English as a Second Language (ESL) Program to Start this Summer
In collaboration with Global Study Exchange International, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown will offer a 10-week English as a Second Language program this summer. This program is targeted to Chinese students interested in applying to American universities who wish to improve their English language skills. Students will be admitted to either Advanced or Intermediate study, based on their proven English skills upon arriving at USMH.
The program includes: 1) daily instruction in reading, writing and spoken English; 2) opportunities to practice newly-acquired English skills outside of the classroom with local business, government and NGO leaders; 3) visits to five American university campuses; and 4) travel for sightseeing visits to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The one-price package also comprises: housing that includes a resident advisor who lives with the students; all meals; some weekend entertainment; and university admissions advising.
One important aim of the USMH ESL program is to assist students as they investigate American university options consistent with their academic interests and abilities, and with their preference for non-classroom environments (for example, city universities versus those located in rural areas). USMH staff will provide university admissions advising to help students with their investigations, and with forming questions to ask during their five campus visits.
Mission: To help students for whom English is not their first language to develop sufficient English language skills and cultural understanding to successfully complete academic study in English and/or to succeed at any number of professional purposes in their home country where English language is an important key to success. The success metric of the USMH ESL program will be the eventual high academic achievement results and graduation rates of its students, and students' career success.
This program mission is consistent with USMH's chief focus of improving access to higher education and improving graduation rates. And it promises to provide USMH's partner universities with first-hand opportunities to recruit talented international students.
When international students are admitted to American universities as freshmen with minimal TOEFL scores, and are then given full academic loads and expectations, they are not on a pathway for immediate academic success. And when they are successful, they may be reluctant to participate in learning, engagement and social opportunities beyond their classroom work for fear of endangering academic success. Hence, the aim of USMH's ESL program is to prepare students to enter their eventual American universities of choice more linguistically and culturally proficient, and able to fully compete in an English language environment.
USMH's ESL program is also appropriate for those who may not have a goal of attending and American university, but wish to work with English-speaking companies operating in China. Here, the focus will be on improving students' spoken English skills, particularly their extemporaneous speaking skills.
For more information about this program, click here.
Please see the attached charts for an idea of what ESL students will be experiencing as part of their education.
Notes: The above schedule is for a typical week and does not show the Welcoming Party (the night before the first day of class) or the Departure Party (the last day, which is a highly emotional time of saying goodbyes and exchanging future contact info). The schedule also does not show the five university tour or the two sightseeing trips, all of which are generally scheduled for Fridays. The university tours include visiting campus buildings, meeting with Admissions Officers, asking questions about admission to that university, and asking about specific majors of interest. The two all-day sightseeing trips will be scheduled for Washington, D.C. and Baltimore where students will visit historical and cultural sites, and have an opportunity to practice English throughout the day. The ESL teachers will accompany students on all university and sightseeing trips to help these trips to be learning experiences. Some curricular activities will be conducted on board the buses.