MAILED: July 7, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- For four weeks, more than 80 students, faculty and administrators from Mexico, Costa Rica and Taiwan will receive intensive training in the English language at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
The four-week English as a Foreign Language program began June 13 and will continue through July 13. It's run by the department of foreign languages through the Arts and Sciences Continuing Education Program.
Classes are conducted entirely in English and participants are encouraged to speak English at all times, said Gale Crouse, chair of the department of foreign languages. The participants are in class for six hours a day, and are allowed to take optional trips on the weekends, Crouse said.
Many of the participants are studying English because they either work with English-speaking people or plan to study in the United States, he said. Also, English is a required language for students to learn in Mexico, he said
Leopoldo Cardenas, who is from Mexico, plans to study in the United States and is trying to improve his English.
"The program helps improve listening, reading, increases vocabulary and improves speaking," Cardenas said.
The program offers trips in the Eau Claire area to places such as the police department and a church to learn and see more about the culture.
Cardenas said everything is different compared to Mexico and participants learn more from the trips.
"We want them to experience the culture and use the language in a real environment not just in a classroom," Crouse said.
There are 13 people teaching in the EFL program. Some are UW-Eau Claire faculty members and others are public school teachers and administrators, he said.
Classes include composition, oral skills and pronunciation in English, he said.
In addition to the classroom work and activities, the participants eat lunch everyday with an English speaker, which helps them with their conversational English, said Tom Upton, assistant professor of foreign languages.
The faculty participants also will job shadow in local businesses such as the public library and stores in the mall, Upton said.
Programs like this aren't new in the United States and UW-Eau Claire has had its program for more than 15 years.
Participants in the program come to UW-Eau Claire to experience the Northern United States, Upton said. It also is a cost effective program; there are a lot of activities for the money, he said.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 7, 1997