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Chaparral 2011-2012: Garfield Gleanings

GARFIELD Gleanings

by Marcia Walerstein-Sibony, Garfield Guild Steward

An interview with Garfield's Fulbright Scholar, Debbie Robiglio


How and why did you decide to apply for the Fulbright?

It was an opportunity for me to pull together everything I had learned, from working with children, all the way up to adults. I felt I had some expertise to share because I worked in unique educational programs that used a student's first language; i.e., bilingual, dual language, and our own adult first language support classes and materials. The leaders of Chile, where I'll be working, have mandated that their students show proficiency in English by the time they finish high school. I definitely can lend something to the cause. As for my decision to apply for a Fulbright. . . it was an opportunity for me to challenge myself, both professionally and personally. I'm always looking to take the next step forward.”


What will you be doing? and where? and how long?

I'll be teaching two undergraduate courses—which I designed—related to ESL pedagogy. Both courses carry an underlying theme and tasks related toreflective teaching. In other words, I'll be teaching pre-service teachers how to engage in self-reflective practices that allow them to self-monitor and improve their practice as they move through their careers. In addition, I'll be conducting an institutional action research project that will be used to improve the university's teacher education institute. I'll be working at UMCE (Universidad Metroplitanta de Ciencias de la Educación), which is considered Chile¹s leading institution of higher education focusing on applied pedagogical and teaching research. UMCE  is located in Santiago, Chile and serves over 6,000 students. I'll be there during our spring (their fall) 2013 semester.”


What do you hope to bring back to GCC?

Just because we're an English-speaking country doesn't mean we're the best at teaching ESL. I'll be bringing back Chile's ESL models, sharing that information with fellow faculty while also integrating the best parts of those models in my own instruction. The Fulbright also requires my participation in, and publication of, a research project. I want to share that experience with my colleagues and get them excited about doing the same kind of work. Research is one tool we can use to enhance our reputation as a college of
scholarly endeavor.”

Thank you, Debbie. Good luck with this exciting endeavor. We look forward to hearing about your experience, and the results of your research. 

Marcia Walerstein-Sibony

Marcia Walerstein-Sibony

Glendale Community College | 1500 North Verdugo Road, Glendale, California 91208 | Tel: 818.240.1000  
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