KDSL Global recently had a chance to connect with Julia Hedges (pictured above in the pink scarf) after she served for five weeks in five different cities in Brazil. This was part of a collaboration with the Department of Education in Recife, universities, schools, and learning centers.
Tell us about your role and the project you served on in Brazil.
I was an English Language Specialist for the Department of State. My role was to serve teachers (through teacher training) in an underserved region of Brazil. I trained English language teachers on best practices of content-based language instruction. I worked in four different states and five different cities in Northeastern Brazil.
What was your new learning from this project?
I was reminded of the importance of intercultural understanding and experiences. Since I’ve been back to the United States, I have made even more of an effort to incorporate my students’ life experiences and cultures into lessons in order to engage them, and in order to create a safe learning environment based on mutual respect and understanding.
To learn more about Hedges and her work in Brazil please visit https://elprograms.org/sample-projects/english-language-specialist-julia-hedges-collaborates-etas-share-american-english-website-resources-imperatiz-brazil/
About Julia Hedges
Julia received her Master of Education in TESOL from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon and a Bachelor’s degree in both English and Spanish from the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. She has taught English as a Second/Foreign Language in both the United States and throughout the Middle East to adolescents and adults. Recently, she worked as an instructor for Intensive English Programs (IEPs) in Colorado and Texas. In the Middle East, she taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in a variety of contexts, and she successfully founded and managed an English language center that focused on test preparation, English for Specific Purposes (ESP), and teacher training. She has trained teachers, in six different countries, on best practices for delivering their English language programs using communicative methodology. In 2014, she presented “Back to Basics” at TESOL Arabia, which described her experiences working with Iraqi teachers. Currently, she serves on the Colorado TESOL Board as the Teacher Education/Action Research SIG co-chair. Julia’s professional interests include ways of making classrooms more student-driven, using Computer Assisted- Language Learning (CALL) to supplement lessons and engage learners, and materials development.