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A reading of Wright State's mission, vision, and values yields a clear understanding that it is Wright State’s goal to help every unique individual in our community learn together so they can serve well in their spheres of influence. “Our daily life is made rich by the diversity of individuals, groups, and cultures.” The international students in the university’s intensive English program, LEAP, bring their rich cultural backgrounds to the Wright State campus and provide a great opportunity for the university’s U.S. students to get a taste of the world beyond the country’s borders.
How do these partnerships help students?
- U.S. students fulfill the goals of their classes in achieving a larger understanding of the world through their interactions with people from different cultures, languages, and religious backgrounds.
- LEAP international students learn first-hand about U.S. culture and practice communicating in English.
- LEAP students, many of whom are future university students, observe the academic university culture and are better prepared for their future classes.
- Both groups gain a larger understanding of the world, which leads to greater acceptance of and compassion for people who are different.
- Students can develop friendships that continue outside the classroom.
Wright State Students
Sign up to be a conversation partner! You will meet weekly on campus to help a LEAP student practice spoken English in an informal setting. You’ll learn about your partner’s background and culture.
Wright State Faculty
In accordance with LEAP’s mission, we offer students opportunities to participate in social, cultural, and mainstream curricular activities to facilitate student success in university studies. There are various ways for Wright State faculty and students to interact with LEAP students through:
- Course Collaborations: Wright State and LEAP classes partner on joint projects, discussions and activities that meet student learning outcomes for each course.
- LEAP Student Panels: LEAP students visit your class to speak on a topic related to your course as “cultural informants.” Please let us know at the beginning of the semester so that we have time to coordinate.
- Wright State Faculty Guest Speaker: Join a LEAP class or one of our Student Success workshops and share a short lecture on a topic from your expertise.
Here is what some Wright State faculty and staff have to say about their interactions with LEAP:
- "I have worked with LEAP since Winter 2010 coordinating a service learning project with my general education SW 2720 class – Multicultural Competence in a Diverse World. My students are paired with Level 3 and Level 4 students for 10 weeks, and they spend at least 30 minutes per week with their LEAP partner. The LEAP students get to practice conversational English with native speakers, and my students get exposure to a foreign culture through the interaction. My students benefit from this interaction as they are exposed to the culture, customs and mores from a variety of countries including China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, among others."
— Dr. Shreya Bhandari, Associate Professor, Wright State Department of Social Work
- "I have worked with the LEAP program for several years, for six semesters, with my First Year Seminar courses (UVC 1010 and UH 1010). We put the students in discussion groups and let them spend time getting to know and learn from each other. It has been very successful, and I continue to do it because each year my class has had such positive feedback. A lot of times at the end of the semester, they will say our international unit has been their favorite. My students and the LEAP students have been able to create relationships, sign up to be conversation partners, exchange email addresses, and connect with each other even after the joint class session is over. This experience opens doors. Partnering with the LEAP program has added so much value, both for my class and for the LEAP students, to have opportunities to make connections outside of their academic classes."
— Amanda Spencer, Assistant Director, Advising and Enrollment Management, Raj Soin College of Business
- "I have worked with LEAP since 2011. My involvement with LEAP students has been great! I have had the opportunity to teach women's self-defense courses, discuss campus safety, work on class projects with the students, and take pictures and videos. The students are always smiling, very respectful, and excited to ask questions and learn about safety and my job. I always look forward to working with LEAP because of the positive interactions. I believe my presentations have benefited both the police department and the campus because safety is always something that will need to be discussed. I look forward to working with LEAP’s tremendous faculty, staff, and great students every chance I get."
— Kurt Holden, Patrol Sergeant, Crime Prevention Specialist, and EOD K9 Unit Member at the Wright State University Police Department
- "The LEAP program provides an optimal opportunity for our TESOL undergraduate and graduate students to observe experienced teachers teaching and interacting with international students in small-group settings. It is through this opportunity that everything they learn in class about language teaching and learning becomes alive to them. On top of that, many students feel more personally engaged with the profession and see ESL teaching as part of their professional and personal identities. Collaboration with LEAP creates long-lasting effects on our students."
— Dr. Shengrong Cai, Assistant Professor, TESOL/Applied Linguistics
- "Collaborating with LEAP faculty has afforded my students tremendous opportunities for hands-on experience with English learners. Even before my pre-service teachers step into their own classroom, they are immersed in what it means to be an English language teacher; the LEAP faculty offers exceptional examples of theoretically informed and ethical teaching. Thanks to the LEAP program, my students feel welcome and comfortable in their work with students."
— Dr. Deborah Crusan, Professor, TESOL/Applied Linguistics, in reference to the many collaborations between LEAP, TESOL, and TEFL