BenU students learn Arabic, Chinese with help from Fulbright FLTAs

October 8, 2014

Lisle, Illinois ~ They learn about us. Our students learn from them. For nearly a half-century, the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program has been fostering mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The program provides young teachers of English as a foreign language the opportunity to refine their teaching skills and broaden their knowledge of American cultures and customs while strengthening the instruction of foreign languages at colleges and universities in the United States.

FLTAs at Benedictine assist faculty who teach elementary and intermediate Arabic and Chinese, conduct individual tutoring sessions, teach a course with the direction and assistance of full-time faculty, organize on- or off-campus cultural events related to the language they are teaching, and assist in grading written assignments and exams.

Benedictine is hosting two Fulbright FLTAs during the Fall 2014 Semester – Chuanren Chen from China and Moussa Ahmed Kabou from Mauritania.

Chen, who earned a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification from Wuhan University, China, has taught English as a foreign language for seven years at East China Jiaotong University, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China, and is passionate about English literature, history and culture.

“Teaching English as a foreign language at East China Jiaotong University allows me to create better understanding among the people in China and the United States,” Chen said. “Bridging the gap between us involves interdisciplinary studies in applied linguistics, literature, history and politics, as well as mutual linguistic development through interesting and dynamic extracurricular activities.

“My pursuits in traditional Chinese culture such as opera might be another resource for the students at Benedictine University to use in order to develop a better understanding about China.”

Moussa Ahmed Kabou is a 28-year-old secondary school English teacher from Mauritania in north western Africa. He is one of four Mauritanians who are currently participating in the Fulbright FLTA. In addition to being a teacher and a cultural ambassador, Moussa Ahmed Kabou will also be taking courses at Benedictine University related to American studies and culture, education and language.

“I believe these courses will enrich my knowledge and understanding of U.S. society and culture, and also enhance my teaching skills and English proficiency,” Moussa Ahmed Kabou said. “This is a unique opportunity for me, and I hope it will be a very productive experience to take back home and be beneficial to me and my country.”


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Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in 59 undergraduate and 23 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the seventh consecutive year in 2017. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.

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