MESSAGE FROM MARIANNE MASON
Since founding in 1951, CHF has sponsored thousands of exchange teachers. A not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation’s work is dedicated to Cordell Hull, Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Laureate honored as prime architect of the United Nations. In keeping with the late Secretary’s wishes, CHF promotes comity among nations through education and cultural exchange, sponsoring teachers primarily in language immersion, Baccalaureate, bilingual, or foreign language curricula. Programs focus on (1) immersion schools in which the entire curriculum is taught in a foreign language–French, Spanish, Italian, German and Greek immersion, (2) Hanban Mandarin language programs supported by the Chinese government, and (3) International Baccalaureate schools. Demand for native-speaking language teachers continually expands as language-immersion schools spring up as public charter schools in states such as New York, California, Oregon, Louisiana, and Indiana.
We take pride in presenting orientations for new teachers in more than fifteen cities in the US including New York City, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Santa Rosa, California, Denver, Indianapolis, Detroit, Tucson, Kalamazoo, Washington, DC and cities in between, narrated by native speakers of French, Spanish, English or Mandarin. Though all teachers are tested for English fluency, it is 100% more likely that non-native speakers of English absorb the complexities expressed in their own language within the first two months of arrival. The 5-hour workshops explain the intricacies of the J-1 visa, Culture Shock, and strategies for communicating with American parents.
During the required orientations for new teachers, CHF presents a session on culture shock breaking down the process into five stages of adjustment aided by animations of each stage designed by former J-1 exchange teacher Tom Gilbert. There are also suggestions for coping in our Orientation Manual downloadable from www.cordellhull.net/PW10.
CHF offers teachers the opportunity to broaden and deepen perspective, increase objectivity, developing a more realistic, practical sense of how the world works. Though not a simple or easy adjustment, most participants find opportunities to expand individual human potential, increase independence and self-esteem. I am privileged to take part in facilitating personal and professional growth for foreign educators, American citizens, and international residents whose lives they impact.