International students who need to improve their English prior to enrolling in academic studies begin their educational journeys in the U of L’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program.
“The EAP Program prepares international students who have not met the
U of L’s English language proficiency requirement to be academically successful in English,” says EAP Coordinator Jenine Hawryluk.
Hawryluk made the transition from EAP instructor to EAP coordinator in September. The role isn’t completely new to her – she held the coordinator position for a couple of semesters in the past.
“Preparing students for success in university and their future careers is very meaningful work. As coordinator, I can have an impact on the program as well as the individual classes and students,” says Hawryluk.
The 10 EAP instructors working with Hawryluk have more than 50 combined years of international experience and 120 combined years of teaching experience. Instructor Steven Huxley studies Korean, and he says most of the EAP staff are studying or have studied a second language.
“We understand what the students go through learning a second language because we have gone through it ourselves. We’ve lived abroad and experienced the same culture shock that EAP students do, so we can relate to them,” says Huxley.
Students learn academic skills, such as note taking and critical reading, at the same time as they are studying English. Guest speakers address culture shock, life in Lethbridge and other helpful topics for newcomers, and students are encouraged to participate in campus activities and experience Canadian culture.
The current goal for the program is to continue the process of revising and formalizing the curriculum of the three EAP course levels – Intermediate, High Intermediate and Advanced.
“We’re really working diligently towards creating strict exit standards for our students. It’s been a lot of work with a great deal of debate and lively discussion, but we have really improved the program in terms of curriculum,” says Huxley.
EAP students are benefiting from the close attention to curriculum. Approximately 80 per cent of students who successfully complete the EAP Program go on to graduate with U of L degrees.
“We’re very proud of the fact that students who go through our program are very successful in university,” says Hawryluk.
The majority of the 80 to 100 students enrolled in the EAP Program per semester are from China, but students also come from Korea, Japan, the Middle East, South America and Europe.
“We want to ensure students go into university with the confidence that they can meet the criteria in any department or Faculty that they want to go into,” says Huxley. “We constantly tell them that we will still be available to assist them even when they finish the program.”
Any domestic or international students seeking assistance with their written assignments can benefit from the expertise of the EAP instructors by visiting the Writing Centre in L1012 of the University Library.
To learn more about the EAP Program or the Writing Centre, visit www.uleth.ca/global.
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