A faculty member from DMMMSU College of Education of the South La Union Campus in Agoo, La Union was chosen by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Office of English Language Programs in Washington D.C. and the University of Oregon, Linguistics Department / American English Institute (UO AEI) in Eugene, Oregon, as a participant in the E-Teacher Scholarship Program’s Professional Development Workshop (E-Teacher PD Workshop) Fall 2013.

Prof. Melda M. Uychoco joined 25 other exceptional e-Teacher alumni of the University of Oregon, representing 25 other countries in South America, Asia, and Europe in the 3-week Professional Development Workshop held October 19 to November 9, 2013.

The Professional Development workshop centered on Teacher Training Workshops, Cultural Programs, Local School Visits, and Project Development. The E-Teacher PD Workshop project was conceived to be an expansion as well as extension of the project which was developed during the participants’ online courses.

In August 2012, Prof. Uychoco was selected as one of the recipients of an e-teacher online course offered by the UO-AEI for the Fall 2012 term. This was a course on Introduction to Pedagogy and Practices in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL Methods).

Her outstanding performance in the 10- week online E-Teacher TESOL Methods course at UO-AEI and her capacity to implement training in the country or region earned her a nomination to the coveted PD Workshop slot in the UOAEI.

The online E-Teacher course ran from October through the first week of December in

2012. Prof. Uychoco received her online ETeacher Training Certificate with 100% rating/

Grade from the UO-AEI. The PDW in UO concluded November 4 and 5 with project presentations with live streaming via Elluminate webcast by the US Department of State. This made viewing possible by other UO AEI E-Teacher alumni, their families and co-workers from their countries of origin.

After completing her workshop, Prof.

Uychoco earned a rating of 99%, broken down to 50/50 (50% participation), 15/15 (20% presentation), and 29/30 (30% final report).

The 26 participants in the PDW flew to Washington D.C. November 6 and met with US Department of State of­ficials headed by Ms. Evan Ryan, Assis­tant Secretary for Educational and Cul­tural Affairs.

According to Prof. Uychoco, she will be implementing the project she developed at the UO-AEI to 30 English Teachers in DMMMSU in January 2014, the first workshop she will conduct af­ter her PDW. She emphasized that with highly-motivated participants, the chanc­es of a multiplying effect of her hands-on training in UO-AEI will be assured.

This will be part of the 3-day workshop she will be conducting, with assistance coming from Dr. Dawn Ro­gier, the RELO based in the US Embassy in Manila. Dr. Rogier also covers Ma­laysia, Papua New Guinea, Brunei and several posts in the Pacific islands.

Aside from this workshop, Prof. Uychoco has included among a series of activities, training of other local teachers, presentations at local conferences, and other professional events. The Universi­ty of Oregon American English Institute (UO AEI) faculty as well as the US Em­bassy in Manila has pledged to provide guidance in her projectsand workshops for the university and to the region.

She has also sought assistance from the RELO for an opportunity of sharing the various online resources of the Office of English Language Pro­grams of the State Department.

Dr. Rogier has pledged to come over for a visit during her first workshop and possibly schedule this opportunity of sharing her expertise in the various on­line resources of the State Department.

When asked about her experi­ence being an international exchange scholar, she said, ‘More than the prestige attached to it is the excitement of hav­ing brought home insights and new ideas which I will share to Filipino teachers. As a US-sponsored scholar, I’m expected to make a difference for the country. As a UO Duck, I am expected to ‘fly’.

Asked about what a ‘UO Duck’ is, she beamed in saying, “At UO, we call ourselves, the UO Ducks – the Or­egon Ducks. The Duck is everywhere in Oregon. There’s the Duck store, the Duck mascot, the Duck field, and we are the Duck students. The green and yellow colors represent a‘Duck’ and practically everyone wears a ‘duck’ symbol eve­ryday. That binds us all, notwithstand­ing our number in thewhole university. There was pride being part of energetic, passionate and disciplined people even for just a few weeks.”

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Prof. Uychoco encourages teachers and students to widen their ex­periences by collaborating with different people and cultures.

“It is one way to discover our­selves in the community of nations. It is also a way to realize how much more we should work to attain what’s truly glob­al”, she ended.


Author: Rochelle Sapitula, Lanie Milan and Bryan Gabriel Bangyay