UCR Extension Recruits Teachers for Special Assignment in China

Program, which includes free training at UC Riverside Extension, sends teachers to China to teach Disney English

Student learning to read

UC Riverside Extension is offering free training to teachers interested in teaching Disney English in China

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) —  Teachers who’ve lost their jobs or been unable to find work might want to trade that pink slip for a passport.

UCR Extension in conjunction with Disney English is offering a unique opportunity for teachers to spend a year in China as a “foreign trainer” teaching English to young children.

The Walt Disney Corporation worked with an academic advisory board to create a unique and dynamic English language learning system that stimulates children’s natural learning abilities using Disney songs, stories and characters. The first Disney English center opened in Shanghai in 2008. Since then, Disney English has expanded throughout the country, with centers in several major cities in China. The centers have been so successful that the Walt Disney Corporation has big plans for expansion

Bronwyn Jenkins-Deas, Associate Dean, International Programs, said the challenge has been finding enough quality teachers and making sure they are properly prepared for their international teaching experience in China.

The Walt Disney Corporation contacted UCR Extension to develop a 10-day training program for teachers to be delivered at UCR right before they leave. The Walt Disney Corporation will pay the full cost of the training including housing in Riverside. Teachers will be oriented to living in China and learn hand-on techniques for teaching at Disney English.  Chinese students, who are studying at UCR Extension, will be enlisted as conversation partners to help teachers better understand the Chinese language and culture.

This is the second partnership between UCR Extension and The Walt Disney Corporation. Three years ago, they became academic collaborators in an international student program that brings 350 students from around the world to Riverside every year to participate in a two-week training program before they travel to Disney World where they spend six months studying Hospitality and Management and gaining valuable training experience with the company in a variety of positions at Disney World.

Jenkins-Deas said Disney likes working with UCR Extension because of its flexibility.

“We can respond really quickly to ideas they have,” Jenkins-Deas said. “And, one of things Disney has is lots of ideas.”

UCR Extension is recruiting two groups of teachers, who will be trained at UCR in July and August. All of them will be teaching at one center in Beijing. Carol Leighty former superintendent of the Temecula Valley Unified School District, was hired to recruit teachers, who have been pink slipped or who have been unable to find jobs.

The program is not limited to credentialed teachers. It is open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree, who has spent at least two years after college working with children whether they were camp counselors or teaching Sunday school.

Jenkins-Deas said one of the best things about the program is teachers get to work for a year for a company that is known worldwide, they receive certificates from UC Riverside for the training and Columbia University for an online Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) program and, after they’re hired, they have access to a Rosetta Stone language program in Mandarin.

When they return, they will be the teacher that school districts want to hire.

“They will stand out from the others because they will have international experience, two certificates from highly respected universities and experience with a company that’s world renowned,” Jenkins-Deas said.

If the program is successful, Jenkins-Deas said UCR plans to train more than 200 teachers a year with the hopes of becoming a regional training center for Disney teachers.

For further information go to www.extension.ucr.edu/magic or email: TEFL_Jobs@ucx.ucr.edu

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756
E-mail: john.warren@ucr.edu

Additional Contacts

Bronwyn Jenkins-Deas
Tel: 951-827-1702
E-mail: bjenkins@ucx.ucr.edu

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