Educational Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Bryan Meadows collaborated with a faculty colleague at the Universidade Católica de Pernambuco (UNICAP) to create and deliver a four-week remote seminar on second language acquisition for UNICAP students. The Universidade Católica de Pernambuco is a Jesuit university located in the city of Recife in Brazil.
The collaborating faculty member at UNICAP was Dr. Antonio Henrique Coutelo de Moraes, Professor and Coordinator of the Languages Major; Professor in the Linguistics Sciences graduate program; and Member of the Pedagogical Advisory Group.
The title of the remote seminar was "It's all in the mind: The psychology of second language acquisition". Dr. Moraes and Dr. Meadows launched the seminar in the interest of building global partnerships between Catholic universities. The purpose of the seminar was to provide current UNICAP undergraduate and graduate students insights into the psychology of second language acquisition. Dr. Moraes arranged the seminar, recruited students, and even set up a guest institutional account for Dr. Meadows.
The seminar met online weekly for four weeks total. The seminar ultimately enrolled 23 undergraduate and graduate UNICAP students. The group included a range of student level and experience -- from undergraduate students new to the field of education to graduate students with many years of experience teaching languages. This diversity of student experiences added to the rich dialogue that carried the group through the four seminar sessions. An added benefit of the seminar were the interpersonal connections that UNICAP students formed with one another across campus departments.
As a co-teaching team, Dr. Meadows and Dr. Moraes guided students through in-depth discussions of three themes: (1) survey of psychological theories of second language development; (2) important findings on second language development in the psychological sciences; and (3) brain-based teaching practices for language classrooms. Each theme was grounded in a mixture of book chapters and journal articles carefully selected by the two co-instructors. At the final seminar session, the instructors and students reflected on the unique accomplishments of the global seminar. To extend the dialogue that was established in the seminar, the team set up a text messaging group to stay in touch and to continue the conversation.
This is actually the second global initiative that Dr. Meadows and Dr. Moraes have collaborated on. The first project, the Global Student Forum on Education, was held earlier in the semester on September 7th, 2021. At this virtual event, education students at Seton Hall were able to have a conversation with their counterparts at the Universidade Católica de Pernambuco on a range of topics centered on education. Follow this link to read more about this earlier event.
Dr. Meadows and Dr. Moraes view the 4-week global seminar as an important next step towards the goal of a broader, long-term partnership between two Catholic universities, Seton Hall University and Universidade Católica de Pernambuco. Their combined efforts, at the level of individual faculty members, advance university-level goals to establish academic partnerships globally among Catholic universities. To learn more about the Universidade Católica de Pernambuco, please visit their homepage here.
Dr. Meadows serves as director of the TESOL teacher education graduate certificate program and the ESL@Seton Hall Intensive English Program. He also leads a short-term study abroad class to Tokyo which affords Seton Hall undergraduates opportunities to visit schools in Japan firsthand.