Salve Regina welcomes Fulbright language teaching assistants
Marion Gayraud of France and Douglas Lopez of Venezuela are teaching foreign languages at Salve Regina, living on campus in the Language House and taking courses at the University as Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program recipients for 2017-2018.
In addition to their classroom work, Gayraud and Lopez will facilitate weekly language tables for members of the campus community and the public, will screen weekly film nights and will introduce foreign language instruction with assistance from Salve undergraduates for elementary school students at Newport’s Pell Elementary School.
When applying for the Fulbright program, both Gayraud and Lopez selected Salve Regina as their first choice, primarily because its on-campus Language House enhances opportunities for cultural exchange. Students currently living there have backgrounds from Syria, Germany, Peru, Chile, Ecuador and the U.S.
“The other universities did not propose a Language House immersion program for students,” Gayraud said. “Learning a language at the university is not enough. You need to practice outside class. The Language House is the best way to practice in a different way; you can practice normal daily life conversation.”
Gayraud, a French native, is bilingual in Spanish and English. She has lived and studied in Spain and London and taught French at a primary school in the Czech Republic. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in international relations with a specialization in terrorism. “I would like to work in diplomacy so the Fulbright program was a very good opportunity for me because I can share my French culture and at the same time learn the American culture,” she said.
Lopez has been teaching English at the university level in Venezuela for seven years. He has a bachelor’s degree in teaching English as a foreign language and a master’s degree in higher education. “I love helping people learn for life. That’s my vision,” he said. “Being a teacher has been the most amazing challenge and Fulbright has changed my life. I see things in a different way than I did in the past. I love sharing my heritage, and I was so excited when I received the good news that Salve Regina would be my host university.”
Language tables: Informal French and Spanish conversation tables are open to anyone in the community at large, and are offered in the lobby area outside Global Cafe on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Mondays, French is offered at noon and Spanish is offered at 1 p.m. On Wednesdays, Spanish is offered at noon and French is offered at 1 p.m.
Topics are circulated prior to each session to help participants prepare basic vocabulary. “We try to talk about topics of our daily life, hobbies, the weather, shopping, the environment, family … something that is familiar with them,” Lopez said.
Movie nights will start in October and be held at 7 p.m. on the first three Thursdays of each month at the Language House. A Spanish movie will be screened on the first Thursday, a French movie will be screened on the second Thursday and an Italian movie will be screened on the third Thursday. Afterward, participants are invited to stay for a debate.