August 8, 2007
Fulbright teaching assistants come to ASU from Senegal
Augusta, Ga. – Augusta State University faculty, staff, and students will soon get a lesson about what life is like in Senegal. Two participants in the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program have been assigned to ASU to teach their native West-African language, Wolof, along with the culture and history of Senegal.
“This is so important because one of the biggest pushes of the Board of Regents is continuing toward international studies in schools,” says ASU Assistant Vice President for International Affairs Holly Carter. “It is also important because it is an organization like Fulbright with a good reputation and history. I hope this provides us more opportunities to participate in programs like this.”
During their academic year at ASU, Racine Bocar Sow and Baïdy Dièye will present lectures on campus and provide instruction for classes themed around Senegalese culture and languages. They will also give demonstrations and instruction on West-African music, including the use of traditional drums.
While at ASU, the two teaching assistants—who both speak four languages—will do much more than teach. They are also charged with learning about American culture, politics, and history. The pair will be fully immersed in auditing classes, learning alongside ASU students, as well as living in University Village, ASU’s on-campus housing.
In his application to the Fulbright program, Mr. Sow’s enthusiasm for the English language and studying all things American is evident.
“Since I am specialized in American literature and civilization, it will be an opportunity for me to go further in my research and to promote Senegalese culture by sharing my experience with American people and especially to build a good relationship with American universities,” he writes.
Mr. Dièye thinks it is important to get firsthand experience of his main areas of study, America and the English language.
“To give you an example, I would say that I have known about many of the American values such as individualism, equality of opportunities, and self-reliance. But all this is theory,” he writes in his application. “I think the FLTA is a golden opportunity for me to see these values, among others, Americans live by in real life situations.”
Mr. Sow and Mr. Dièye will arrive on the ASU campus for a tour and briefing on Friday, Aug. 10.
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