The Summer Term ESOL beginner class welcomed new students in second session, and most will join Ross for the start of the school year in the fall. Teachers Mami Takeda and Colette Wilson say the students are rapidly expanding their vocabulary and English communication skills as well as learning about the Ross curriculum, academic expectations, and life on and off campus.
To immerse students in the English language and culture, the lessons often relate to topics of common interest, such as respectful social behaviors like table manners or ordering in a restaurant. For example, after studying phonetics, a student asked Ms. Colette to help him apply his new knowledge to correctly pronounce “Frappuccino” in preparation for a trip to Starbucks.
They also are learning typically American conversation starters such as “it depends on” and “can you do me a favor?” which in turn leads to related topics such as how to politely disagree or express an opinion
“They are expanding their vocabulary and skillsets everyday, and we are very impressed with their progress,” Ms. Wilson said. “As a teacher, it’s so rewarding to provide our students with a valuable communication tool that will enrich their daily lives,” Ms. Wilson said.
The class also examines the English culture, and teachers introduced the topic by asking the students about their expectations about life in the United States vs. their actual experience, places in America they would like to visit, and foods like they would like to sample.
Another big part of the course is helping the students develop confidence in oral communication skills, and they have been asked to prepare a monologue that they will present to the class next week. Many chose as a topic the suggestion to learn the words, meaning and emotion of an American song.
Ms. Takeda said presentation skills and the ability to express oneself to a large group is an important part of studying at Ross, and students will also have to develop power point slides and videos on assigned topics.
“One of our goals is to make sure they have good foundation to begin their education at Ross,” Ms. Takeda said.