The University of Notre Dame will host its sixth annual Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) orientation for the coming academic year, bringing foreign language teachers from 30 countries to campus Aug. 11 to 15 (Tuesday to Saturday) for a series of workshops designed to enhance their teaching in the United States. The program also will introduce them to important features of American culture in preparation for their teaching experiences across the country.
The featured speaker for this year’s event will be Anita McBride, chair of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board member and executive in residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University’s School of Public Affairs. McBride previously served from 2005-09 as assistant to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush.
Most of the scholars participating in this year’s orientation have never been to the U.S. and will participate in workshops covering everything from how to prepare a syllabus to the rules of American football. See the schedule of events for a complete list of workshops as well as other orientation details.
Notre Dame is one of only five universities selected by Fulbright and the U.S. State Department to host such an orientation. Upon completion, the teachers will travel to their host institutions, where they will teach undergraduate foreign languages.
“Hosting this event not only places Notre Dame at the center of Fulbright’s foreign language program, but it underscores our leadership and accentuates our expertise and reputation as foreign language teachers,” said Brian Ó Conchubhair, orientation director and associate professor in the University’s Department of Irish Language and Literature. “Notre Dame will serve as the gateway to their American experience and will shape how they perceive the United States.”
The FTLA participants come from Afghanistan, Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chechnya, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
The orientation is organized and funded by the Fulbright Commission, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the Institute for International Education.