Archive for April, 2009

Revan: Emigrating from Iraq

April 30, 2009

hedo-image001On April 22, the Brattleboro Reformer ran a front-page article highlighting the life of MAT graduate Revan Hedo and his family after they moved to the U.S. from Iraq.

Iraqi refugees thank Vermonters for their help
By BOB AUDETTE, Reformer Staff

Wednesday, April 22
BRATTLEBORO — When the first Iraqi-American was born in Brattleboro last year, his parents were in limbo.

While the child was guaranteed a life in the United States by virtue of his birth, his parents were worried that one day they would have to return to the Middle East — with or without their son — when their visas expired. (more…)

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Teacher Training and Professional Development Institute

April 27, 2009

Susan BarduhnSusan Barduhn, in addition to everything else she does, directs the Teacher Training and Professional Development Institute, known on campus as TTI.  She entices us with this announcement of the courses available in June.

The Teacher Training and Professional Development Institute serves teachers from around the world who want to continue their professional growth.  Originally attracting MAT alumni who wanted to come back to campus for a week or two or to study online with some of their favorite professors, TTI now have a much larger following.  Last year, whole teams of senior teachers came from language institutes and universities in Peru and Japan.

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Akisha: Using My MAT in Mozambique

April 23, 2009

akisha-pearmanAkisha Pearman, MAT 38 (2006-07), describes her work, her joys, and her teaching in Mozambique in a program sponsored by the US State Department.  Working around internet connection problems, Akisha sent this post by cellphone through Facebook to reach the blog.

While writing my portfolio the summer after classes ended, a kind reader/editor and former MAT classmate found that I had incorrectly described my degree at SIT as being a Masters in the Art of Teaching.  At first I thought I wrote it by accident but after some thinking I kinda liked the way it sounded.  I do think teaching can be described as an art.  In addition to teaching I am passionate about the art of photography; that magical little rectangle (or square) can tell so many stories and can be used a great conversation piece, subject for analysis and critical thinking, or illustration for grammatical points.  I got to put my two loves for “art” into practice last year in Mozambique as an English Language Fellow for the US State Department. (more…)

Wangari Maathai Speaks in Brattleboro

April 20, 2009
Taking Root
Taking Root

On Saturday, April 11, Nobel peace laureate and World Learning Trustee Emerita Wangari Maathai answered audience questions and signed copies of her book, The Challenge for Africa, at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro.

Current MAT student Elisabeth Yesko was among many who attended the event and shares her thoughts and impressions here.

Maathai’s work has been documented by filmmakers Lisa Merton (MAT alumna, 1989) and Alan Dater.  This film will be broadcast in the US on PBS stations in April 2009.

For more on Maathai’s work, visit The Green Belt Movement.

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English Language Education in US Public Schools

April 16, 2009

The past decade has seen a dramatic increase of English Language Learners (ELLs) in US public schools.  The debate about how to best serve the needs of immigrant populations continues.  The March 14 New York Times, story “Where Education and Assimilation Collide,” part of the “Remade in America” series, examines one school outside of Washington, D.C., which runs an insulated ELL program.  It was a wonderful article for generating discussion and I encourage anyone interested in this issue to read it.

For me, the article provokes more questions than it provides answers.  Below, I share my questions after reading the article.  I welcome your ideas, questions, and discussion. (more…)

Kevin: My Photo Exhibition

April 13, 2009

gokukuji-1An American, a Korean, and an Omani walk into a bar…  It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it was a typical Friday evening in Brattleboro. (more…)

TESOL Conference Experience

April 9, 2009
mats-at-denver-tesol2

MAT Students and Professor Pat Moran in Denver at TESOL 2009

This year seven current MAT students presented at the TESOL pre-conference Graduate Student Forum (2 papers and 5 poster sessions).  Thirteen SIT students attended the conference.

For many of us, it was our first TESOL conference experience.  What I kept hearing over and over again during and after the conference from my classmates was “wonderful,” “exciting,” and “exhausting.” (more…)

Diane: My New Job

April 7, 2009

Together with SIT, please congratulate alumna Diane Takaya Brown (SMAT 22, 2003-04) on a new teaching position.  She is the first non-Japanese and the first woman to be offered a 5-year teaching contract at Sapporo University.  (more…)