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ESL Students Complete Service Projects in Community


Back row, from left%3A Christine Schultz, Hussain Alhammadi, Hussain Al-Safwani, Hattan Alotaibi and Ali Alsakhin. Front row from left%3A Janet Wolfe and Ellen KennellyNine students from Pennsylvania College of Technology’s English as a Second Language program completed service-learning projects Dec. 2. The students were involved with The Academia and Messiah Lutheran Senior Center for five weeks on Friday mornings during the last half of the Fall 2011 semester.

The projects, part of the students’ second-level listening/speaking course, were designed to allow students opportunities to practice English skills in the community and learn about American culture. At the same time, the projects provided students with meaningful opportunities to help others.

Clockwise from foreground%3A Ellen Kennelly, Jennifer Studenny, Janet Wolfe, Ali Alsakhin, Hattan Alotaibi and Marilyn LeavyFive students completed their projects at The Academia, a private school for children with and without disabilities, in Newberry. There, the students helped children with academic tasks, taught them Arabic words, played and assisted them with cooking projects, and engaged with them during field trips.

Four other students completed their projects at the Messiah Lutheran Senior Center in South Williamsport. At the center, the students learned card games, helped with lunches and room set-up, and had opportunities to converse with the seniors.

Clockwise from left%3A Hussain Alhammadi, Ahmed Alduaylij, Yahya Al-Sifran, Abdulrahman Aldebas, Yousef Mansor, Hussain Al-Safwani, Houssain Shannier and Lauri ShafferThe projects culminated with the students’ final presentations about their experiences. In addition to ESL program staff and administration, representatives from their sites were invited to the presentations and a lunch afterward. During the lunch, the students had opportunities to share about traditional food and customs from Saudi Arabia.

Photos provided by Jody L. Lantz, ESL specialist, Workforce Development & Continuing Education

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