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FellowLanguage TeachingParaguayProgram DevelopmentWestern Hemisphere

Teaching English with a McTwist

Jonathan Maiullo ended his English Language Fellowship in Paraguay with a kick flip. For one of his final projects before returning to the States, he utilized local funding to lead an English class that allowed 10 local students in Asuncion, Paraguay to learn to skateboard and use specific English skating terminology, like “kick flip” and “McTwist.”

Students were selected through an interview process to gauge their interest in both skateboarding and English and provided with a skateboard from a local skate shop. Jonathan used the 4-class series to use Total Physical Response techniques to teach parts of the body, action verbs, directions and prepositions, along with specific skateboard terminology.

A portion of each class allowed students to explore English through drawing, moving, and assembling the boards before applying the lessons outside with their skateboards. After four weeks, students were able to follow simple commands like ‘put your left foot on the tail’ and the skills to continue learning more English and new tricks.

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This is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by Georgetown University, Center for Intercultural Education and Development.

All decisions related to participant terms (including candidate review, selection, funding, suspension, revocation, and termination) and all criteria related thereto are made and established by the U.S. Department of State.