Not surprisingly, one of the most popular student clubs on the Monterey Institute campus is a club dedicated to the love of languages. B.U.I.L.D., or Beyond yoUrself In Language Development, was founded by a group of students in 2009 with the idea of spreading that love of languages by offering free beginning-level classes in any language MIIS students wanted to teach. The program simultaneously offers the student instructors the opportunity to hone their teaching skills in an informal, low-pressure environment.
The club has continued to grow and mature in its offerings and this fall it will be offering 29 courses in 12 different languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Persian, Portuguese and Spanish. Students from the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Teaching a Foreign Languages (TFL) degree programs have always shared their skills with other students who might have more knowledge of the language than of teaching, but this year the club leaders decided to formalize the teacher training element of the program.
“Some B.U.I.L.D. teachers have never taught before, and we feel that providing adequate teacher support would alleviate their apprehension and uncertainty about teaching a language class,” says club president Stephanie Olivia Loiselle (MATFL ’14). Two TESOL students, Claire Ballon (MATESOL ’14) and Haley Berl (MATESOL ’14), will teach a workshop every week designed to help new teachers develop lesson plans and activities. Stephanie explains that “We have an incredibly rich cultural and linguistic diversity on campus, and the last thing we would want is lack of teaching experience to get in the way of sharing language.”