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Ottawa International Projects and Exchanges (OIPE) is one of the three branches of OCENET

 

by Kari Hanes
Ottawa International Projects and Exchanges (OIPE) is a division of OCENET that promotes personal development through cross-cultural education. Our programs for Canadian and overseas students and teachers are creating a virtual network of learning around the world.

   

 Members of the Swedish delegation with Kari Hanes, Project Lead, Teacher Training Program

 

"In a different educational system you realize that there are many other ways of teaching and learning, so you can observe and absorb methodologies completely new to you."

- OIPE Teacher Training Participant, July 2013


Teacher Training with OIPE
Teacher training offers customized programs for international educators. OIPE teacher training courses emphasize the teaching of English as a Foreign Language for elementary, secondary or adult learners. Recently the teacher training program has focused more on CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) where English is used to deliver other subjects (i.e. English Immersion), recognizing this important trend in language education globally. According to Program Director, Constantine Ioannou: “It is important as a teacher training centre that OIPE keeps very current with global changes in education.”

 

Teacher training workshops on a wide variety of educational topics are tailored to the needs of visiting educators and delivered by OIPE trainers, as well as expert teachers, principals and senior staff of the OCDSB in the learning centre at 440 Albert Street.

 

The CLIL Teacher Training program welcomes teachers from Spain and elsewhere, who attend a course that focuses on exemplary pedagogical techniques for teaching in English Immersion classrooms.


Tailored Programs
The length of programs varies from one week to five months. The team, working in conjunction with the OCBSB and individual schools, analyzes each request and crafts a program or curriculum that is right for each group and ultimately provides an enriching, fruitful experience that addresses all requested topics. Study tours to the OCDSB are usually a week long and have included topics such as :

  • “Inclusiveness”
  • “Educational Leadership Training”
  • “Strategic Planning for Student Achievement”
  • “Instructional Coaching Model”
  • and the OCDSB’s “Strategic Plan and District Review Process”.

In recent years, OIPE has hosted study groups from Costa Rica, Spain, Sweden, Kenya, South Korea, China, Nigeria, Ukraine and Finland.


CLIL Training
Training programs for international teachers of English and CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) provide an integrated balance of Language Development and Methodology training. The language development component includes such features as:

  • confidence building>/li>
  • content specific language
  • understanding euphemisms
  • cultural enrichment.

The Methodology component of the program includes topics and workshops that focus on:

  • communicative approaches
  • content-based strategies
  • planning, assessment and evaluation
  • materials development
  • literacy and critical thinking skills.

With full understanding of the connection between language and culture, the program incorporates as much cultural enrichment as possible through visits and excursions in and around our nation’s capital.


     

Reflections from Participants:


“…is well summarized in one word: AMAZING…as all my mates, I was very impressed with diversity, harmony and respect of all the classes.”


“Canada is far away but it’s worth the effort of coming here because of the beauty of the country. I’ve just been 2 days and all I can say is…MY OH MY!!! Today I was in class with students from 9 different countries, and they were just 12 in the room…amazing how they manage with such diverse audience. This experience can be very valuable for us.”


“I am learning classroom language, and I see it in the real context.”

 

It is not all work, work, work! While in Ottawa, visiting teachers are provided with many opportunities to explore the rich cultural and historical heritage of the Ottawa region, and to enjoy the unique outdoor activities available from canoeing on the Ottawa River in voyageur canoes to zip-lining in the Gatineau Hills

 

Placements in OCDSB Schools
Training programs include close collaboration with OCDSB educators in local Ottawa schools. OCDSB teachers are invited to share their ideas on panels, in workshops and by partnering with an international colleague placed in their schools for an extended period of time. OIPE communicates with host schools and the international teachers are placed in schools to observe English instructional practices in a Canadian school.

Visiting teachers are encouraged to visit as many classrooms as possible in order to improve non-content vocabulary. School placements allow teachers to communicate with Canadian colleagues and gain insights into English language instruction and practices used in OCDSB schools and classrooms. In turn, Canadian teachers also learn about other pedagogical techniques from their international colleagues. It is a mutually enriching experience!

OIPE offers a three week program for teachers of CLIL in July. This program is focused on both methodology and language development, and includes OCDSB teachers who share their ideas in workshops and through participating in social events. Visits to educational and cultural points of interest are included throughout the stay of the visiting educators. These teachers also live with a Canadian host family in order to have an additional opportunity to fully experience Canadian culture.

OIPE is very fortunate to welcome colleagues from all over the world into our training programs and OCDSB schools.

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