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Education Students Assist International Students with TOEFL Prep

By Brad Duncan, Jenny Wells

 Using the Halloween holiday as a backdrop for their lessons, students in the University of Kentucky College of Education's Master's with Initial Certification (MIC) program worked with students from the UK Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) to help them prepare for their upcoming TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exams while they also learned how to work with ESL students.

MIC students were placed in groups and charged with developing curricula to teach English language principles using Halloween topics, from making masks to solving puzzles to learning the basics of trick-or-treating as done by children in the United States. Then each group assembled in UK Taylor Education Building with the CESL students to conduct the lessons. At the end of the day, the individual groups presented what they had learned from the experience.

"There is more than one way to get a point across," said MIC student Franklin Frye. "Using visuals and the words truly helps relay the message. We are able to use everything at our disposal."

In total, 52 MIC students worked with 100 students from the CESL program. The activities were required to include the giving of directions, an English language segment and a practice English test that both groups worked on together.

"We have a growing number of ESL students in our student population in the United States," said Jeanette Groth, MIC program coordinator. "In 2002, the National Center for Education reported that 41 percent of teachers have ESL students in their classrooms but only about 30 percent of teachers have received training. Many preservice teachers receive no training at all with this growing sector. To follow the belief that 'all children can learn' we must prepare our teachers to differentiate education to support learning for all students."

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