The Refugee Development Center (RDC), Lansing, MI
GLOBE Camp (Gaining Learning Opportunities through Better English
The goal of the program is to promote language acquisition for English Language learners (ELL) through academic and educational activities. This interactive enrichment program will focus on:
The Refugee Development Center (RDC) in partnership with the Bilingual Education Department at the Lansing School District (LSD), Michigan State University (MSU) and the Capital Area District Library (CADL) provides a four-week content-based language acquisition program for 70 refugee students.
The GLOBE Camp targets ELLs who have been participants in the RDC or LSD after-school programs, in addition to students referred by Bilingual Support Specialists from the Lansing School District. The GLOBE Camp follows the communicative and content-based instruction approaches to language learning. The program includes four units:
The first three weeks take place at the RDC and the last week is held at Ebersole Environmental Education and Conference Center of the Lansing School District.
To help parents and their kids prepare for our summer camp program, the RDC provides an orientation for each parent, covering topics such as camp curriculum, transportation arrangements, behavioral and attendance expectations, and a description of services and supplies provided to each summer camp student. With the help of interpreters, we conduct a number of these orientations in various parts of the city for various language groups. At each orientation, parents have an opportunity to see photos/videos of previous summer camp programs, ask questions, and sign all the paperwork necessary for their children to attend the program.
Middle and High School ELL students from Burundi/Tanzania, Burma, Bhutan, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Iraq, Nepal and Somalia.
The GLOBE Camp is funded by the Lansing School District, the Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG) and the Refugee Development Center.
The GLOBE Camp is staffed by a youth coordinator, two teachers, a parent educator, a volunteer coordinator and volunteers. The program is supervised by the RDC Executive Director and the Director of Bilingual Education in the LSD.
All staff is required to:
The staff is expected to ensure that all ELL in the program increase in linguistic and cultural competence, in order to further facilitate their participation in the American education system and in cross-cultural environments.
MSU student-volunteers are also required to participate in a training that includes the mission and history of the Refugee Development Center, the goals of the GLOBE Camp, strategies to work with ELL, and rules and expectations.
All enrolled students are required to take pre- and post-tests at the beginning and at the end of each unit to assess their previous level of knowledge and their progress and achievements respectively.
The pre-tests consist of a set of multiple proficiency exercises increasing in their levels of language and content difficulty. The placement tests include the following: an oral skills section, which mainly features an oral interview incorporating the most important communicative functions for each level; a listening activity to assess the student's ability to understand standard American English; a reading section that also includes language forms to assess the student's comprehension abilities by recognizing and manipulating standard American English in reading passages; and a written placement exercise to explore the student's weakness and strengths in the areas of written language use and mechanics.
Through the post or achievement tests the students are expected to show improvement in their fluency and accuracy by reaching higher levels of listening comprehension and striking up communicative interactions that they can maintain for longer periods of time. By the end of the program, students should read and understand longer and more complex reading passages and should also be able to use appropriate punctuation and capitalization showing understanding of the mechanics of writing.
Throughout the program, evaluation techniques are also administered and they include one-on-one oral interviews, observation of the student interaction with classmates, role plays, short presentations, simulations, and transpositions. Teachers also conduct a series of formative assessments to evaluate the students' progress.
At the end of camp, students and their parents, staff, and volunteers come together to take a survey and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the program. A set of recommendations is taken for the next year.
The curriculum includes a sequenced systematic presentation of language functions and forms providing many opportunities for the students to comprehensively learn and practice the four language skills through the content areas.
At the end of the program the students are expected to achieve the following learning objectives in each of the language skills:
In addition, all students should be able to show improvement in their teamwork, communication and social skills through the course of the program.
This program started in 2007 and is still in operation as of June 2011.