Union College Faculty on Sabatical, Halifax, Nova Scotia
March 1, 2012
Prof. Hugo Freund of the social and behavioral sciences Department at Union College, Barbourville, KY returned from a year-long sabatical leave from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this Spring 2012.
It would be recalled that Hugo’s wife, Susan Isaacs, herself a professor of English and communication at Union College, earned a Fulbright as well before joining Union.
The Study Abroad team and especially the Fulbright GPA and the larger Union family congratulate and welcome the Freunds back and look forward to learning more about the Appalachia from the seasoned researchers.
Communiqué: French Educators Attend Prep Workshop for Field Trip to Cameroon, Africa
May 26, 2010
Les participants du voyage éducatif Fulbrightau Cameroun en Afrique ainsi que le directeur, Fidelis Achenjang se sont rencontrés pour la première fois le 21 et 22 mai 2010 à Union Collège, Barbourville, KY.
Les deux jours de formations ayant comme objectifs d’informer les participants sur l’histoire, la géographie, et la situation économique du Cameroun. En plus d’acquérir des connaissances sur l’Afrique, les participants ont eu l’occasion de se rencontrer et d’échanger leurs expériences personnelles de la langue française. En cette occasion, ils ont reçu les informations nécessaires en vu du départ pour le Cameroun prévu pour le 20 juin 2010.
Les participants ont aussi eu l’opportunité de rencontrer quelques membres du voyage au Cameroun effectué en 2007.
Annie Remillard, Johnson County, TN
With much anticipation and excitement, twelve teachers selected as Fulbright participants from the Appalachian region gathered at Union College for a pre-departure workshop preceding a 5-week stay in Cameroon, Africa. The intense and informative workshop was held on Friday and Saturday, May 21-22, at the Sharp Academic Center on Union College’s campus in Barbourville, KY.
Of the twelve selectees, two are senior French students from Bethany College, WV: FEDOR/Haley M & SUPPA/Joseph Christian. The other participants who were selected & attended the pre-departure orientation workshop are currently French/language teachers from various school districts/counties within the Appalachian region: DUNBAR/Megan of Hamilton County, TN; CLOYD/Elizabeth of Jessamine County, KY; NIYIRAGIRA/Oscar, DOTY/Joshua and EARLEY/Melissa of Jefferson County, KY; MATTINSON/Linda of Guilford County, NC; SHAFFER/Beth Ann of Berkeley County, WV; RICHARDS/Cynthia & JORDAN/Sara Rosemary of New Hanover County, NC; and REMILLARD/Annie of Johnson County, TN.
During the pre-departure workshop, Prof. Charles Jones of Union College (and ACA representative), along with Project Director Dr. Fidelis Achenjang, articulated for participants the project objectives, facts and details about the Cameroon and African culture, geography and history. The orientation workshop benefited its audience and helped prepare the participants for learning the culture, traditions and norms of the Cameroon society that they will be witnessing and experiencing firsthand.
Some participants from the FY2007 Fulbright Project to Cameroon, notably Starr and Kevin Rossman, Jamie VanCleave and some Cameroonians in Barbourville, KY, such as Mrs. Achenjang and daughter Joyce, Mr. Ernest Khumbah, and others, visited with the FY2010 Fulbright participants at the workshop to share their wisdom and advice to better prepare them for the culture shock, living conditions and meaningful interactions with Cameroon natives that they are going to experience in less than a month.
The exchange of pertinent information that took place in the Sharp Academic Center in the form of maps, photographs, authentic Cameroonian media and music clips, newspaper articles, and lectures given by previous participants and some of Union College’s faculty that have partaken in similar curriculum-development projects in the past, made the orientation workshop invaluable to its audience. It was the cultural information and stories recounted by Prof. Charles Jones and Dr. Fidelis Achenjang that proved to be particularly insightful to the participants, as well as the travel and practical living advice given by the FY2007 Fulbright participants. The orientation workshop was also an opportunity for this year’s selectees to complete all official forms and documentation associated with the project, such as visa entry and vaccination forms, university applications, travel-packing checklist and the IRIS reporting requirements, with the guidance and assistance of the Project Director. Language proficiency tests were administered, along with self-assessments that participants completed with regards to their own projected proficiency in the French language, which is one of the official languages in multi-lingual Cameroon. Participants were also able to use this time to bond together by sharing their own experiences with international travel, the French language and their goals for the trip and general questions about the Fulbright project in Africa.
The 5-week educational journey on which the participants will embark from mid-June to late July is grant-funded by the Fulbright Program through the U.S. Department of Education and is intended to improve the pedagogical methods, linguistic skills and cultural awareness of its participants. The resulting curriculum that will be developed by the Fulbright participants will be targeted toward K-12 French students in an effort to integrate Francophone African culture into the current content covered in French class. This immersion opportunity is sure to benefit all selectees as well as the students of the Appalachian region that will profit from the authentic curriculum developed by the participants upon their return from Cameroon.
t would be recalled that, Kentucky, KY is making a great effort to improve its school systems and to provide increasingly better educational opportunities and content in order to continue raising the capacity of its human capital. In 2000, the KY Department of Education began an initiative for foreign language learning in their schools. The work in progress strongly encourages participation in international study and educational exchange programs, as well as the development of global communication skills, understanding, and the preparation of curriculum materials to meet KY goals and academic expectations in the Arts and Humanities. Union College is located in the southeast KY region of Appalachia.
