English Language Program provides customized experience
PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Last month, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s English Language Program hosted 10 students from Quzhou University of China as part of a two-week cross-cultural customized program. In order to improve their English language skills and expand their interests in student teaching, the students participated in language classes, on-campus lectures and co-curricular excursions.
Before their arrival, the students filled out questionnaires to determine their interests and needs. Based on those results, daily themes were established to expand their experiences. With the first day’s theme of “Maximizing your Experience Abroad,” students discovered just how to enjoy their time in a new country, and specifically on the UW-Platteville campus.
“The students were only here for two weeks, so we wanted to hit the ground running,” Mela Lewandowski, UW-Platteville’s ELP coordinator, said. “We wanted to keep their schedules full, but still give them time to enjoy themselves.”
The students were able to advance their English abilities in English language learning courses and in cross-cultural learning opportunities related to their primary fields of study including teaching, history and art. In addition to customized classes and guest speakers, the students also had the opportunity to explore areas off campus. With co-curricular excursions that matched the themes of each day, students visited UW-Platteville’s Pioneer Farm, Platteville’s elementary and high schools, the “M” mound and more. Although the students found the Wisconsin scenery to be beautiful, their favorite visits were to local schools, Lewandowski said.
“It’s really heartening to know that we are on the right track by visiting the schools in town,” Lewandowski said. “Looking ahead, I would love to create more University-community partnerships, which are so rewarding for all involved.”
Despite its relatively new addition to campus, the ELP continues to grow. With opportunities for expansion from new partnerships with local organizations and businesses, Lewandowski said that she is interested in creating additional summer customized programs and camps.
“We want to work with multiple organizations in the community that may also have English language learning needs,” she said. “We want to develop relationships that augment community programs while developing our own, in order to work with internationals who may be in our own backyards.”
In addition to summer programs, UW-Platteville offers 16-week fall and spring semesters of the ELP. This gives the international students opportunities to network with the other students on campus and create relationships they otherwise may not have made.
“English language programs are infusions of diversity and real life networking for students, faculty and staff,” Lewandowski said. “They not only help provide excellent support for international students, but they provide all students the opportunity to learn from each other. These customized programs give experiences that students can apply to their lives, academic careers and professional development.”
To learn more about UW-Platteville’s ELP, visit www.uwplatt.edu/elp.
Written by: Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications, 608-342-7121, firstname.lastname@example.org
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