“As educators question what college should look like in the 21st century, one answer is: global. And to higher education trailblazers, that means more than junior year abroad or overseas internships. They find campuses to be insular places that leave students ill prepared for a globalized world, and they question the efficacy of traditional pedagogy, especially the lecture format, at a time when the same information can be imparted online.” C. C. Miller, The New York Times
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: The World Is Their Campus by Claire C. Miller NYT
“Consider one emerging approach, wherein students hop from campus to campus across continents, earning an undergraduate degree in the process. In these programs, they spend the majority of their college years outside the United States and immerse themselves in diverse cultures. Foreign cities are their classrooms…Campus hopping is not for everyone. Many students don’t want to give up the sustained community built over four years on a campus. Administrators note that 18-year-olds who choose this unorthodox college path have a special blend of traits: maturity, curiosity, adventurousness, flexibility and openness.
W. Louis Brickman, 18, could have taken many paths to college. As a student at the prestigious Hunter College High School in New York, he was accepted at several elite liberal arts schools and two research universities. But he surprised teachers and friends by choosing to enter the second class at the Minerva Schools, a start-up based in San Francisco, where he will spend three-quarters of his time in other countries.
I’m passionate about international travel, and it felt to me inadequate to stay in one place for four years, said Mr. Brickman, who was born in Berlin and raised in Manhattan.
Minerva, which is affiliated with the Keck Graduate Institute, was founded by a former tech executive, Ben Nelson, who believed that traditional colleges were not adequately preparing students for the real world.
After freshman year in San Francisco, students will move to a new country each semester; by the time they graduate, they will have lived in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Bangalore, Istanbul and London.
Based on research into how students learn, Minerva’s faculty concluded that a key skill is being able to apply learning in new and different contexts. Toward that end, students keep blogs during their travels about how they’re using the concepts they learned freshman year. Yes, they’re graded.
L.I.U. Global, born out of a Quaker school established 50 years ago and later acquired by Long Island University, debuted a European program last year and added three new minors.
For us, it’s not about: You go somewhere, you study for a bit and you come back to St. Louis, said Elizabeth J. Stroble, Webster’s president. It’s much more about: How can you make the world your home?
You remember that the other people across the world from you are people…they have their own thoughts and motives and dreams and desires. It’s a humbling realization that we’re all the same.”
NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos
Directions: Have students examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of words and ideas that they think might be related to this article.
II. While Reading Tasks
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- The new students are educational trailblazers.
- Students can get overseas internships.
- This is an unorthodox college path.
- More students, especially at the elite end are studying globally.
- College students wish to immerse themselves in diverse cultures.
- Many students don’t want to give up the sustained community.
- Minerva is affiliated with the Keck Graduate Institute.
- Most study-abroad programs think in dyadic terms.
- She had applied to traditional schools like Penn State before.
- For a seamless transition, credits are the same as on all campuses.
Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.
“Students can spend/spill full targets/terms at Webster’s campuses abroad, and some courses/crosses combine an online or in-person glass/class with an immersion/imagine trip; for example, a human rights studies/students class travails/traveled to Rwanda and a class on international criminal/crime law ended with a trip/trap to Leiden, the Netherlands.
For a seedless/seamless transition, credits are the same/some as on the St. Louis campus, as is the $25,300 tuition, though/dough Webster tacks on a $500 study-abroad fee and in many cases does not pay for airfare.”
Using Adjectives to describe pictures
Directions: Have students choose a picture from the article and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.
For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar
III. Post Reading Tasks
Graphic Organizers: Finding the main idea
Directions: Have students use this advanced organizer from Write Design to assist them with discussing or writing about the main idea and points from the article.
Directions: Place students in groups and have them rewrite the following statement in their own words. Students can discuss the ideas presented in the statement.
“Minerva’s approach to upending traditional education goes beyond travel. Professors lead live video seminars that are reserved for group projects and debate — students often meet to take the classes together. And while majors are offered in the usual fields, like humanities, science and business, the overarching goal is to teach students to think critically and creatively and to communicate and interact well with others.”
1-Minute Free Writing Exercise
Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading. Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.