Senior Sylvia Gorski Selected for Teaching Fellowship in Spain

Senior Sylvia Gorski Selected for Teaching Fellowship in Spain

Sylvia Gorski

Senior Sylvia Gorski will combine her passion for teaching with her passion for Spain when she travels to Madrid this fall to begin a one-year teaching and study experience. She was selected for the Bilingual English Development and Assessment (BEDA) fellowship program of the Escuelas Católicas de Madrid (Catholic Schools of Madrid).

Gorski will teach as a language and cultural assistant at a private school in Madrid called Colegio Nuestra Señora de Pilar, which spans kindergarten to 10th grade. Starting with an orientation in September, she will work at the school for one academic year.

During the year, she will also complete a specialist course on the methodology of teaching English in the classroom with the Universidad de Comillas. The course looks at Spanish culture, lesson planning, classroom management, teaching methods, the Cambridge evaluations and English grammar.

“I fell in love with Spain when I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain, fall of my junior year,” says Gorski, a secondary teaching major who anticipates that her preparation at SESP will come in handy.

“I know that I will apply so much of what I've learned in my Teach Ed class from specific teaching methods to reading strategies for the content area, to my awareness and ability to build on what each student brings into the classroom, all the way to my knowledge of the developmental changes students are going through, especially the middle school and high school kids!” she says.

“Also, I think one of the most important ideas about teaching that I think SESP in general has taught me is that I don't teach English (or math or Spanish when I get back to the States); rather, I teach students. What this means to me is that I will be teaching the whole child, not just their English language abilities. Thus, being a part of their community and knowing about their lives is vital, especially in my situation being a foreigner in their world,” she comments.

BEDA is a program that aims to improve the teaching of English in Spanish classrooms through teacher training and evaluation. It is run by Escuelas Católicas de Madrid and Cambridge Language Assessment.

At Northwestern, Gorski has been involved with a number of activities that involve working with kids of various ages in teaching roles. She has tutored middle school kids with Project Excite, worked at Walker Elementary School in third-grade classrooms, and been a senior mentor for Northwestern calculus students. She has also been involved with the Polish American Student Alliance (PASA) on campus and Dance Marathon for two years. 
Long-term, after some time in Spain Gorski intends to return to the United States and teach math or Spanish in the Chicagoland area. She says, " I know I want to focus more on my love for languages, especially Spanish, so I can see myself focusing on bilingual teaching or teaching English Language Learners (ELL). I know my love for Spain won't cease so I hope to continue to travel and learn throughout my life."
By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 6/5/14