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louise goodman, brazil, 2012-2013

LOUISE GOODMAN
Fulbright Year: 2012-2013
Country: Brazil
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistantship
UGA Major/Department: Romance Languages
Degrees: M.A., Spanish and Portuguese Literature, University of Georgia, 2012
Hometown: Tampa, FL

Louise Goodman’s Fulbright year will find her in Brazil, teaching English at a teacher’s college. But she also hopes to develop what she termed as a “side project,” producing stage plays.

“In my free time, I plan to engage in a side project in the local Brazilian community by starting a children’s theater group that puts on production of plays popular in the United States,” said Louise, who in May earned her Master’s in Spanish and Portuguese Literature. “I hope the activity will allow the students to compare the two cultures while finding connections between the two, as well as practice their English skills.”

A savvy South American traveler who has already visited Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Peru, Louise said her primary challenge will be not to let plays interfere with her classroom work.

“I’m worried that I may be too invested in my side project, but I can learn to be flexible,” said Louise, who last year worked as a teaching assistant in UGA’s Romance Languages department. “Other than that, I know I’m just going to have to get over the hump of being comfortable, of feeling like I’m part outsider and part accepted. I’m somewhat nervous about collaboration in the classroom, but I have experience with that, so I think we’ll find a balance.”

Louise added that she intends to learn as well as teach in Brazil.

“I’m drawn to the cultural and geographic diversity of the country and I’m excited to learn from my experience,” she said. “I am especially interested in learning more about the education system, in Brazil. I hope that collaborating with teachers in Brazil will make me a better educator in the future.”

At the conclusion of her Fulbright year, Louise hopes to take what she experienced in Brazil and apply it as a teacher – not just of language, but also of culture.

“In the future, I plan to teach language and culture studies,” she said. “In my Fulbright year, I hope to get a sense of foreign language education from the flip side. I also want to feel a stronger connection to lusophone (Portuguese) cultures and share my first-hand education from Brazil with my future students in the United States. A teacher’s passion for culture really comes across in the classroom and can have a bigger impact on their ability to spark the interests of language students.”

Break a leg, Louise!

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