International Education Leaders Convene at Bridge

International Education Leaders Convene at Bridge for U.S. Department of State Sponsored Workshop.

Bridge provides a workshop and hosts a reception for 25 University Administrators and Ministry of Education Officials from around the world with the Access Education Administration Institute.

On April 1, 2014, Bridge®, presented a half-day workshop entitled English Language Program Planning and hosted a lunch reception as part of the Access Education Administration Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Ministry of Education officials and university administrators from across the globe came to the United States for an intensive professional development program in English as a Second Language program administration.

Attendees hailed from Egypt, Ivory Coast, Malaysia, Jordan, Rwanda, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Laos, India, Pakistan, Russia, Korea, South Africa, Brazil, Moldova, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Romania, Venezuela, Argentina, Nicaragua, Yemen, Indonesia, China, and Algeria.

As an industry leader in English language education for more than 25 years, Bridge was invited by WorldDenver to facilitate a workshop focusing on skills development in English Language Program Planning.

“Programs such as these would not be possible without the dedication of organizations like Bridge, who volunteered their time and knowledge to these international guests,” said Lynn Sywyj of WorldDenver. “We are grateful to Bridge for serving as a citizen diplomat by offering friendship, education and culture.”

Vice President of Institutional Relations, Lisa Rooney, welcomed the delegation with an opening address where she highlighted the transformational effects of language learning. Bridge student Stephanie Makam from Cameroon then spoke to the delegates about her personal experience learning English in the United States and how it has changed her life.

“I was the only one in my family who didn't speak English and I always planned to continue my studies in English," said Makam. “It is an international language.  If you speak English, everyone can understand
you and you can find someone with whom to speak.  If you know it, you can go anywhere.”

Regional Director for North America, Natasha Isadora Ala, and Director of Teacher Development, David Patten, served as facilitators for the workshop that followed. Through parallel sessions, the workshop provided guidance on curriculum development and revision, and ESL program assessment.

The morning culminated in a lunch reception to give participants a chance to network and continue the dialogues that began in the sessions. Each delegate was then presented with a certificate acknowledging participation and completion of the workshop.

“It was an honor for Bridge to welcome such a diverse group of professionals from around the world,” said Rooney, “and working with this very motivated delegation was an absolute pleasure. We all found it to be an enriching and rewarding experience.”

According to WorldDenver, participants consistently ranked the workshop provided by Bridge as one of the highest. Many commented that they found the sessions to be relevant and informational, and that they would likely take what they learned at Bridge back to their programs in their respective countries.

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