Promising Practices Program

Administering Organization

The Refugee Development Center (RDC), Lansing, MI

Program Name

GLOBE Camp (Gaining Learning Opportunities through Better English

Program Objectives and Unique Needs Addressed

 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:

  • Creating an intensive English language-learning environment with authentic interaction, so that students are challenged to expand their knowledge, use technology and have fun outside of the classroom;
  • Providing an overnight program experience for youth, where they will develop their teamwork, communication and social skills;
  • Supporting students' feeling of being gradually successful and integrated into the American school system.

Program Description

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:

  • Life in America
  • Science
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Math

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.

Resource Materials Used in Program

  • GLOBE Camp: A Language Acquisition and Enrichment Program (Core Curriculum)
  • School Impact Grant: Core Curriculum for Youth Groups
  • An After School Language Acquisition Program in Collaboration with the Refugee Development Center and the Bilingual Education Department at the Lansing School District: Core Curriculum for English Language Learners
  • Environmental and Outdoor Education Program: Ebersole Environmental Education and Conference Center
  • Supplemental Curriculum for Content Area Instruction

Groups Served by Program

Middle and High School ELL students from Burundi/Tanzania, Burma, Bhutan, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Iraq, Nepal and Somalia.

Program Funding

The GLOBE Camp is funded by the Lansing School District, the Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG) and the Refugee Development Center.

Program Staffing and Required Staff Training

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:

  • Have knowledge of second language acquisition and acculturation processes; methodological approaches; effective techniques and practices for teaching English; appropriate assessments for program placement and monitoring student achievement;
  • Demonstrate ability to work and interact effectively with students of various ages and socio-economic and proficiency levels, with a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds;
  • Be able to work independently and as part of a team, as well as under the supervision of administrators;
  • Have a native or near-native proficiency in the English language, preferably with ESL certification;
  • Practice excellent interpersonal and communication skills in order to collaborate with all staff; and
  • Pass necessary background checks.

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.

Program Evaluation

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.

Program Outcomes

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:

Listening:

  1. Follow oral directions in English to complete a task.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of content information using non-verbal communication and verbal responses.
  3. Use active listening comprehension skills in a variety of communicative situations inside and outside the classroom.
  4. Identify meaning of content area vocabulary supported by visual aids, definitions and multiple-choice questions.

Speaking:

  1. Use learned words and phrases to respond to questions and directions in varied learning settings.
  2. Communicate basic wants and needs in socially and culturally appropriate ways.
  3. Use gestures and verbal skills for clarification, repetition and to support communication.
  4. Use comprehensible pronunciation and intonation patterns aimed at getting across a coherent message.
  5. Retell conversations and participate in short guided discussions.
  6. Engage in conversations for personal expression and enjoyment within and beyond the classroom setting in culturally and socially suitable ways.
  7. Use some communicative strategies to extend their communicative competence.

Reading:

  1. Demonstrate basic comprehension of simple texts.
  2. Answer comprehension questions about the content of a simple text.
  3. Read and follow sequential written instructions to complete a task.
  4. Use context clues, inference, and knowledge of grammar to develop comprehension skills.
  5. Demonstrate comprehension of main ideas and details.
  6. Understand chronological sequences in a text.
  7. Make predictions and organize ideas to draw conclusions.
  8. Apply reading skills in social contexts.

Writing:

  1. Write basic messages to communicate personal information using appropriate grammar structures, spelling, capitalization and punctuation.
  2. Compose simple declarative, interrogative, and exclamatory sentences.
  3. Compose multiple sentences around a topic.
  4. Write using appropriate vocabulary choice and variation.
  5. Write in different forms for different purposes including thank-you cards and informal letters.

In addition, all students should be able to show improvement in their teamwork, communication and social skills through the course of the program.

Additional Comments

Program Contact

Shirin Kambin Timms
Executive Director, RDC
(517) 482-2252
skt.refugeedevelopmentcenter@yahoo.com

Sergio Keck
Director of Bilingual Education, LSD
(517) 755-1391
sergio.keck@lansingschools.net

http://www.refugeedevelopmentcenter.org/

Program Dates

This program started in 2007 and is still in operation as of June 2011.