by Tara Tarpey
Over the past few years, ELI has supported forums for students in its Comprehensive English Program (CEP). These ELI Student Forums have been, and continue to be, an excellent way for students to practice both their language and leadership skills.
Last November, a group of CEP students organized a group photo in front of the fountain in City Hall Park. Although the weather presented some challenges that day, more than half of the students showed up in the park to pose for the photo, proudly holding ELI signs.
The CEP students who helped plan the event found the experience to be rewarding and were glad for the new friendships they formed in the process.
Here are some students’ thoughts on being a part of the Fall 2019 Student Forum:
For me, this was an opportunity to meet other people and of course, to improve my English. It’s difficult to organize even something simple when you are using a language different from your own. But we achieved our goal and met new friends. This was a challenge for me, and I enjoyed it. In general, I strongly recommend being involved in any activity in addition to your daily routine. Here, too, in the ELI program, my recommendation is to meet and challenge yourself as much as possible. It was a special and refreshing experience.” (Wishes to remain unnamed)
“I think what I enjoyed most was gathering with other people. I learned how to interact, using English as a second language, and also how to communicate with other students I didn’t know. We had to visit classes and tell everyone about the group photo and what would happen. I was a little nervous about the weather because we had to postpone once and even on the day of the photo, the weather forecast predicted rain. But the good thing was that there was actually no rain, so I was relieved. It was a good experience for me.” (Kijoon Hur)
“My experience with the Student Forum was very amazing because I had the opportunity to speak with other students that were not in my class. It was very good for me and for my English, especially visiting classrooms to make announcements. I had to practice my English for this, and I was successful. I met students at other levels, and it was great because now I have new friends. For me, I’ll always remember this experience.” (Liliana Lopez)
Thank you to all of the CEP students who participated for their valuable contributions to the Fall 2019 ELI Student Forum!
Tara Tarpey, clinical assistant professor, is the coordinator of the Comprehensive English Program, for which she also teaches. She has published articles in several publications: Discourse Studies, Language and Information Society, The Language Teacher, Idiom, and Teachers College Columbia University Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics.