by Rachel Meehan, English Major
Each year, UNH Manchester offers an intensive summer course for students and community members who do not speak English as their first language. Known as the Summer English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program, this course is available to anyone looking to prepare for college and advance their professional careers.
The Summer ESOL program is a unique offering here on campus, one that more than 350 students have taken part in since its start in 1997. Students from over 60 countries have enrolled in the course, and many of them have gone on to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Now in its eighteenth year, the ESOL program will be offered again this summer. The five-week course will start on July 6th and hold its graduation on August 6th. During this time, students will meet on campus every Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m.—12:30 p.m.
What makes this program so unique is that it does more than just provide students with an opportunity to develop their written skills. Even though writing is a major part of the course, students will also learn about college culture in the United States. Students enrolled in the program will take part in field trips, workshops and other activities designed to prepare them for higher education.
The fun and educational field trips encourage students to learn about the history of the Manchester area while also practicing their academic English. In the past, students have visited local cultural and historic sites like the Currier Museum of Art and the Millyard Museum. Students are encouraged to research individual topics related to these these visits and share findings with their classmates.
Coupled with the experience from field trips, students gain exposure to college life through a series of workshops and guest speaker presentations. Students will learn about what they can expect from college courses and how to best prepare for a career. These workshops are often interactive and cover a wide range of topics, from financial tips to test-taking strategies.
The projects and assignments of the course are created with the specific purpose of preparing students for their college coursework. For example, the career development project involves students researching a career of interest to them. Since many of the adult learners who enroll in the program have had professional careers in their own countries, researching a chosen career helps them explore and broaden their educational and professional opportunities, while also developing academic research skills.
Hosted at UNH Manchester, the ESOL program is available to adult students with a variety of different educational backgrounds and career goals. Anyone from recent high school graduates to returning adult students can gain valuable experience from enrolling.
If you are interested in applying for the ESOL program, you can find out more information by contacting Emilea Avery at 603-641-4113 or Michael Pugh at 603-641-4155. Applications will be accepted until May 15th.
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