English teacher Edmilson Leal de Oliveira, representing São Gonçalo dos Campos and Conceição da Feira
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English teacher Edmilson Leal de Oliveira represents São Gonçalo dos Campos and Conceição da Feira
On January 10, 11 and 12 a group of 540 Brazilian teachers left for the United States to attend the PDPI Program – a Development Program for Teachers of English. The 6-week intensive program seeks to train English teachers from public schools as well as to strengthen the bilateral relations between Brazil and the United States. English teacher Edmilson Leal de Oliveira, representing São Gonçalo dos Campos and Conceição da Feira in Bahia, participated in the last cohort of the program. Edmilson Leal de Oliveira went to Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Edmilson says “this was a fantastic and rewarding experience - learning to use and practice the English language in loco and being able to experience the everyday life in America”. "I will continue to work and study so that sometime very soon I will be able to return. The Governments of Brazil and the United States are to be congratulated for the initiative.” The program was a partnership between the U.S and the Brazilian Governments, which provided the candidates with the necessary financial support so that they could travel to the United States and study at a university there. The following benefits were offered:
Issuance of the J-1 visa by the U.S. Consulate in Recife, Brazil at no cost;
Round trip airline tickets - domestic and international flights;
Allowance in the amount of US $500;
Transportation from the airport / university / airport;
Accommodation on campus;
All textbooks and material to be used in the courses.
If Edmilson Leal were to fund this experience, he would have to spend approximately US $21,000 (twenty-one thousand dollars).
“Playing properly with a Clean Environment”
One of the papers presented by the teacher in the city of New Orleans was about a project called “Playing properly with the Environment”, also presented in his city of São Gonçalo dos Campos in 2010.
For the project all schools – students and teachers - in the city participated in a big competition. The results obtained were satisfactory: about 1,000 tons of recyclable waste was removed from the city streets. The competition also managed to show the participants how hard it was to practice social responsibility and sustainability. “It is a shame that this work has been discontinued,” said Edmilson.
Professor Beth Larkin showed great interest in the project and at the end of Edmilson’s presentation even joked with the teacher, asking if he would be interested in helping her to apply the same concept in the city of New Orleans.
All teachers who participate in the program have to successfully pass the TOEFL ITP (Test of English as a Foreign Language - Institutional Testing Program), a test that measures the candidates’ level of English. Taking the TOEFL ITP is a requirement.
The PDPI program takes place twice a year. Candidates take the examination in February to travel to the United States in June; and in August to travel in January. Those interested in participating in the program must access the site - http://www.fulbright.org.br. The site reports that there will be no calls for the program in June 2014. The next call is scheduled for the second semester of 2014, and the participants will travel in January 2015.
São Gonçalo Now / Sandro Araújo