Distance learning at an international level

2021. March 02. - 15:30 The Institute of English and American Studies of the UD and Indiana University, USA, will launch a joint Hungarian-American virtual language learning program and linguistic research seminar in the spring. The program involves 37 first-year, undergraduate, teaching major and master students.

In the program, 15 teaching majors from Indiana University (Bloomington) teach Debrecen students for 8 weeks through Zoom as part of a course that is indispensable for graduating as language teachers.

The aim of the language learning program is to develop oral communication skills in topics that will be useful in students' later careers and work. In the framework of a linguistic research seminar, the oral skills required in academic life can be developed in various situations, including academic exchanges of views or conference presentations.

The Anglo-American Institute had previously, although not in the framework of a similar curriculum, collaborated with Texas A&M University in the United States, with students in teacher training there talking weekly to the Anglo-American Institute’s teaching majors and English studies students.

- At the Institute of English and American Studies, it is our goal to train teachers and other professionals who speak English confidently and to a high standard. Such cooperation helps us to achieve all this. In addition to improving language skills, we also provide opportunities for our students to gain multicultural experience and communicate with native speakers without having to travel to another country, especially now, which would be particularly difficult to organize due to the pandemic, Balázs Venkovits, director of the institute, told hirek.unideb.hu.

Coordinator of the current initiative is Éva Kardos of the University of Debrecen, who conducted research as a PhD student at Indiana University in Bloomington in 2010, where she met Beatrix Burghardt, who runs the program in the United States. It is due to their personal relationship that the international course was able to start within the framework of the cooperation between the two universities.

Both programs began on February 13 with a language proficiency interview. Groups of 6 Debrecen students will be taught by two to three Bloomington students per group. The virtual language learning program and linguistics research seminar will end with an oral exam on April 24th.

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