When Jorge Morales immigrated to the United States from Jalisco, Mexico at age 9, he struggled with culture shock, assimilation to a new life and learning English. He remembers seeing other English learners struggling in school and wishing there were more helpful programs in place.
As Morales grew up, he realized he wanted to help students who are experiencing similar struggles. So he decided to become a teacher.
In 2016, Morales’ second year at Sunnyside, he was eager to find ways to be more effective, and he was inspired by the veteran teachers around him. He learned of workshops offered by the Central California World Language Project at Fresno State and decided to sign up.
World Language Workshops for Teachers
The project is part of a statewide initiative to improve access to high-quality world language instruction for K-12 educators. Both student teachers and experienced teachers are able to use resources and take them into their classrooms. Housed in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at Fresno State, the project is positioned to provide targeted support for the needs of the Valley’s future teachers, including for those who speak Spanish or Hmong languages.
“Teachers learn and leave with strategies, ready to be implemented into the classroom,” said Nancy Perez, project director. “And that’s what makes the project interesting and appealing to teachers, because they come, they learn and they practice.”
The project is not just for world language teachers but provides resources for all teachers. Since the project started in 2014, it has trained and supported over 1,000 teachers.
Historically, workshops were hosted in person, but COVID-19 has shifted the workshops to virtual. The project is offering over 30 free online workshops from July 27 through March 12.