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Saint Mary’s Launches English Language School

Madeline Miles | Friday, October 7, 2011

Saint Mary’s College launched the English Language School this semester to offer international students additional help learning a new language.

The English Language School offers classes to non-native speakers, with a focus on preparing students for higher-level education. The school hopes to attract more international students to Saint Mary’s College, the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) website said.

“The benefits [of the English Language School] for our students is that it is greatly supporting the numbers of international students on campus, which provides a diversity that gives us opportunity to interact with cross-cultures,” Director of CWIL Elaine Meyer-Lee said. “Those skills of intercultural competence are very important to functioning in any field today.”

Meyer-Lee said a variety of students attend the English Language School.

Members of the South Bend community, current international students at the College and students who have applied or will apply to Saint Mary’s are all welcome to attend.

Mana Derakhshani, associate director of CWIL, said the School offers four courses in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Erika Pistorius Stamper and Arnie Chuah-Skwarcan teach the English Language School classes for a total of 25 hours each week.

Additionally, Derakhshani said modern language laboratories are available for more practice and extra-curricular cultural immersion activities, like field trips to Chicago, are included in the School.

Derakhshani said she looks forward to the benefits that will come from diversifying the campus through the English Language School.

“It allows our more typical students to interact with women from other parts of the world,” she said. “For the students who are coming, it provides them with good, quality, intensive English language instruction in a congenial setting with opportunities for interaction with American college students.”

Meyer-Lee said the English Language School is in line with President Carol Ann Mooney and Derakhshani’s goal of increasing the number of international students attending Saint Mary’s.

“Of course, I hope for it to grow exponentially,” said Derakhshani. “It’s good for the college to have these women on campus.”