Oxford Professor visits UCSS

Well renowned professor Sue Kay spends the day visiting with the ESL teachers and students of the Faculty on Health Sciences at the Universidad Católica Sedes Sapientiae

By Marisa Zarate, MS Ed.

Sue Kay has been involved in teaching English, training teachers and learning materials writing for over 25 years both in the UK and many other countries around the world. The highly distinguished University of Oxford professor can now add Peru to her list, specifically UCSS. We all remember the exciting Student Book Sharing Event held here at UCSS last semester, and Kay together Vaughan Jones, co-authored a pair of books that were instrumental in guiding in our hugely successful event, “American Inside Out” and “New American Inside Out.” MacMillan publishes both of these books, which helped the School of Health Sciences prepare for this special day that Dean Dr. Luis Solari de la Fuente called a “Never before seen event!” Solari praised the ESL Student Authored Books he read, saying they “highlighted the creativity of our students.” Kay emphatically proposed that our ESL team implement task repetition, not as a luxury tool, but as one of the most useful things we can do in our classrooms. As Paul Nation would say, “Various studies must create a range of 5-16 encounters with a word for a student to truly acquire it.” In a two-hour session with Kay, our ESL teaching team discussed the learning process involved in a student’s anecdotal experience to gain greater accuracy, more fluency and a willingness to try more complex words and sentences and ultimately, become more fluent in ESL.

Sue Kay also meets our students and has a fantastic encounter with them. After two intense hours of work with our ESL teachers, Kay had a memorable encounter with our students. Definitely, Kay showed us to put into practice the three M points of language learning: Motivation, engaging students into content (daily lives), Memory, through repeated exposure (tons of words from our text book), and Meaning (meaningful practice). Naturally, our students asked Kay questions from her book. The author was amazed how well they remembered the key questions to establish a friendly conversation.

Kay, in her own words said, “I loved meeting all the teachers and especially your students. I look forward to doing it again in the near future. Thank you for such a warm welcome and your kind hospitality.”

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