William Naugle, PhD, is an Assistant Professor, the Director of International Programs, and Acting Head of the Department of Languages at Al Hussein Technological University. His research interests include pragmatic linguistics in colloquial and legal registers, language acquisition, neurolinguistics, language policy, and remote language learning. He is currently conducting research in peer-to-peer English language learning between graduate students in the US and undergraduate students in Spain who have Down Syndrome. And, as an External Curricular Advisor, we want you to know more about him:
1.- You were the coordinator of International Programs at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, among other roles. However, what exactly did that role entail?
I actively worked to develop international programming across the curriculum of the university. One of the curricular activities in which I continue to engage with Clarion is the C3 Model videoconferencing project, to develop English language skills for non-native speakers abroad and intercultural/interpersonal skills for Clarion students. In addition to liaising with national and international organizations, promoting international study, facilitating academic articulations with universities and recruiting agencies abroad, I advised students on study abroad site selection and curriculum adherence. I also advised students and faculty on Fulbright programs, Marshall and Gilman scholarships, all of which are prestigious awards. Finally, and most importantly, I collaborated with the faculty on globalizing aspects of curricula, such as providing our student teachers and faculty with the opportunity to benefit from the Gresol experience.
2.- Are there any selection criteria when choosing partnerships or collaborations?
Yes, we seek partners who are willing and open to new collaborations and innovative ventures in education and research, understanding that collaborations are sometimes successful and sometimes they fail. But, those efforts that fail are opportunities for us to learn and grow and collaborate in different ways. We look for partners who are willing to engage not only students, but faculty and staff, as well; this is the importance of a learning community: we all need to take part.
3.- As an External Curriculum Advisor at Gresol, what are your duties and objectives?
I view this role as an opportunity to support the efforts of Gresol to provide a top-notch, international education for its students by identifying avenues of growth, providing academic expertise, and liaising with universities outside of Spain. In this way, I hope to help Gresol position itself strategically to prepare its students for tertiary education (university) globally.
By way of example, it is my goal to provide a series of guest lectures from university faculty to the students and faculty of Gresol during the coming academic year. This serves two purposes: it introduces Gresol students to the world of higher education; and, it introduces university faculty to Gresol.
4.- What can you explain about the collaboration between both institutions?
Clarion University of Pennsylvania provides excellent degrees in pedagogy and produces the best teachers in the USA. The faculty have taught in primary and secondary schools, as well as publishing research in the field of education. The students that they prepare for teaching are well-equipped to enter any school to teach, plan curricula, and to collaborate with other teachers. Having a relationship with Gresol means that Clarion faculty are able to learn best practices from an effective international school, this will, in turn, help them to prepare their students for teaching not only locally, but internationally, as well. Permitting Clarion faculty to observe Gresol classes means that Clarion faculty can develop their knowledge-base of immersive language education (SIOP in the US, and CLIL in Europe). Permitting Clarion student teachers to work under the supervision of Gresol teachers would offer an unparalleled university and teaching practice experience.
It is my belief that Gresol benefits greatly from this collaboration and partnership, as well. Gresol has the opportunity to tap into this rich knowledge-base and to gain unprecedented insight into current best practices in pedagogy, as well as having access to American faculty and student teachers who are willing to share their expertise and support Gresol faculty and students. This may seem to be an intimidating proposition; however, it is quite the opposite given my narrative in the previous paragraph. This is an opportunity for Gresol to create a symbiotic relationship with colleagues who are prepared to share, engage, and support the work of Gresol and to act as a resource for Gresol faculty.
5.- What would you highlight about Gresol’s education methodology?
I would suggest that Gresol’s open curricular structure offers great flexibility in teaching and learning, but it always offers a unique opportunity for peer-to-peer learning, which is a key developmental aspect for students. That is to say, students learn to interact with other students who are younger and older than they, preparing them with communicative tools for the university experience and for the workplace. Gresol’s focus on language acquisition is also a key teaching methodology that prepares students for the global market. In today’s hybrid world, being able to communicate in English, as well as multiple languages, makes for a competitive global citizen.
Finally, I would be remiss not to mention how impressed I was with Gresol and its facilities when I last visited. Remarkably, the bucolic setting of Gresol is more than reminiscent of a school in rural Pennsylvania; in fact, it would seem that the school and its grounds were a complete replicate of a school in Pennsylvania. The open classrooms, the sports facilities, and the science and technology labs are spectacular. And, I recall distinctly several young people walking into the music room and playing jazz as easily as if it were breathing. Truly, Gresol is quite a wonderful learning environment.