“I think my revelation for teaching General 4, as opposed to teaching Academic 5 – Academic 5 is very much about kind of gate-keeping, right, like if you pass this class, you get into university, so you have a responsibility to teach to the material. But with G4, I think you teach to the students and I had this kind of revelation that it’s a little bit like learning tourism or language tourism, because they come for this pivotal experience. They come for this moment in their life that they’re always going to remember, and yes, the learning is there, but for General 4, more than anything, it’s about bonding and about making connections, and about making personal connections to people. And the learning is what ties us together, but it’s almost not even the central thing for General 4. It’s about using that language to communicate and connect to people and when I learned that, when I realized that, okay, A5 is about learning material and mastering material, but G4 is about giving them a language experience, I think it really changed my teaching.”
Sharon Muldrew has been hanging around the University of Winnipeg since she first arrived at the U of W Collegiate in 1983. Since then she has earned two degrees from U of W and taught EAL since 1991. While she has taught in Edmonton and South Korea, she always seems to end up back at the U of W. She has been in the ELP program since 2001, teaching in both Academic and General streams, and she teaches Oral English for Graduate Students in Medicine for the University of Manitoba. She is also president of the PSAC Local for University of Winnipeg.