Univates Language Student Does Practicum in a University of Canada
Since January 1st Marcela Fischer is living a great dream: to study in Canada. With the conclusion of the program scheduled for the second semester of this year, the Univates Language student went on the exchange to apply her interdisciplinary practicum at Concordia University of Edmonton, being the first student of the program to apply a practicum abroad. Titled "Gaucho Culture: a face of Brazilian cultural diversity," the practicum had its first class on February 26, bringing the best expectations for the student.
Before taking off for the North-American country, Marcela taught Portuguese to the exchange students through the International Relations Office (DRI) of Univates, and from that came the idea of the practicum. "I thought I could venture and plan Portuguese classes, involving our culture, to be applied in Canada, which was my destination country. Thus, I was able to plan in the semester prior to the exchange", says the student. The proposal was made in Brazil, with guidance of professors of the Language Program, considering the reality of Canada, as explained by the professor of the Program Kári Lúcia Forneck. In this semester the classes are being held according to the schedule elaborated, under the supervision of the coordinator of the Language Progra, of Univates, Lívia Pretto Mottin.
"This practicum expects students to develop some language project that can be applied in some non-school space, which would be entities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), libraries, that is, environments that do not correspond to the conventional classroom model. However, the student can also develop a teaching practice of Portuguese as an additional language in some context of international learning, outside of Brazil," explains Kári about the activity developed by the student.
The internship experience is valid for the labor market, according to Lívia. For her, the experience abroad for students of Languages, like Marcela, also brings a greater understanding on the teaching and the learning of languages.
During classes, open to the students of Concordia, Marcela works typical elements of the gaucho culture for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, every Tuesday. With these activities, students are in contact with Portuguese, as they learn basic questions and answers, numbers, alphabet and parts of the body that are practiced in class. According to the coordinator, Marcela has students from five different countries - the Dominican Republic, Canada, Finland, Spain and the Netherlands - who are also on an exchange. "In addition to learning the Portuguese language and the Gaucho culture, there is all the information that these students bring to the classroom in terms of cultural diversity," explains Livia.
On the acceptance of the internship, the student states that "the University vice-rector, Manfred Zeuch, loved the idea, so much so that it was he who called the meeting to talk about the proposal, welcomed the students on the first day of class and contacted a restaurant to cook a barbecue at the end of the practicum." Marcela describes her students as "curious and willing, which makes the class interactive and fun." To further integrate the students into the habits and traditions, the future teacher scheduled a day to wear her typical dress and bring mate to the classroom.
During the two months that Marcela has been at the University, she has witnessed events involving various cultures almost every week. The student claims to be learning a lot from the different habits and traditions represented on those occasions. "It's really amazing how Concordia is multicultural, there are people from all over the world here", she says.
Besides the practicum, the future teacher is enrolled in three other courses. Among them is Introduction to the Profession of Teaching, in which students visit different schools during classes. "I have been able to see what teaching is like here in Canada and have had many ideas to put into practice in Brazil, once I start to practice my profession", concludes Marcela, saying she is very happy with all the experience gained.