On August 5, Summer Term @Ross students in the ESOL and Mandarin courses showcased their impressive advancements in theatrical and oral presentations to an audience of faculty, staff, and peers. In addition to the obvious improvement in their language proficiency, it was also fun to watch the interaction among the students between the events.
The day began with Kristine Hart’s ESOL Level 1 students. During Summer Term Session 2, the class studied the Greek myth of Eros, son of Aphrodite, and his love for Psyche, a maiden with a soul purified by misfortunes who embraces the opportunity for eternal happiness. Working in teams, they created illustrated books with their own interpretations of the tale and presented them to their audience. The students’ command of the subject matter, vocabulary, and delivery made for an engaging experience for everyone.
Next up was Lance Sun’s Level 2 class. Starting with their country of birth, each student shared a bit about their personal history and then a look forward to where he or she expected to be two, five, 10, and 25 years from now. Using ThingLink, they traced their path on a world map displayed on a SMART Board. The audience learned that the students, from Vietnam, China, and Japan, were looking forward to continuing their high school studies at Ross School in the fall, moving on to universities in the United States, traveling to international locations such as Australia and England, and eventually thriving with their own families and successful careers. The presentations were entertaining, interesting, and once again, notable for their proficiency in English.
Third on the morning’s agenda was Vincent Barbato’s Level 3 ESOL students, who performed the final acts of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The class picked up where Session 1 students left off. Former students Jenny and Denny, now back in Russia and China respectively, joined via Skype to explain the first part of the play and set the scene. The acting, sets, costumes, and appreciative buzz in the audience were a testament to the students’ talents and their appreciation for drama and humor.
Finally, instructor Rubo Fu’s Mandarin students presented their family trees. The ESOL students in the audience were impressed with their schoolmates’ progress with the dialect. During a Q&A session following the event, students were asked about the hardest part of learning English and Mandarin, and all agreed that even though vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation were difficult, they enjoyed the experience, and they are looking forward to continuing their studies in both languages. Because many of them will return to Ross for the school year, they’ll also be able to continue turning to their English and Chinese friends and classmates for help and conversation in each other’s native language.