Virginia University at Parkersburg
WVU Teaching Fellow brings native language to classroom.
CONTACT: Dr. Nancy Nanney, chair of Humanities Division, 304-424-8361.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jose Oquendo is bringing his native language and unique perspective to the college classroom.
Jose Oquendo, WVU teaching fellow, discusses his course curricula with Nancy Nanney, chair of WVU Parkersburg's Humanities Division.
The West Virginia University doctoral student is teaching a course in Elementary Spanish as well as English as a Second Language this fall at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
A native of Colombia, Oquendo is a visiting faculty member as part of WVUís Academic Partnership Program for Minority Teaching Fellows. The partnership provides semester-long teaching appointments at West Virginia state colleges for WVU minority doctoral students. The program is in its second semester of existence.
"This puts our students in contact with an instructor who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom, especially with his Colombian background," said Nancy Nanney, chair of WVU Parkersburgís Humanities Division.
"He understands the studentsí perspective in learning a new language -- whether it be Spanish or English," she added.
The challenge of teaching English to non-native speakers in a college setting intrigues him.
"Non-traditional, adult students tend to be more hesitant to try things and may get frustrated easily," Oquendo said.
"In that sense, this makes teaching such a class challenging and with no challenge in life, there is no point."
Also, Oquendo is interested in applying technology to the learning process. His doctoral study is in technology education.
"My main focus is to design ways to include technology applications in the teaching of foreign languages," he explained.
Oquendo received his master of arts degree in foreign language teaching from WVU in 2001 and his bachelorís degree in language teaching was earned in 1992 from the Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia. He has taught Spanish and English for nearly 10 years in his native country and as a WVU graduate teaching assistant in Morgantown from 1999-2001.
The WVU Academic Partnership Program for Minority Teaching Fellows is funded as a special initiative from the Higher Education Policy Commissionís Office of the Chancellor to increase diversity in the stateís colleges and universities.
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