Rolandra West

rdwest@txwes.edu

As any other new student coming in, international students find themselves lost and unacquainted with  Texas Wesleyan and life here in the U.S. .

The School of Business Administration has created the English Practice Program [E3P]that aids international students in familiarizing themselves with Texas Wesleyan, learn about other cultures and answer their inquires.

Kaylee Perry, the administrative assistant at the school said “The program was initially intended to give international students an opportunity to meet native students, interact with other students about various subjects, and exchange first hand information about each others’ culture.”

“Thereby [the program] to provide international students a chance to improve their English speaking skills with their peers,” Perry said.

Perry said Joe Brown, Dean of students initiated the idea of a program like this and the School of business administration dean actually put the program into action.

“Staff members worked toward advertising the program and getting the word out to students,” Perry said.

Perry said the program is entirely voluntary.

“The students were required to fulfill a ten hour commitment and one lecture at University College Day; a lecture that was not geared toward international students,” Perry said.

Perry said this past weekend a dozen of students from the program took a trip to the Main Street Arts Festival in downtown Fort Worth.

“Hopefully by fall we will see this program emerge as a cornerstone and first stop for all international students,” Perry said.

Perry said that E3P will continue into the summer for international students who will remain on campus and will continue in the fall of 2013.

“Initially the students were informed that with the fulfillment of a ten hour commitment and lecture, they would receive a President’s appreciation certificate,” Perry said. ” But with the slow start we had and frequent requests of staff began offering their own incentives to students; twenty five points here, extra credit opportunity for attending sessions.”

Perry said students who have completed and exceeded the commitment will be awarded their certificates on April 30th at a reception in the business building.

Randy Lockhart adjunct business professor said he has encouraged the international students in his class to participate because it will help them become familiar with the English language.

“Not only will it help them become comfortable with the language itself, hopefully they will better understand lectures and examples that are discussed in class,” Lockhart said. “I also encourage domestic students in my class to participate to help international students become more comfortable with not only the language but the customs of the United States.”

Virginia Dominguez an English speaking volunteer said that she volunteered to speak and help international students.

“This has been a great experience for both myself and international students,” Dominguez said. “This program has impacted many students and has provided them with a time and place to speak more English and strengthen that skill.”

Dominguez said was she enjoys most about the program is learning about the different cultures, their daily lives, their values and being able to learn that many of their are similar to Spanish words.