by Jacob Peterson, Linda Christas Class of '15

students-studying-with-pencils-raisedToday, the Linda Christas Curriculum Development Committee announced two new courses which will be offered to the full Linda Christas Academy student body beginning with the Spring Semester 2015.

However, one student, Joy (Ziyi Wang), at the request of Director Leo Liu in Beijing, will be beginning one of the courses early.

Congratulations to Joy.

Aimed at assisting international students whose first language is not English, these courses will concentrate on the nuances and mechanics of English.

Utilizing individual English skills measurements, the courses will incorporate reading, video, vocabulary building and writing exercises to aid the student to enjoy richer academic and social interactions within an all English environment.

Initially, Mrs. Joana Sargeant MA will be presenting the courses. Later, as enrollments grow, an entire cadre of credentialed tutors, managed by Mrs. Sargeant, a master English instructor herself, will be dedicated to this important effort.

The first course described to this reporter is entitled FUNDAMENTAL ENGLISH READING AND VOCABULARY.

This course will use a combination of student evaluations, video, reading assignments and writing analyses with the goal of improving performances on tests such as TOEFL.

The course will also provide the student with the kind of experience necessary to better understand how an all-English classroom teacher designs and evaluates English assignments.

Finally, the course will enhance an international student's usable vocabulary thus allowing him or her to express creative ideas in English with a greater degree of accuracy, fluidity, and confidence.

sat-slash-pencilThe second course entitled ADVANCED REMEDIAL ENGLISH READING AND STRUCTURE will focus on the types of skills required to function well on tests such as the SAT and ACT, as well as building the English proficiency necessary to function well in an all English speaking college or university community.

In the past many international students coming to American colleges and universities have felt an almost desperate need to find persons from their own nation in order to be able to feel comfortable with their new environment. This has resulted in Chinese students living, and studying with other Chinese students, Japanese students gravitating to other students of that nationality, etc.

Said differently, the cultural sharing that is one of the primary goals of American colleges and universities was to some extent breaking down, since once relationships are established in freshman year, they tend to remain relatively fixed throughout the undergraduate experience.

To the extent that these new courses allow students to feel more comfortable with native English speakers, to that extent international students will be able to more fully participate in all aspects of an American college or university's cultural diversity, professorial excellence and extracurricular world.

Upon this announcement several dozen families indicated that they wanted to begin taking these courses in the Spring.

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