ESL MiniConference appreciates time generously devoted by Jacqueline Fragata and David Hopkins recently for this interview, in the midst of their active preparations for the new TEFL International GlobalCore teacher training facility in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
An exciting new teacher training project -- GlobalCore TEFL International -- is in motion at Siem Reap, Cambodia, a cultural center of growing interest to tourists from all over the world. In a recent interview with ESL MiniConference, Jacqueline Fragata, Project Managing Director, and David B. Hopkins, Academic Director, described what makes their program different from any other.
"Our approach includes adventures and trips to balance the course with country and culture exploration," explained Jacqueline Fragata, "providing the trainees with not only enriched knowledge in TESOL, but also an enriched spirit and appreciation for Cambodia."
"What distinguishes all TEFL International courses," added David Hopkins, "are the common standards for delivery of an internationally accepted TESOL certificate course, and the moderation of these courses conducted by TEFL International and its accredited university partners in America."
"Siem Reap is an exotic location that is appealing to the target market of this course," said Fragata, "adventurers and travelers who would like to pursue teaching in Asia as a way to jumpstart their career, change careers, or do something worthwhile as they are figuring out a more solid career path."
One key aspect of the new GlobalCore TEFL International Siem Reap, Cambodia project is that students will study in theater-style classrooms at the University of Southeast Asia (USEA), and do their practice teaching as well on the USEA campus. Through their practice teaching, teacher trainees will be serving local students in Siem Reap, helping to address a severe teacher shortage in Southeast Asia, according to David Hopkins. "The venue for our course will be a Cambodian university," he explained, "and there will be collaboration with local educators in this regard."
Although their GlobalCore TEFL International teacher training project is first to the market in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Hopkins and Fragata are very much aware of their biggest competitors in the Southeast Asia region. "CELTA has been around for a long time, as has Trinity London," said Hopkins. "But one difference is the distinctly American flavor of the TEFL International TESOL course, as well as greater access in terms of price and availability."
"We also do better at job placements," added Jacqueline Fragata. "We are building links with Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam, and also foresee placing our graduates in Taiwan, China, and South Korea."
David and Jacqueline will both be the primary trainers once GlobalCore Siem Reap officially starts in June 2017. "For me, what differentiates our approach is a focus on the learner as the center of the classroom construct," explained Hopkins. "It's all about the learner and how we can adapt our teaching to the learner's perspective of the classroom," he added.
"The whole experience we offer counts as a differentiator," said Fragata. "Since Dave and I both have trained for TESOL, we understand what trainees look for and expect," she added. "Being in a university helps in the academic and extracurricular experience."
In explaining the TEFL International operational standard for their four-week training courses, Fragata and Hopkins quoted from Stephen Krashen (natural communication) as well as from Diane Larsen-Freeman and Lynne Cameron (context, cotext, and complexity theory).
How does the course begin and what happens on day one? "First, they experience theater techniques for comfort and group building, instead of classrooms with desks," said David Hopkins. "And foreign language experience, to know what a learner feels like, to understand that perspective of the learner....as well as meeting and profiling a Cambodian student."
Anyone who would like to try English teaching and has an interest in intercultural learning is welcome and invited to join the cutting edge teacher training courses that GlobalCore TEFL International is inaugurating this coming June 2017 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Each graduate carries away with him or her a 120+ pages written portfolio of self-reflections on all training inputs and experiences.
During these four-week sessions, participants can live and eat at TEFL International's hotel partner or choose from a variety of other safe and convenient accommodations.
And what do the GlobalCore Siem Reap project's lead trainers get from the experience themselves? "It's really exciting for me," answered Jacqueline Fragata, Project Managing Director. "I've been teaching for 13+ years, some years in marketing, and recently I'm training for TESOL, so building something like this allows me to apply my expertise in both training and marketing."
"For me, it is kind of like rebirth every course," said David B. Hopkins. "The people are different and unique and make the course what it will be."
For more information and to get involved, please contact
Jacqueline Fragata at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An ESL MiniConference Interview
By Robert Bruce Scott, Ed.D.
2016 ESL MiniConference Online