Foreign Language



"Share Your Talent Outside the United States - - Summer 1998"

by William R. Eubank

Since 1992 Rotary International District Clubs have sponsored teachers from school districts, colleges, and universities as teachers of English in Mexico, Central America and South America through the rotary InterDistrict Teacher Exchange program. Teachers have been placed in over 35 different Spanish (and other FL) speaking communities.

The teachers learned practical Spanish. They also learned about the Hispanic culture, customs, history, and geography. This international experience provided teachers with greater empathy and understanding for Hispanic people and it prepared them to better serve students of Hispanic origins (and all international students) in their own schools.

Plans are being made now to place teachers again during the summer of 1998. Rotary Clubs in Mexico, Central America and South America are again requesting teachers. It is possible that this program will grow to include Spanish speaking and other language populations in other parts of the world as well.

In general, U.S. Rotary Clubs pay for the teacher's round trip transportation. The host Rotary Club provides room, board and local transportation for the teachers. Teachers do not need to speak Spanish to be included in this program.

The teachers are all volunteers and there is no charge for the students to take the course. The teachers provide the teaching materials and use "English As a Second Language" curriculum. Classes are generally taught to adults and can be set up according to size, type of student and/or existing language ability. In previous years classes have targeted workers in most phases of the tourist industry, government officials, business persons

You can learn more about the Rotary InterDistrict Teacher Exchange Program through this World Wide Web site http://www.RITE-Teacher.com/ The program has grown from two in 1992 to 100 in 1997. In 1998, as many as 150 teachers may be involved in exchange programs in Mexico, Central and South America. It could be the greatest summer you have spent teaching!

William R. Eubank's educational experiences includes teaching in Alaska, China, Hong Kong, Texas, Mexico and Argentina as well as service on local and state school boards. At the time he is living in the Kansas City area to assist in elder care with a parent and to further his education with computers. He is a contributor to infoZine Digital Magazine, CoSysop on a regional Bulletin Board, and Web Librarian for the Gibson Digital Library. He has developed fifty Web sites and posted more than 3,500 pages to the World Wide Web (in, English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, French, Polish, Russian and Spanish) since January 1996.

If you haven't visited the R.I.T.E. site, please give it a tour at http://www.RITE-Teacher.com/ It has information from the start of the program up to this summer. This program is not just limited to Spanish - we have had a teacher from Russia, and have sent one to Brazil - and all other language groups are possible - although they may take some time to set up.

Visit my page at http://www.EUBANK-WEB.com/William/ and take a look at some of my reports about summer sessions. I was involved at Cozumel, Playa and also Argentina.

This information was sent to Greg Swanson via e-mail late summer of 1997 and published by him in the Missouri Foreign Language Newsletter. Later in the year I was contacted by a Rotary Club President in Blue Springs. Two Spanish teachers from the Blue Springs area went to the Yucatan during the summer of 1998 as a result of this contact. One Spanish teacher from Raytown also went to Argentina under this program during June/July of 1998.

William R. Eubank Jr.

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William R. Eubank
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