Monday, April 20, 2009

ELF Highlights: Medellin and Pereira

Name: Erin Lowry
State of Residence: Ohio
Country: Colombia
Host Institution: Centro Colombo Americano Manizales

Highlight 14

Date: April 14, 2009
Title: Colombo Medellin Teachers Learn About New Technologies for Language Teaching
Participants: 78

On April 14, teachers at the Centro Colombo Americano in Medellin received 4 two-hour workshops from Senior English Language Fellow Erin Lowry. In the first set of workshops, titled EFL 2.0: An Overview of Technology for Teaching English, teachers were encouraged to share their beliefs about the use of various types of technologies in the teaching of foreign languages, and were given a general introduction to using tools such as blogs, wikis, webquests, and digital scrapbooking with their classes. In the second set of workshops, Implementing EFL 2.0, Colombo teachers were able to try out some of these tools and brainstorm ideas for implementing them in their teaching.

Highlight 15

Date: April 16 & 17, 2009
Title: Teachers in Pereira Learn About New Technologies for Language Teaching
Participants: 56

Senior English Language Fellow Erin Lowry traveled to Pereira to impart workshops to teachers at the Centro Colombo Americano and English language teachers in the city’s public school system. On April 16, ELF Lowry worked with a group of 40 school teachers on how to find and develop authentic listening activities for their classrooms. In small groups, the teachers created lesson plans and activity outlines to go along with songs and podcasts, and explored how they as language teachers can take advantage of online opportunities for developing their learners' listening skills using authentic audio materials. Ideas for creating interactive listening activities for large classes were also discussed. The next morning, Colombo Pereira teachers shared their ideas for integrating technology in the English language classroom and tried out various different free, online tools for teaching language.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Parque Nacional Los Nevados

Edwin got here (Manizales) last Saturday for two and a half week vacation that includes semana santa.  Although most of the week has consisted of playing with the new Macbook and watching movies, we also made it up to Parque Nacional Los Nevados.

Every morning when I get up, I look out the window to see if I can see the Nevado de Ruiz (which actually happens maybe once every ten days if I'm lucky).  The park runs throughout parts of the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio, and Tolima, and has three major peaks that are snow-covered: Ruiz, Tolima, and Santa Isabel.  On the first day we went up to the glacier-covered part of Ruiz, which is over 15,000 feet high.  I was proud of myself that I didn't get altitude sickness, but Edwin didn't feel so great.  We stayed two nights at El Cisne, which was chilly but fun (except for the the ghost stories that Edwin and Camilo told that didn't let me sleep).  The second day we went to Laguna Verde...nice, but foggy!

I'm sorry that I waited this long to go to the park, and will be sure to go back the next long weekend we have!