Local educator to describe travels to Poland to teach English

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AUBURN — Eastern European countries have been mandating the teaching of English in their public schools for the past decade. Poland is one of those nations making strides to teach their youth at every grade level to become proficient in English.

The Auburn Public Library will host a program Tuesday, March 27, by longtime educator Annette Vance Dorey, who will share her experiences in Poland last September and October.

She worked with three dozen teachers of English in rural village and small town schools where students have no opportunities to hear English spoken, but which is prevalent in most large cities in Europe.

Those weeks consisted of working in a different school each day. In all, Dorey estimates that she interacted with about 1,300 students between third and 10th grades. It was their first experience seeing and hearing an American. They were curious and responsive. Faculty, headmasters and students were all eagerly anticipating her visit.

Dorey had Polish cuisine as each family who hosted her on a weekend escorted her on day trips to historical cities and sites.

Her work took her across 300 miles of scenic countryside in central Poland. It was quite different from the summer she spent in Lithuania a few years ago working with one large group of English teachers. Dorey has taught students of all ages in various states and also was a professor of teacher education in Canada.

She has also devoted herself to researching and writing about several historical Maine subjects, including the state prison and earliest female physicians.

Dorey’s program will begin at 2 p.m. in the Community Room in the lower level of Auburn Public Library.

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