According to The Christian Science Monitor, the top 5 countries exporting students to America, to get an education are; China, India, South Korea, Canada, and Taiwan. They view an American education to be an improvement over their home country’s education system. However, it’s not always a picnic for the International student endeavoring to embrace the American way.
Their brains will need to absorb more than just spelling and math. Some students are undertaking a whole new culture. Many are still trying to learn the language. What are acceptable behaviors in America? What is expected of them in the classroom? Will they have any friends? There are different gestures to understand, slang dialogue to interpret, and even food differences to get used to.
Chinese students are used to the “cram and memorize” learning style. For that reason, they may lack critical thinking skills. They tend to be more reserved than American students. Interacting with the teacher and other students in the classroom may be a new concept for some. Many of these learning styles are not customary in other countries.
Learning to speak a second language takes boldness and fortitude. You can’t be afraid to speak out, for fear of saying something wrong. ELL (English Language Learners) may feel as if they have to be well-practiced and perfect before they speak up in class. This is where one-on-one teaching and encouragement is so important.
For the International student, just showing up to the classroom can be an overwhelming experience. A lack of contextual history might throw them off guard, when they do not know the history, they have no context to draw from. These are things that American born students take for granite, and what makes the International student’s education experience a challenge, right from the start.
On occasion, the native English students will ask their parents or siblings for guidance with school work, whereas, the International student may not have an English speaker at home. Their family members are not always in a position to offer assistance.
The International student has many challenges to confront and a lot of transitions to make. However, with the right environment and determination, they will succeed. Students are most successful when they are engaged with other students, have lots of one-on-one encouragement, and have a positive learning environment. It’s easy for students to fall through the cracks in a larger school setting.
A smaller private school could be exactly what your student needs to lay a quality foundation and get their American education off to a positive start. An individualized program in a smaller classroom setting could mean the difference between success or failure. A one-to-one learning environment:
- enables students to work on their strengths and weaknesses.
- allows them to accomplish a lot in a shorter period of time.
- gets their questions answered quickly.
- improves their participation/communication skills.
- helps them to be better prepared.
- builds confidence, as they get to know their instructors.
- Helps ELL catch up on their English skills
Tenney school was founded in 1973 by George and Judy Tenney. Individual learning has been the cornerstone of our program since its inception. That philosophy was then preserved by their son, Michael Tenney, as he carried their vision forward, and became school Director in 2009.
The staff at Tenney school loves working with students from all over the world. We strive to make learning relaxing and fun with lots of positive feedback. We know how important it is to lay the groundwork for ELL students so that they will have a solid English language foundation to build upon. Over the years we have learned to individualize our programs to meet the needs of every student. Ask us about our specialized programs.