To kick start the new semester for freshman students is the English Enhancement Programme (EEP). This five-day intensive programme ran from 26 August until 30 August and aims to help new students adapt to the English learning environment at UIC.

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Freshman students all take part in the EEP

EEP targets the students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Also, this programme introduces students to essential campus resources such as the Learning Resource Centre, as well as giving them a better understanding of Zhuhai city.

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The mornings during the EEP week consist of lessons that can vary on many topics while the afternoon classes incorporate more activities, which have all been designed and delivered by the English Language Centre (ELC) faculty members.

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Students participating in activities to practice their English

The ELC faculty members were to encourage the students to engage and become more acclimatized to the English teaching environment. Students were challenged on different English skills with speaking games and writing activities. These activities are aimed to arm the students with the language skills they will need to succeed during their time at UIC.

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ELC Lecturer Mr Marc Belisle helping his students

A variety of interactive activities and an array of teaching methods were implemented by the ELC faculty members. These tactics were utilised to improve the students’ English abilities while maintaining the core objective of helping students acclimatise to the English environment.

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The result at the end of the week was that the new students were more comfortable and confident with their English abilities.

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ELC Senior Lecturer Ms Alma Tesorero provides a fun class for her students

One fun activity that was arranged was a 'sing-off'  between the classes of ELC lecturers Ms Rebecca Eagleson and Ms Angel Zhao. Ms Eagleson’s class sang ‘This is Me’ from the film The Greatest Showman while Ms Zhao’s class sang ‘Seasons of Love’, which was originally sung and performed by Rent. Each class took to the stage to sing at three alternative times.

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Students singing

The new freshman students appreciated the five-day intensive programme and were grateful for the relentless work that had been put in by both ELC teachers and foreign interns to ensure that EEP was fun and successful.

 

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Assistant Director of ELC as well as Senior Lecturer, Mr John Ultich, said: “We hope EEP encourages students to embrace an all English environment and pursue both their studies and hobbies in English while at UIC”.

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Mr John Ultich using music and a sing-along to get the students to use English

ELC Senior Lecturer, Mr Darrell Rea, explained how EEP helps kick start the student’s English. “Getting our new students to work all day in English and to remember the English they have already learned. Many of our new students have never met a foreigner before. They have never used English in their daily lives. It is just a really good start to their university life” he said.

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Mr Darrell Rea got his class to really engage

ELC Lecturer, Mr Brendon Ayers, is a big advocator for EEP and he believes that this programme allows students to build confidence, make friends and actually use the English they have learnt in creative and practical ways in a real English language environment.

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Mr Brendon Ayers explaining some English language activities

ELC Lecturer, Mr Michael Mavloni, said: "You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach them to learn by creating curiosity, then they will continue the learning process as long as they live." He continued "EEP is meant to help the students realize that learning a second language is not as hard as it seems to be, so just step in and enjoy the ride".

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Mr Michael Mavloni welcomes the new students

ELC Lecturer, Mr Chris Lydon, believes EEP is a far-reaching and significant event for students. "As the students start their journey into further education, this is where the transition from student to the whole person begins".

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Mr Chris Lydon giving the students a lecturer

Ms Angel Zhao said that activities like the sing-along competition enable students to present themselves in front of an audience and boost their confidence.

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Ms Angel Zhao with her class

Ms Rebecca Eagleson mentioned how had actually done singing with her students for three EEP sessions in the past. "This is the first time we have done it sing-off style with another class - students build both confidence and competence in their speaking skills because modern popular music comes from rap music, and rap music comes from speaking! The selections were from contemporary musical theatre, which offers a more polished form of popular music - that is, lyrics with deeper meaning in the wording, and natural rhythms of speech."

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Ms Rebecca Eagleson with her class

Finance student, Chen Meitong, explained that she liked the whole set up of EEP and the general teaching environment was very welcoming. “My English speaking is much better and I think my English teacher is professional”.

Applied Psychology student, Jin Kunlin, said: “I think EEP has many interesting activities to help us get more involved in the English class”. He thinks it helped students be more confident when using English, “This week will help students to read more and speak more”. Kunlin believes EEP can help people who are not interested in English to become more engaged with it.

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(from left) Freshman students Jin Kunlin and Chen Meitong really enjoyed EEP

New ELC Foreign Intern, Bailey Johnson mentioned how the mission of the EEP is to help students freely practice their English skills through a variety of activities in a fun and judgment-free space. “Whether they know nothing at all or have years of experience, it’s a chance to grow in their knowledge of the language while learning with their peers.”

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ELC Foreign Intern Bailey Johnson helping a student

Another new Foreign Intern in the ELC, Mr Zachary Powers, expressed his own opinion about EEP by saying "In my experience, the EEP has been a fun and interactive way to give students their first true English immersion experience".

Reporter: Samuel Burgess
Photographer: Lauren Richardson, Liang Xiaolan
Editors: Deen He, Lauren Richardson
(from MPRO)