The ESOL Conversation Program is back under new management! As many of you are aware, the program had to shut down for a brief period due to funding issues. With the help of the LAS Counseling Center, the International Students and Scholars Office(ISSS) will be relaunching the program this Spring.
The Good News: The program is free just like before to any and all UMD Students, Faculty, and Staff.
The Really GREAT News: It's now also available to the spouses of any of Student, Faculty, or Staff.
Curious what the ESOL Conversation Program is?
The UMD ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Conversation Program is a student centered community that specifically aims to bring students and community members from diverse cultures together through authentic language learning/teaching, cultural exchange, social activities, and a passion for minorities.
More info available under ESOL Program Information, as well as the Volunteer and Student pages.
Sign up now for Orientation Registration Sessions! Available under Volunteer Registration and Student Registration.
After the student newspaper coverage and widespread support we've received, I'm happy to say that the ESOL Program WILL BE RETURNING for the upcoming 2015-2016 Academic Year!
The nature and form of the program for next year is still unclear but it will be run through the International Students and Scholars (ISSS) office. The director of ISSS (Susan Ellis Dougherty) is currently in negotiations with other departments to jointly oversee and fund the program.
There will also most likely be a fee to participate in the program next year to help fund the ESOL Program.
ISSS will send out more information about the ESOL Program for the upcoming year hopefully later this summer.
If you are interested in joining the ESOL Conversation Program as a volunteer or a participant in the upcoming Fall term, please join the listserv. Announcements and updates about the program will be sent through this list serv.
The University of Maryland wants to get rid of the ESOL Conversation Program for the upcoming 2015-2016 Academic Year. They claim that because of budget cuts there is no money for the program but our cost each year is at most $30,000. The cost to run the program is a fraction of the University's budget and we believe that they can find other ways to fund the program like including a small participant fee, partnering with other schools on campus and more fundraising.
The former coordinator of the ESOL Program, Adam Lax, recently wrote an editorial in the The Diamondback criticizing the school's decision.
"If the budget reflects the true priority of a university, how could this university discard such a meaningful, popular program that embodies its stated internationalization goal? What does it say about the university when it gets rid of a program that so many international individuals on the campus rely on as a means for social integration and a space for intercultural and language learning?"
We want to get the University to look for other ways to fund and maintain this vital and popular program on campus. So we have created a petition. If you care about the ESOL Program and fulfilling the University's global engagement goal, please sign it!
This Friday (3/27) from 3pm to 5:30pm, we will hold an ice-skating event at Herbert Wells Ice Rink 5211 Paint Branch Pkwy College Park, MD 20740 with Expedition LLC. This company is founded by some ambitious graduate students, who just graduated from UMD Smith School. The founder Tony Chang was one of our ESOL program social committee members.
Information about volunteers in the ESOL Program for the Spring 2015 has been posted. You can find information about our volunteers at this page http://umdesol.weebly.com/volunteer-bio.html
The Volunteer information session scheduled for Tuesday, February 3rd has been POSTPONED until next Tuesday, February 10th.
It will be at the same place (Tydings Hall room 2106) and same time (5:45 - 7:15 pm).
With the beginning of the Spring 2015 term this week, the ESOL Program will be starting up again.
Interested in being a volunteer (lead conversation sessions with international individuals)?
please fill out this online pre-registration form
Interest in being a participant (practice your Oral English skills in conversation sessions)?
Please fill out this pre-registration form
We also require all individuals to attend an information session. If you cannot come to one, please contact the coordinator. Times, days and locations for the information sessions are the following:
Volunteer information sessions
- Monday, Feb. 2nd - 10:15 am - 11:45 am (Tydings Hall room 2108)
- Tues., Feb. 3rd - 5:45 pm - 7:15 pm (Tydings Hall room 2106)
- Wed., Feb. 4th - 12:15 pm - 1:45 pm (Tydings Hall room 2111)
- Fri., Feb. 6th - 3:15 pm - 4:45 pm (Tydings Hall room 0102)
Participant information sessions
- Mon., Feb. 9th - 10:15-11:45 am (Art Sociology Building room 2309)
- Tues., Feb. 10th - 12:15 pm - 1:45 pm (Architecture Building room 1105)
- Wed., Feb. 11th - 11:15 am - 12:45 pm (Tydings Hall room 2102)
- Fri., Feb. 13th - 3:15 pm - 4:45 pm (Tydings Hall room 2109)
The ESOL Program Fall 2014 Newsletter is now available! Thank you all who contributed and our intern Ellen for putting it together.
The ESOL Program will be having a Halloween Potluck Social next Thursday, October 30th 7-9 pm in the Computer Science Instructional Building Room 1121.
We will provide free pizza and candy.
Please bring snacks or drinks.
There will be Halloween related games and activities including: apple bobbing, a candy corn guessing game and mummy wrapping game.