UNC Charlotte Welcomes Group of Teachers from Brazil

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On January 17, The Office of International Programs (OIP) welcomed and will be hosting a group of 38 English Language teachers from Brazil to UNC Charlotte for a six-week professional development program, known as the Programa de Desenvolvimento Profissional para Professores de Lingua Inglesa nos EUA, or PDPI. The teachers will be in Charlotte through mid-February and as they settle in they are learning to traverse campus via light rail and bus as well as familiarizing themselves with the dining halls and some of Charlotte’s favorite eateries.

UNC Charlotte was selected to host this cohort of Brazilian teachers as part of a strategic plan to improve English language teaching and teacher training, a collaboration between the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES), the Fulbright Commission in Brazil, and the Institute of International Education. This is the third and final cohort associated with this grant funded program. OIP also coordinated groups in 2018 and 2019.

This professional training program focuses on improving the teachers’ spoken English, exposing them to new teaching methodologies and technological tools to incorporate into their classes in Brazil, exposure to U.S. culture and history, and the opportunity to connect with other teachers and students.

The Brazilian teachers, early to mid-career professionals primarily at the secondary school level (including a limited number of elementary and middle school teachers represented in the group), initially intended to embark on this initiative in 2020 but were delayed due to COVID. The participants originate from various parts of Brazil and did not know each other prior to selection for the program, but they connected via chat groups and met for the first time in person in São Paulo for their pre-departure orientation ahead of their departure for the U.S.

This comprehensive program includes a robust and multi-dimensional schedule: professional development coursework and workshops, visits to two Charlotte-area high schools, activities on and off campus to explore U.S. culture, and a volunteer experience at Jamil Niner Student Pantry are some of the components of the immersive program. OIP has many individuals to thank for the planning and implementation of this incredible program, including faculty from the Cato College of Education and OIP’s English Language Training Institute, a team of student Program Assistants who also act as campus ambassadors, and a multitude of campus staff and community members.

If you see this group around campus, please give them a warm Niner welcome.