Reflection from UNAM professor on CESL's Content Area Teacher Training (CATT)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

By Roberto Alfonso Valdivia.

Visiting Professor from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Spring 2016

Globalization is a trend that has been here for a few decades. The global integration in economy, society, culture and education is creating an impact all over the world, this united without boundaries trend has some opposition and promoters and has become clear that the planet’s “Lingua Franca” is English.

English is used in business, research, commerce, tourism and education as a common ground for the exchange of ideas and negotiations. Education as well, is keeping up with this trend and many nonnative English speaking universities and colleges have incorporated English content classes aiming to include and expand their global interaction.

I am a Professor at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) at the business faculty in Mexico City. The university specially this faculty has incorporated several classes for undergraduate students and a Diploma for graduate students taught entirely in English (English content classes).

I've been part of this English content classes project for 3 years, and somehow with good results and success. Before coming to the CATT program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, I thought English content classes could be handle and taught as a regular classes are being taught in Spanish. Now I've realized that is not entirely true. 

During my stay at the University of Arizona new perspectives and insights were incorporated into developing better, more assertive and comprehensively teaching methods. The program encourages non English speaking professors to develop attitudes and attitudes towards English content classes and trough the different subjects provided by the CATT program for nonnative English speaker professors, I was able to increase the way to address the most significant issues and problems faced on a class, reflect on the advantages of teaching content in English, how to modify teaching materials, how to perfect student assessment, even the main differences in context and grammar between English and Spanish.

The CATT program development allows to link professional experience with the class contents all of the subjects taken also created bridges between them and my professional work as a Professor. The University of Arizona also provides the perfect environment and infrastructure to have an exponential growth in the classes taken and create connections and work relations between Professors colleagues from different areas. I do believe the program promoted my abilities in different areas and help me to become a better English content class professor.