SALISBURY, MD---From blueberry picking to skipjack sailing on the Choptank River, 10 scholars from Chinese universities enjoyed Eastern Shore life and culture while immersed in a special, first-time English language teaching certificate program at Salisbury University.
The four-week World-English Instruction for Non-Native Speakers (WINS) initiative is directed by Dr. Anjali Pandey, professor of applied linguistics and Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in SU’s English Department.
“We see this program as a two-way street,” Pandey told participants on their first day inside Fulton Hall. “We hope to learn from you just as you want to learn from us.”
Participants met ESOL teachers from Wicomico and Worcester counties and the Indian River School District, as well as TESOL coordinators from Chesapeake and Wor-Wic Community colleges. They visited 16 classrooms. They experienced Assateague ponies, a Shorebirds game, the Salisbury Zoo, music at Freeman Stage, seafood at the Red Roost, a traditional American potluck and barbeque, a trip to Annapolis, newsroom and organic farm visits, and more. Their taste of Maryland even came to a sweet close with a slice of Smith Island cake — the state dessert.
“This program is especially effective for Chinese English teachers because we are exposed to authentic, real English classrooms and cultural activities,” said Dr. Naigang Li. “All of these things have enriched us personally and with our careers."
Exploring English-language instruction at all levels of the U.S. educational system, the WINS program was designed to help Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) instructors improve and augment their current teacher training offerings. The visitors were privy to week-long academic training sessions supplemented with about 24 excursions and guest presenters selected from schools and institutions across Delmarva. Fourteen modules covered TESOL professional standards in K-12, linguistics for teachers, language and culture, lesson plans, computer assisted language teaching, and strategies for reading, writing, listening and speaking, among other topics.
“We hoped they would gain in-depth knowledge about the current theoretical frameworks in TESOL/TEFL instruction and see models of best practices,” Pandey said.
Participants were part of a competitive academic fellowship initiative open to merit scholars at their respective institutions in China. Dr. Sam Song, director of SU’s English Language Institute, assisted with program recruitment.
Participant Xiping Wang called WINS a “win-win situation” for SU and West Anhui University, their home campus. She invited SU friends to continue walking across a cultural bridge and visit their campus on Moon Island in China.
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at www.salisbury.edu.