Mérida, Yucatán — The Autonomous University of Yucatan has approached the Mérida English Library for help in providing a cultural and language experience for approximately 30 second-year students preparing to become English teachers.
In one of many programs, UADY trains young people to become English teachers, mostly in the public schools. A few of these students get financial assistance to go to the U.S. to have a language immersion experience. The scholarships available are very limited in number.
Students attending UADY, the state’s public university, are often the first in their families to pursue advanced degrees. They generally attend school all day from Monday through Friday and live at home with their families.
These 30 students would like to have 15 native English speakers help them have a first-hand experience with the English language and a foreign culture. The students have Saturdays free to spend time with English speakers, but other mutual times to meet can also be arranged. Two students will be paired with native English language speakers.
A great deal of flexibility is built into the program. The students need to have 20 contact hours with English speakers. The 20 hours can be arranged in different ways. For example, two students could visit early on a Saturday, go shopping with their host, as well as cook lunch, visit friends, go to a museum, see an English-language movie, watch football or play cards.
The students have four months in which to obtain the 20 contact hours, which is all that is required between January and May.
The students will be required to keep a journal with reflections on language and culture.
The UADY students will have signed permission slips from their family. Prior to starting the 20 contact hours, there will be a meeting at MEL with a UADY representative to answer questions and serve as a direct contact for families and students.
For more information, please contact Deborah Thompson at the Mérida English Library.