Creating Language was started by Erika Pereira as part of her work as a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Fellow in 2016. Erika has over 12 years of teaching English Language Learners both abroad and in the United States. She has participated in numerous teacher exchange programs and facilitated workshops in countries such as Ecuador, Australia, Azerbaijan, Thailand and Chile.
In 2008 Erika was introduced to the concept Arts Integration while teaching at Lafayette Elementary School in Washington, DC through their partnership with the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) Program. This collaboration with the CETA program’s teaching artists had a profound effect on Erika’s teaching, pushing her to see the numerous possibilities of art in language acquisition and guiding her on how to structure and organize arts based lessons so that it is not just fun side projects for her students, but a constant tool for learning. Erika’s work with arts integration and English Language Learners revealed to her the high level of critical thinking and creativity that her students are capable of but rarely get the opportunity to demonstrate.
Erika’s work on creating arts integrated lessons specifically for English Language Learning was developed while living in Chile as part of the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Grant. During her time in Chile she visited and observed a variety of art classes in schools along with educational programs in museums and cultural centers ( see ‘Related Links’). She immersed her self in the world of an art teacher which inspired her to create lessons and quick activity ideas that are engaging, and challenge student’s critical thinking and creativity.
(A special Thank You must be given to the Colegio Raimapu in La Florida, Santiago de Chile where the majority of observations took place along with all the pictures on this website.)