English language learners planning to attend a local high school met with Wright State students in the Learning English for Academic and Professional Purposes (LEAP) Program to learn about the program and tour campus.
Before the students visited the campus, the campus visited them.
Brian Boyd, associate professor of mathematics education, teaches his math methods class at Ponitz High School in Dayton. Through the course, Boyd’s teacher candidates co-teach at a summer academy for English language learners. Teaching at a school rather than in a college classroom gives teacher candidates firsthand experience planning and teaching lessons to high school students as a part of their learning and development. The Ponitz students in the program are from African, Middle Eastern and South American countries.
June 8 was the final day of the academy. The students toured visited Wright State for a tour and to learn more about various programs and features of the university. The Ponitz students spent time with the LEAP Program, which focuses on helping students learn the English skills they need to be successful at Wright State.
Jeanette Horwitz, director of LEAP, told the students about the program, discussing the various levels and classes students take and some of the extra-curricular activities students involved in the program can do, such as volunteering, field trips and other activities. Joy Wanderi, associate director for the University Center for International Education, also welcomed the students to Wright State.
Several current and former LEAP students visited with the Ponitz students and played a game called “Top Five.” Tom Fenton, assistant director of LEAP, organized the highly interactive and lively game, which encourages students to use their English vocabulary to come up with five examples of various topics, such as the largest countries, top five LEAP classes and top five reasons to study at Wright State.
Horwitz and Fenton agree that for the high school students, meeting and interacting with English language learners who are now college students, along with faculty and staff, can encourage them to learn English. The LEAP students were extremely receptive to helping out.
After meeting with the LEAP students, the Ponitz students visited with Vance Saunders, instructor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, to talk about cybersecurity issues and job opportunities. They also visited undergraduate admissions with a tour and learned about attending Wright State.