This past month, a few staff and student volunteers have been assisting the English Language Learning (ELL) students by taking time out of their week to have a Zoom meeting with the students so they can continue to grow their English skills. Sami Hodges, one of the student volunteers, described her meetings with Airi, who is currently in Japan, “Every Monday and Wednesday evening, I set up a Zoom meeting and we just talk for about 20-30 minutes. Sometimes we use sample conversation prompts, but other times we have just spent time visiting and getting to know each other more.” Despite not being paid anything for helping, the volunteers plan to continue to spend time faithfully with the ELL students over the rest of this school year.
Principal Don Reeder has been a part of this as well. “They (Victor and Yan) are improving their English language skills. It has been fun to talk with them even while they’ve been in Brazil. I am so glad technology can keep us connected.” Despite being thousands of miles apart, students can learn English with others as if they are in the same room together. This helps students retain their knowledge of English so that they don’t lose what they have gained over the time that they have spent in the United States.
Some of our ELL students only spent a few months in the U.S. before having to return to their home countries. Victor, from Brazil, is one of these students; “In the beginning I only understood what the teachers said, and I knew how to answer only the basics. With the conversation classes I learned to improve my English, and today I talk to students and teachers in a much more relaxed way.”
The Zoom meetings with volunteers have been essential in helping the students continue to make progress in English and will help them be ready for classes when they return to Campion in the fall. If you would like to volunteer in this program through the summer, contact Jill Harlow.
Theron Treat, guest contributor