SWU spreads English through education
As the world becomes more connected through technology and transportation, there is a growing need for teachers who can help others learn to speak English.
Answering that global call is Southern Wesleyan University, which is offering a new minor, Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages. The minor will be available starting in the fall 2006 semester.
“This area of study prepares students from all disciplines to interact in a multi-cultural world where English is the primary language of exchange,” said Dr. Betty Mealy, professor of English at Southern Wesleyan University.
Southern Wesleyan University is one of the first universities in the Upstate to address to offer this type of program, Mealy said.
People who are entering the global marketplace in areas such as business, education, commerce, marketing and missions benefit from a good command of the English language, Mealy said. It is helpful for these professionals to also have training in how to help others who speak other languages with their communication and interactions with English-speaking entities, she said.
“These courses will be especially useful for education majors, ministry students and international business students who will need to interact with others who don’t speak English,” Mealy said. “Many times when our students go overseas, they’re asked to teach English, but they’re not equipped to do so. This will prepare them to teach our language to others.”
The Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages minor will teach more than fundamental language strategies, Mealy said.
“Vocabulary, sentence structure and context are important, but the biggest issue is cultural sensitivity or using the right words in context,” she said. “Also, it is important to learn how to appropriately sequence teaching of English so that students build from skill to skill.”
Courses for the new minor include Principles and Strategies for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Modern Grammar and Linguistics, History of the English Language, Teaching Reading and Writing to Limited English Proficient Learners, Testing/Assessment for Language Minority Learners and a teaching practicum.
Southern Wesleyan University already offers Teaching English as a Foreign Language, which is the introductory course for the new Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages minor.
“It has been a popular elective for us,” Mealy said. “It attracts a great mixture of students. The course is applicable in almost any discipline we offer since most students will have some sort of multi-cultural or international experience.”