Wednesday, September 02, 2015

International students develop English speaking skills with UTSA program

students

Intensive English Program luncheon

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(Nov. 18, 2009)--Since 1991, UTSA's Intensive English Program (IEP) has helped students from abroad wanting to improve their English speaking skills. The program in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies in the College of Education and Human Development started with 13 students and has grown to more than 60 students representing nearly a dozen countries including Turkey, Japan, Korea, Iraq, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Saudi Arabia.

Conducted in 10-week sessions in the summer or 14-week sessions in the fall or spring, IEP requires students to attend 21-30 hours per week depending on the session.

Jim Kelim, UTSA director of English as a Second Language Services, travels overseas regularly to promote the program at large recruiting fairs that bring in approximately 30,000 students.

"Basically, the tuition, funded by governments or families, costs about $24,000 annually, and the students receive a monthly stipend ranging from $1,200 to $2,000," said Kelim.

Costs associated cover program costs and textbooks, personal expenses, housing on or near campus, meal plans, medical insurance and university fees.

According to Kelim, one advantage of having international students come to UTSA is that it helps break cultural stereotypes and exposes American students to different cultures.

One student, Hakeem from Jedda City, Saudi Arabia, enrolled in the 10-week program to improve his English as he pursues a master's degree in architecture in his home country.

"I was surprised to learn that I shared many of the same things as students I met from the Far East and Africa," said Hakeem. "We would have respectful discussions about the English program and religions as everyone expressed their opinions."

For Maria Elena from Mexico City, the English program offered many challenges including speaking before the entire class and debating an issue in a language with which she was unfamiliar.

"We debated many different topics including whether middle schools should have recess or whether marriages are better when spouses choose each other or when they are selected by other family members, as is common in other cultures," said Maria Elena.

The course was so enjoyable, she plans to pursue a business counseling degree to further the commerce studies she pursued when attending classes in Mexico City.

After the course was complete, there was a farewell luncheon with foods representing the various ethnic groups of the students. The students received certificates acknowledging course completion and gathered each other's contact information so they could build on the friendships that began at UTSA, even though they will be in their home countries.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
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Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus


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