Professional Training at Notre Dame with Maddie | EDUBOSTON

Professional Training at Notre Dame with Maddie

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016

Madeleine Monaghan Golda of Bachson Academy has a twofold agenda most days. She works directly with students to help them develop their ESL skills and their understanding of American culture—and she also works with professional staff at our Partner Schools to support them as they support international students.


Recently, Monaghan Golda visited Notre Dame High School in Fairfield, CT, where she led a professional development workshop for the entire staff, including the principal, advisors, guidance counselors and the school’s international program team. During the training, the staff gained insight into what it’s like for international students as they adjust to life in America and they also acquired specific tools to assist students.


The Cultural Adjustment period, for instance, can be a challenging time and students might use various masking techniques to cover up discomfort with their new experience. Monaghan Golda identified these techniques and provided specific ways school staff can help students with their adjustment needs. She also defined students’ Cultural Norms, which is critical to understanding the international student experience.


ESL Linguistic Acquisition is always an important subject covered in a professional development workshop. It is imperative that teachers understand the process of language acquisition for the non-native English speakers in the classroom so they can better support a student’s academic success. The Notre Dame staff were also given criteria to help them recognize learning disabilities in ESL students.



“Teachers report that the greatest value for them is understanding how the international student brain (specifically the non-native English speaker) processes English and learns to socialize,” Monaghan Golda says. “Once a teacher understands the background of what is happening in the student’s brain, they are empowered to understand the student’s reaction in their classroom.”


Teachers can then apply this knowledge to enhance their teaching methods, revise their classroom lesson plans and polish their rubrics. These simple revisions are the powerful essence of curriculum internationalization.


Chris Cipriano, Notre Dame High School principal, says the workshop was “extremely informative.”


Monaghan Golda’s “knowledge and experience in working with international students helped to put our experience with students from other cultures into context,” he says. “Maddie provided excellent strategies and suggestions for helping to make the American classroom a successful experience for both the teacher and the international student.”


EduBoston Partner Schools across the country welcome new international students into their programs each year, and are dedicated to providing school staff with the necessary training and guidance to support students.

Call Sean Leary at 978-496-0903 to learn more about becoming an EduBoston Partner School, or email him at