Siloam Springs, Ark (September 13, 1999) - Grace Davis, an instructor in the Division of Language and Art at John Brown University, recently participated in the ESL (English as a Second Language) Summer Academy at Winrock International. The Academy is sponsored by the State Department of Education. She introduced teachers new to ESL to professional organizations and the educational opportunities, political advocacy, and other resources these organizations offer to teachers of ESL. Davis is serving as President of ARKTESOL (the Arkansas Chapter of TESOL International, Inc.).
Davis likes to point out that it takes a team approach to meet the needs of second language students. She says, "I'm excited and encouraged by the united efforts of JBU, our Siloam Springs Public Schools and the State Department of Education to train teachers in effective ways to teach our ESL learners."
At John Brown University, Davis holds a joint faculty appointment in the Division of Teacher Education and the Division of Language and Art. Within the Division of Teacher Education, Davis teaches TESOL courses, classes that instruct future K-12 classroom teachers in how to teach English as a second language to their students (TESOL). English majors and students minoring in intercultural studies also enroll in the TESOL courses in anticipation of teaching English to others in overseas settings. "There is such a need in Northwest Arkansas and around the nation for teachers who understand how to reach out to students who are excited about learning but may struggle with the language barrier," said Davis.
In the Department of English, Davis works directly with JBU students for whom English is a second language. She teaches two years of composition for these ESL students. Every year JBU attracts students from approximately 40 different nations around the world, making it a highly multi-cultural campus. Even though the students are bright and well-educated, some may not always have enough mastery of college-level English to thrive in a US university.
Davis says she enjoys her work with ESL and TESOL students. "I am in the enviable position of being able to teach ESL and teach future teachers how to teach ESL," said Davis.
In November, Davis and Leslie Moore of the Siloam Springs Public Schools will co-present at the Arkansas Educators Association meeting in Little Rock. Their topic is "ESL and the Content Classrooms: Strategies for Designing an ESL-Accessible Lesson."
Since 1919, John Brown University, a nondenominational Christian university, has provided top-quality, Christ-centered higher education. JBU embraces a three-fold emphasis on educating the "Head, Heart and Hand" of 1,500 students from over 47 states and 33 countries. For ten consecutive years, JBU has been on the John Templeton Foundation Honor Roll of Character Building Colleges. The University has also repeatedly been included in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of top regional colleges and universities.