International students are completing a semester project called, "Campus Dispatch," in their ESLP 0431 ESL Advanced Reading/Writing course. For the project, ESL students Luana Mello and Jender Medina construct questions based on class topics and then walk around campus during designated mornings to ask their questions to students, faculty and staff around campus.
In three campus dispatch excursions, the survey questions have centered on campus recommendations, multilingualism, and health care in the United States. The students are assisted during the activity by Meghan Kelly, an EDST undergraduate and volunteer teacher intern. After completing the walk around campus and recording the responses they received, the students compose a brief report in writing. Special attention is given to using direct quotes to convey the responses they received. Finally, they post their written reports online at a shared website titled, Campus Dispatch: ESLP 0431. The website is easily accessible from anywhere in the world via this link. The Campus Dispatch website is a testament to ESLP 0431 student progress in English and an indication of the interpersonal ties they make on campus.
The Campus Dispatch activity supports ESL student development in multiple ways: (1) gain authentic practice in all four modes of English language speaking, reading, writing, and listening; (2) boost confidence in using English around campus with native speakers; and (3) build familiarity with campus buildings, offices, and amenities. In the group excursions and in the public website, the Campus Dispatch activity adds to the visibility of our international student population on campus and reinforces their valued place within our shared community.