Tuesday, April 14, 2009

About American Universities

Last year, I met Professor Mónica Dominguez Mulholland through one of my blogs for language teachers. Since she teaches Spanish at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, I thought it would be a good idea to carry out a short exchange with her class to learn a bit more about university life in the USA.

In the TOEFL iBT we have listening and short readings related to different campus situations and we've discussed some of the differences with our system as well. Let's take this opportunity to exchange information with the protagonists! The discussion has already started in Spanish on their blog: Spanish is Fun - Proyecto Internacional, so let's move on to English now.

Here goes the first question to get started:
In my case, it is related to the faculty (professors). How are office hours assigned? Do they depend on the number of courses each professor has? Are these hours also offered online? In Argentina, professors do not have office hours as a part of their daily work schedule. According to the material we've read and listened to, office hours seem to be a great idea since students can discuss their questions in depth and professors can address the specific needs of individual students. Do students take advantage of this extra time?

I look forward to your answers ... and to more questions, of course!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Great Expectations

So, here we are starting a new TOEFL year! I'm sure when you first entered the classroom on a Saturday morning you had a lot of questions: Will I be able to prepare for the TOEFL test in one semester? Do we need a textbook?, What does Blended mean?; and so did I : Will I be able to connect to my students this year?, Are they really motivated to prepare for the TOEFL challenge?, Will they like me?

After two years teaching both the regular and the blended courses, this year I'm only teaching the Blended one. If our virtual platform extends the walls of our physical classroom, this blog will be another online meeting spot where we'll be able to go even beyond the limits of our virtual learning environment. Reaching further and further ahead!

Let's make the most of our TOEFL experience!

Photo: Great Expectations