Fulbright foreign language teachers get crash course in American culture and academics

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The University of Notre Dame will host its fifth annual Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) orientation for the coming academic year, bringing foreign language teachers from 28 countries (representing 21 languages) to campus Aug. 10 to 14 (Tuesday to Saturday) for a series of workshops designed to enhance their teaching in the United States. The program also will introduce them to important features of American culture in preparation for their teaching experiences across the country.

Most of these scholars have never been to the U.S. and will participate in workshops covering everything from how to prepare a syllabus to the rules of American football. See the schedule of events for a complete list of workshops as well as other orientation details.

Notre Dame is one of only five universities selected by Fulbright and the U.S. State Department to host such an orientation. Upon completion, the teachers will travel to their host institutions, where they will teach undergraduate foreign languages.

“Hosting this event not only places Notre Dame at the center of Fulbright’s foreign language program, but it underscores our leadership and accentuates our expertise and reputation as foreign language teachers,” said orientation director Brian Ó Conchubhair, associate professor in the University’s Department of Irish Language and Literature. “Notre Dame will serve as the gateway to their American experience and will shape how they perceive the United States.”

The FTLA participants come from Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chechnya, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Russia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Languages represented are Malay, Tagalog, Spanish, Uzbek, Turkish, Arabic, Tajik Russian, Korean, Swahili, Japanese, Irish, Indonesian, German, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Dari/Persian, and Pashtu/Dari.

The orientation is organized and funded by the Fulbright Commission, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the Institute for International Education.

Contact: Brian Ó Conchubhair, 574-631-0499 oconchubhair.1@nd.edu