Melissa Earley, Jefferson County, KY
Gearing Up for Africa Pre-Trip Workshop
May 3, 2010
Twelve current and future French teachers from principally Southeastern Appalachia who have been pre-selected as Fulbright participants for a 5-week intensive GPA curriculum development project in bilingual Cameroon this summer are gearing up for a pre-departure workshop. The choice of participants was an easy sell in comparison to a similar GPA in FY2007 perhaps because of the significance French enjoys as a modern global language. Our diverse participants come from Berkeley county, WV; Guilford county, NC; New Hanover County, NC; Jessamine county, KY; Jefferson county, KY; Hamilton county, TN; and Johnson county, TN.
The participants are scheduled to meet for the pre-departure workshop at the Sharp Academic Centre of Union College, May 21-22. During the workshop, participants would develop group norms andreceive several de-briefings and talks from FY2007 former Fulbright participants to prepare their current attitude, emotions and physical responses following the excitement they “enjoy” following their selection for the prestigious program. Additionally, they will have a first taste of the French language brewed (modernized?) in an African-Cameroonian pot, calledcamfranglais; a complex hybrid or composite slang principally for youth and adolescent interests that employs various techniques of word formation including borrowing from other languages (gombo, mbambe & booze), coinage (vrai-de dieu), inversion (reme), compounding (manage mille), abbreviations (BH), shortening (asso) or reduplication (penya-penya). Here are some examples: tout le monde hate me; je ne lap pas avec toi, il fia même quoi? Participants have been provided with 2 key articles on Cameroon: A Linguistic Labyrinth with Evolving Innovationsfor a head-start on the workshop and GPA taken from Echu, George et al. (eds.); Official Bilingualism and Linguistic Communication in Cameroon- Bilinguisme officiel et communication linquistique au Cameroun (1999) Peter Lang publications.
The trip which is grant-funded entirely by Union College and the US Department of Education will enable participants to develop their language, cultural and pedagogical skills; resulting in k-12 curriculum change via incorporation of francophone Africa into their program. We also envisage better communication between the Appalachian zone higher educational institutions and the public school systems.
Union College and the Fulbright team wish all participants and Africanist speakers a Bon Voyage to the pre-departure preparation and orientation workshop that promises to be intense and pro-active to enable each participant to benefit as fully as possible from their experience abroad. If you require some information, the workshop agenda or project abstract, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 606-546 1275.
K-12 French Teachers: Invited to cost-free 5-week Study in Africa
March 22, 2010
Union College extends a special invitation to all current and future K-12 French teachers in Central Appalachia (covering TN, NC, WV, VA and KY school districts) to enjoy a 5-week language and cultural trip to multilingual Cameroon, Africa as part of a Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) program.
Any interested applicant should submit a motivational letter of intent, a current resume and a support letter from the principal or school superintendent describing how the individual and school district will benefit from their participation. The documents can be submitted to Prof. Fidelis Achenjang, Project Director, by email,email@example.com or fax at 606-546 1636 before April 25. If you prefer postal mail, send to 310 College St. CPO 819, Barbourville, KY 40906.
Tentatively, a pre-departure orientation to establish a “group spirit” for selected applicants is scheduled for May 21-22 and the trip set for June 20 – July 25. The program which will pay for participants’ airfare, lodging and food expenses will help participants develop their language, cultural, and pedagogical skills so that they may become a resource to better serve the needs of the students in their classes, schools and districts. If you request, the overseas study experience can count for up to 6 graduate credits in Education.
Union College is a four-year private liberal arts college affiliated with The United Methodist Church and located in Barbourville, KY. For additional information, contact Prof. Achenjang by phone, 606-546 1275 or email, Prof. Charles Jones at 606-546-1283 or visit www.unionky.edu.
Be It Known
July 15, 2009
Did you know French is an official language of NAFTA, Canada; the United Nations, UN; World Health Organization, WHO; International Red Cross, International Olympic Committee, other countries and organizations?
Did you know French is a heritage language of the United States, and the only language besides English that is taught in every country of the world?
Did you know that there are an estimated 175 million speakers of French around the world, 100 million occasional speakers and 100 million students?
Inviting Teachers from Central Appalachia…
June 18, 2009
Union College is encouraging and developing knowledge of the French language and francophone cultures; fostering cultural, intellectual, and artistic exchanges between the US and French-speaking or Francophone Cameroon, Africa.
If you can speak and do or plan to teach French and especially like a study abroad opportunity, and you work or live in Central Appalachia (KY, NC, TN, VA, WV) please telephone 606-546 1275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com as soon as possible for more information.