Global engagement is essential for teachers to learn how to teach for tomorrow. In North Carolina, the State Board of Education approved the Global Educator Digital Badge for Teachers policy in 2014 to recognize teachers’ global engagement efforts in education.
In Spring 2019, teacher candidates participating in the UNCG TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program had a unique opportunity to engage in an international collaboration project with teachers in Chincha, Peru.
With a growing need of English instruction in Peru, teachers began to be required to start teaching English in 2017 throughout the primary and secondary school settings. Many teachers are looking for quality professional development to be better prepared for English instruction. This is especially the case in rural areas in Peru where access to quality English instruction may be a challenge.
With the support of the JBQ Charitable Foundation, the TICA (Tecnología para Inglés entre las Comunidades de América) initiative was established to connect teachers in the United States with teachers in Peru. In Spring 2019, the first online teacher customized collaboration project was initiated involving teacher candidates at UNCG and teachers from 4 rural schools in Peru.
Through this experience, participating teachers share their language learning and teaching experiences, utilize TESOL instructional strategies and resources, and develop intercultural awareness and cross-cultural communication skills.
Many teachers participating in this project commented on the positive impact of this mutual teaching and learning experiences. It was inspiring to see teachers from both countries overcome technology challenges, actively engage in both synchronous and asynchronous online discussions and collaborations, and explore future collaborative opportunities beyond the project.
Special thanks to JBQ Charitable Foundation, Project EnACTeD at the School of Education (SOE), SOE Instructional Technology Support Office, participating UNCG instructors, JBQ facilitators, and all teacher participants from UNCG and Peru!