Foreign exchange teachers working with local students

Foreign exchange teachers working with local students
By: Ryan Tate
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - More than a dozen teachers from Middle Eastern and Asian countries are in Southeast Missouri this Spring, taking classes at Southeast Missouri State, and helping to teach classes in three different districts.
The teachers are part of a program funded through a grant from the United States State Department, to "enhance the teacher's ability to contribute to the improvement of their own teaching, and play a role in their country's national development," according to leaders at Southeast Missouri State University.
SEMO is one of four universities across the country to be a part of the program. The others include Drexel, Georgia Southern and Kent St.
The student teachers work at Jackson, Cape Central and Sikeston schools, teaching English, Physics, Math and other subjects.
"This is exactly what I need," Zeinab Ajarmeh of Jordan said. "I usually have a problem teaching vocabulary because my students don't have the repertoire of vocabulary that they need so my teacher is helping me with that."
"I've learned things that like dealing with students and minimizing the student teacher ratio," Samira Bari of Bangladesh said.

They also have learned about some of the problems with some U.S. students. "I thought they would be different from my students, but they have some of the same problems. They need motivation, and to be drawn into education," Manal Salam of Lebanon said.

"I was surprised with the obesity problems," Ajarmeh said.
The teachers head back to their home countries in June. Grant money is available for some of the Southeast Missouri teachers the foreign teachers are working with, to travel oversees to visit their countries in the near future.