Students helping students

Tutoring program benefits both LEAP students and domestic students in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Program, including tutor Emma Peterson, left, and Mandakh Tsolmon, a LEAP student from Mongolia.

Wright State University students get the chance to help each other out through tutoring. Students who plan to teach English as a second language meet with LEAP students to increase their tutoring skills while helping LEAP students improve their English.

LEAP, or Learning English for Academic and Professional Purposes, is a Wright State program that teaches international students English before they begin their degree program.

Jeannette Horwitz, director of the LEAP program, said the tutoring program is extremely beneficial for both LEAP students and students in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Program.

“We collaborate with the TESOL program for tutors, conversation partners, in-class helpers and internships so that the TESOL students get practical experience working with students learning English as a second language. For the LEAP students it’s very beneficial to interact with domestic students and get that extra practice outside of class,” she said.

Emma Peterson, who is pursuing a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, is a tutor and has worked with several LEAP classes. She said she thoroughly enjoys working with LEAP students.

“I definitely enjoyed getting to know the students and seeing their growth. It’s great that they stay on campus when they graduate. I get to see them on campus in their majors, and I’m very excited for them,” Peterson said.

Horwitz said that seeing students work together in the LEAP office is very encouraging. In each cubicle, she lays paper over the table so students and tutors can draw pictures or write out words to help with pronunciation.

“It’s fun to see how someone has explained ‘leaves falling’ with a picture,” she said. “It’s neat to be here when there’s four or five pairs of tutoring. Just to hear the buzz of students helping students is amazing.”

Deborah Crusan, professor of applied linguistics and TESOL, said tutoring is good experience for students who would like to teach English as a second language someday.

“I always encourage my students to put this on their resume, because it shows they have a lot of experience working with students inside and the outside the classroom,” she said.

Mandakh Tsolmon, a beginning-level LEAP student who recently arrived from Mongolia, said the extra work with Peterson has helped him practice his English.

“Emma helps me with studying English. She is very good,” he said. “She helps me practice listening and learning new words. It is very, very helpful.”

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