raúl López, who directs these workshops, explains that the purpose of IAPE Inspiring English Teacher I is to help teachers better their level of English “through master classes, cultural activities, and drills [dynamic verbal exercises]” that help teachers shape their use of grammar, vocabulary, and speech. “Their brains are literally bombarded with so much information during the first eight days,” López says, “and during the last days of the program we teach them [to use] the Rassias techniques.” In addition, the program holds planning sessions that help participants integrate these techniques into their lesson plans as well as help them prepare more effective classes.
On the last day of the program, the participants took the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and taught a simulated class in which they applied the Rassias techniques they have learned. Finally, the teachers received a letter recognizing their participation in this first phase of the program. They have then three years to complete their service commitment to public education, a commitment guided and supported by a mentor. This commitment “is not so much with us – Educando – but with education. It includes utilizing the Rassias methodology, participating in the virtual community that we have, and attending workshops,” Raúl commented.
Student-Teacher Connection for Successful Learning
The Rassias methodology includes more than 50 techniques that reinforce language learning. “But more than anything, it is a complete inspiration,” comments IAPE coordinator López. “It is feeling integrated in a community, feeling the connection that the student should have with the teacher, connecting ourselves to one another with our emotions and our senses to learn the language because without that connection there is no successful learning.”
The instructor explains that the foundation of this methodology is the understanding that the language should be spoken to be learned, in the same way we begin to speak our native tongue.
“The Rassias philosophy helps us discover our weaknesses and strengths. It helps us know who we are and what we are capable of doing, and how we are going to help our students lose the fear of committing mistakes and make sure that they will feel like the stars of the show and that they will not feel threatened in any way,” he concluded.