English Conversation Class in Cordoba, Argentina

English Conversation Class

While I was studying abroad in Cordoba, Argentina I had the pleasure of facilitating an English conversation class with a group adolescents at an English Institute in my neighborhood. During my lesson-planning sessions with the director and my best friend who was helping me facilitate, I found myself pulling on my knowledge of learning strategies I acquired while I was taking Introduction to Psychology and the Humanistic and Existential Seminar. I spent much of our time observing the pedagogical techniques they were already implementing successfully and brainstorming how I might contribute a new and different perspective.

My friend and I experimented with activities in different group sizes and the student responses reflected what I had learned in my social psychology class about social loafing. As a result I was able to better develop individual roles and responsibilities for each student which made the smaller group activities more successful and the larger group discussions more focused and increasingly complex. I employed many visuals, activities involving physical movement, and some that included auditory portions in an attempt to challenge the students to learn in a variety of ways. At the time, they were preparing to take an international language exam so our class was a rare and timely opportunity for them to talk with native speakers and learn colloquialisms.

My experience collaborating with the English Institute was very rewarding and created a space in which I could apply my interests in motivation and learning to a real-world challenge. One of my favorite things about being a psychology major is the broad scope of where and how we can apply what we learn in the classroom. As a senior, soon to graduate, I feel prepared to negotiate most any new environment because I have a solid foundation in understanding the world from many different psychological perspectives.

by Morgan Stevens, '15