Dr. Brigid Burke wins partnership award

Pre-service teachers benefit from the partnership between Brigid Burke, associate professor and program coordinator for the University’s World Language Education, and Andrea Puhl, principal at Bowling Green’s St. Aloysius Catholic School

By Kandace York

Your plane just landed in Berlin. Someone starts talking to you. It’s not English. What’s happening?

If you learned German in school, this is a moment’s delay. World Language Education studies at Bowling Green State University prepare students for real-life occurrences like this.

Critical to learning world languages is the opportunity for pre-service teachers, while they are University students, to work with elementary and high school students. The Center of Public Impact recently recognized the decade of partnership between Andrea Puhl, principal at St. Aloysius Catholic School, and Brigid Burke, associate professor and program coordinator for the University’s World Language Education, with an Outstanding Partnership award.

“Communicative and cultural proficiency is critical for U.S. citizens to achieve success globally,” Professor Burke said. “Learning a world language is imperative for students so they can communicate with more people around the world and understand their cultures.”

Burke has worked with Puhl in a community-university partnership since 2011, enabling more than 50 BGSU students to teach world languages in pre-kindergarten and elementary classrooms at St. Aloysius.

As part of their field experience, Burke said, World Language Education students have taught St. Aloysius children Chinese, Japanese, Latin, French, German, Russian and Spanish. She supervises the BGSU students there and provides feedback so their teaching careers are even more successful.

St. Aloysius is one of several World Language Education teaching sites. Just since last year, Burke said, two partner schools have joined the program: All Saints School in Rossford and Rosary Cathedral School in Toledo.