HU Begins Five-Year Commitment in China

The Institute for TESOL Studies at Huntington University has signed a five-year agreement to continue training English teachers in Doumen, a city in China’s Guangdong Province.

Since 2007, Huntington University has provided a three-week training camp to English teachers currently in the country to help them better teach the language. The camp trains approximately 80 teachers each summer and also offers a two-week English camp for children. The children’s camp provides valuable practice time for the teachers.

“We’ve trained over 500 teachers who are now beginning to offer training in their own schools,” said Dr. Luke Fetters (right), director of the Institute for TESOL Studies (ITS). TESOL is the acronym for “Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages.”

The five-year contract, which begins in 2011, allows ITS to consistently work with the Doumen School District in the southern Guangdong Province of China. The relationship will hopefully open doors for an educational exchange between the schools in China and the Huntington County school system, as well as opportunities for Chinese teachers and students to study at Huntington University.

“It gives us the opportunity to plan for the future in ways that are strategic for the training that we deliver and the cultural exchange that we hope to foster,” Fetters said.

Even though Huntington University’s relationship with the Chinese schools began in the early 1990s, the teacher training camp was not officially offered until 2007. Valerie Geer (right), associate director of ITS, has been involved each year in the teacher training camps in China.

Through ITS, a group of Huntington University and community educators, along with HU students and other volunteers, travel to China each summer to provide professional development to Chinese teachers who teach English in those schools. The students and other volunteers then help operate the children’s camp which teaches the children English through lessons and other fun activities.

ITS was established by Huntington University in 2009. The program offers certification to students as well as local teachers.

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