Students Offer Language Courses Free to Community Through Popular Club
Getting a group of students together to teach each other and learn new languages was the idea behind the very popular student club B.U.I.L.D, or “Beyond yoUrself In Language Development.” In just a few years, the club has flourished and now not only provides students the opportunity to share their languages, test their teaching methods and acquire new tongues, but also has provided the students running the program with real-life practical experience
In the fall semester of 2012, students taught 18 languages in many more classes to accommodate different fluency levels and opened their classrooms to the whole Monterey community—for free! The languages offered included Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, and Russian, as well as Hungarian, Amharic, Urdu, and Hebrew. Originally, the idea was for students in the language teaching degree programs to have a chance to do a practicum on campus, but as the program has grown in popularity, students from other programs, and even other schools in the area, have volunteered their services for the chance to teach others their native languages.
One of the fortunate but unintended consequences of the program is the professional experience it has provided its leaders. Angie Petinos (MATESOL ’12) says her involvement with B.U.I.L.D helped her realize that she really loves language administration. Her co-president of the club, Karen Wong (MAIEM ’13), likes the management part so much that she has transferred to the new International Education Management degree program.
Angie and Karen take their roles seriously and have helped to build an organization that they would like to see continue to flourish after they graduate. The B.U.I.L.D. program includes teacher training, frequent surveys of students and teachers, teacher feedback, and marketing, among other things. The experience has given both women a huge boost in motivation and professional confidence. “I know when I step out in the world that I have accomplished something,” says Karen with a broad smile. Not bad for a student club experience!