English Camp: Layers of Learning that Changes Lives

Dr Lynda Reid
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The University of Vermont (UVM) Secondary Education China Experience is a grant-based immersion teaching opportunity for students in the graduate and undergraduate programs. The primary focus of the 28-day immersion experience is a two-week English Camp. In English Camp the UVM students assist Chinese teachers of English in developing their oral English skills through teaching and modeling student-centered, active engagement methodology. The program has evolved from a volunteer immersion experience to a course-based program involving pre-trip planning and preparation sessions, an intense and demanding immersion and teaching experience, post trip reflections, meetings, and a presentation. Although the development of oral English skills is part of the English Camp focus, the students are not TEFL trained; in fact many of them have not even completed their student teaching at the time of the program. I offer this scholarly personal narrative as a means of sharing the challenges and rewards of the UVM Secondary Education China Experience with others interested in creating or being part of a similar experience. I will address the program background, the selection process, the pre-trip planning, the immersion experience, the English Camp, the leadership considerations, and the post-trip reflections.

Keywords: Cultural Immersion, Cross-cultural teaching, Cross-cultural learning, Cross-Cultural Teacher Training, Chinese Educational Reform, Teacher Training
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: English Camp, English Camp

Dr Lynda Reid

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Education, University of Vermont

Originally from Alberta, Lynda has taught a variety of subjects from elementary through secondary school. Lynda moved to Tortola, British Virgin Islands where she taught grades six through twelve. Currently, Lynda lives in Vermont where she teaches at the college level. Lynda focuses on creating cross-cultural immersion experiences for her students, such as the Secondary Education Asian Experience (students teach oral English to Chinese teachers) and the Urban Education Experience (students with no experience in an urban school are immersed in a high school in the Bronx, N. Y.). Most recently Lynda has created and directed a series of public dialogue forums, Inspired Dialogue and the Personal, that bring diverse groups of people around issues of difference.

Ref: D05P0232