More Than Thirty Years of Culture


Katie Rath

Spanish student, Kaeley Sells with intern Emilio Corrales Torres.

Katie Rath, Staff Writer

A key part to learning a language is to be engaged. To learn a language, many students need to speak, read, and listen constantly to process it. A major part of learning a language, though, is having a teacher who has experience with the culture.

The Amity Institute is an opportunity for aspiring teachers from foreign countries to come and teach in American schools. Schools around the country submit applications to participate in the Intern Program through Amity. Rochester Adams High School partners with the Amity Intern Program to bring new experiences and culture to the language department. The language department alternates which class will get an intern each year.

In order to be considered for the intern program, foreign college applicants need reference letters from educators or teachers, and need proof they are in fact looking to get a degree in education. The applicants need to have a good understanding of the English language, and be able to speak English well. After the applications are reviewed, the schools that applied to have an Amity scholar, will be sent information packets. These packets have information on all of the different applicants, which the schools and teachers can look through. Then based off of the information in the packets, the schools will pick the intern(s) they think would fit best.

Last year, an intern from Spain, Emilio Corrales Torres, helped in Spanish teacher Joseph Cilluffo’s Spanish classes at Adams High School. Every intern is required to have at least 32 hours of class time a week to continue with the program. During class, Ciluffo would have Torres observe one of his Spanish 2 classes, and then Torres would teach for the second Spanish 2 class. Ciluffo also had Torres work with the AP students in small groups to prepare them for the exam at the end of the year. According to Ciluffo, the students really loved having Torres around.

“He worked with those in small groups and helped them prepare for the AP exam, and that worked out really well because 100% of our students passed the AP exam,” said Ciluffo.

This year, Amity scholar Antoine Rambert will be joining Adams from Paris, France, and  get the chance to help in French teacher Madame Liska’s classes during the second semester. Liska and Rambert will plan the lessons together, and Rambert will get a chance to teach in the classroom himself. There are many reasons to be excited for having a visitor from a foreign country, and no one is more excited than Madame Liska.

“I had the same experience in class, and it was mind-opening. For my students it’s cool because there is nothing better than having a real live native French speaker in the class,” said Liska.

The language teachers think the Amity program is a great way for their students to absorb the language and culture better. Ciluffo believes the knowledge his students get will help them in the future when learning new things.

Students will be more encouraged to study a foreign language if they have the opportunity to engage with a native speaker. The Amity program also allows aspiring teachers from different countries to study abroad and help students experience new cultures. Adams and Amity have been partnering for more than 30 years and will continue to do so in the future.