For the third year in a row the wonderful campus of Portland State University was the setting for the ALLEX Chinese and Japanese Teacher Training Institute for the summer of 2013. This seven week intensive teacher training program brought together the 45 ALLEX trainees from Japan, Taiwan and China who were preparing to go teach their language at American universities, plus 3 U.S.-based language teachers and graduate students who were interested in joining this unique course in Asian language pedagogy.
The goal of the program is to lay the theoretical foundation and provide the practical tools for Chinese or Japanese teachers to become effective and engaging teachers of their languages. It is a hands-on practice-based program, and effective methodology in teaching Chinese and Japanese to North Americans is emphasized. The ALLEX students had to work hard, taking classes five hours a day, five days a week, but all graduated the program with flying colors. Having the great city of Portland with its restaurants, parks and farmers markets, and the beaches and mountains of Oregon to play in on the weekends, brought some balance to their lives. And as happens every summer, life-long friendships were formed, the summer went by all too quickly, and there were lots of hugs and cell-phone snapshots as students took off for their new lives as teachers and students at universities all over the country.
The tremendous impact that ALLEX has on the teaching of East Asian languages can be gathered from a few statistics about our 2013 class. They will be teaching their language at 37 different universities, and this year, for the first time, an ALLEX teacher will be starting a Chinese program at a high school, in Oxford, Mississippi. At that school and at four other colleges the ALLEX instructor will be starting brand new Asian language programs. This means that over the last two years ALLEX has started ten new Chinese and Japanese programs at institutions in the U.S. Nineteen ALLEX teachers will be the sole teacher of their language at their schools.
Of the 38 institutions that ALLEX is serving in 2013, 17 are state universities, 10 are liberal arts colleges, 11 are private comprehensive universities, and 1 is a public high school. Schools in 20 states will be using our trainees. From Mississippi to Wisconsin, and Oregon to Maine, the wonderful young people who graduated from the ALLEX Teacher Training Institute are bringing Chinese and Japanese to students all across the U.S.
The ALLEX experience also has a huge impact on the lives our candidates: 27 of our trainees will be getting degrees (24 master’s; 3 second bachelor’s). Fields of study include: 7 Applied Linguistics/Asian Language Pedagogy/Japanese; 5 TESOL; 5 Education; 3 Poli Sci/International Relations; 2 Business; 2 Communication; and 1 each of Human Relations, East Asian Lang & Lit, and Community Arts. ALLEX participants gain unique experience as teachers of language at American universities, many get degrees, and all go on to have successful careers, built on the rigorous, challenging and exciting years in the ALLEX program. #