Mexican university professors participate in Intensive English Language Program

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill with  SUNY-Mexico Summer Intensive English Program participants
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill with SUNY-Mexico Summer Intensive English Program participants

For the second consecutive year, SUNY New Paltz is hosting professors teaching English as a Foreign Language from the southeastern Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo as part of the SUNY-Mexico Summer Intensive English Program. The program is one of the inaugural components of President Obama’s “100,000 Strong in the Americas” education initiative, which aims to increase the number of cultural and educational exchanges from the United States to Latin America and the Caribbean and vice versa.

Sponsored by the Mexican Ministry of Education, with the cooperation of the U.S. Embassy and the Office of SUNY Mexico, the program sends Mexican faculty members and students to SUNY campuses for intensive English as a Second Language courses and pedagogical study in foreign language teaching. The immediate goal of this initiative is to hone the professor’s skills in the teaching of English in their home states.

According to Connie Perdreau, director of the Haggerty English Language Program, participants are enrolled in 16 hours of ESL study for five weeks, in addition to eight hours weekly in pedagogical workshops delivered by faculty in the School of Education and the Haggerty English Language Program.

To make the most of their experience in New Paltz, the professors are living in residence halls on campus and are invited to participate in a wide variety of activities events in New Paltz, the Hudson Valley, and New York City.

One such activity included a presentation by Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, of Assembly District 103. Assemblyman Cahill provided a description of  the New York State Legislature, its bicameral form, its assembly members, and  how our legislature differs from Mexican states. In addition, he spoke about the natural resources of the area, our energy policy, the importance of higher education (particularly for new immigrants), local agriculture, and the migrant workforce to the Mid-Hudson Valley.