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OTHER ITA SITES:
Six Teachers from Spain to Teach in the Ohio Schools
Susan Tave Zelman, superintendent of public instruction for the Ohio schools, welcomed six visiting teachers from Spain, who will be teaching in the Ohio schools this coming school year.
Last year, the Ohio schools signed a memorandum of understanding with the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, Spain’s sponsor for the visiting international teacher program. The ministry started the program in 1986 and has since provided 1,500 visiting teachers to the United States. This is the first year of participation for the Ohio schools.
Spanish language educators have been in short supply in the Ohio schools, yet they are in critical demand in order to prepare Ohio schools’ students for their future and the new millennium. With only 200-225 foreign language teachers being graduated from the 25 or so Ohio colleges and universities, the Ohio schools see the visiting teacher program as a plus for everyone.
The visiting educators will teach their native language, culture and history to middle and high school students, while helping the school districts to expand or maintain their Spanish language programs. The teachers will, in return, gain a first-hand experience of American culture, improve their own English language proficiency, and develop new relationships that hopefully will be lasting ones.
The Ohio schools’ students will benefit greatly from the program, too. The National Governor’s Association already has called for state public school systems to expose their students to the global world in which they now live. The association believes that global thinking and learning is essential in the future of today’s students. The Ohio schools are accepting this challenge by participating in the visiting teacher program to ensure their students learn to speak another language, as well as understand and appreciate another culture.
Whether Ohio schools’ students work in the United States or abroad in the future, the exposure today will benefit them tomorrow. Of the U.S. population, 12 percent are Hispanic. Ohio’s own Hispanic community has grown from approximately 140,000 in 1990 to about 217,000 in 2000. Some states, such as Florida, Texas and California, have even greater communities of Hispanic residents.
Currently, only 45 percent of students across the nation take a foreign language in high school. Ohio’s Governor Taft has proposed that all Ohio schools’ students be required to take at least two years of foreign language study, though it is not yet a requirement.
The six educators that will teach in the Ohio schools during the 2006-2007 school year are:
• Maria Espada Blanco from Madrid, Spain. Maria will teach in the Constellation Community Schools in Parma, Cuyahoga County
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