Preparation for ESL Students Entering the University of Hawaiʻi: An Online Course

Session Description
There are approximately 1,200 students at the University of Hawaiʻi who are considered international students, from a foreign country. English as a Second Language students have unique needs when transitioning to a college setting in the United States, especially into such a diverse atmosphere as Hawaiʻi provides. When students who do not speak a country’s native language enter an environment that is totally foreign to them, particularly for academic purposes, feelings of inadequacy, fear, and anxiety can be overwhelming.

The goal of this six-week course is to highlight information and skills for students who are new to Hawaiʻi in order to assist in their transition to college in a foreign place. Students will engage in activities in an immersive virtual environment to provide simulated real-life experiences in safe practice situations. Topics in the course will include common English and Pidgin English vocabulary, communication etiquette, and exploring popular attractions in Hawaiʻi. The knowledge students will gain from this course will better prepare them for acclimation to the college community and with the culture shock of moving to Hawaiʻi.

This presentation describes the instructional design process in the creation of the Preparation Course for ESL Students Entering the University of Hawaiʻi. It will discuss course rationale, project management and the iterative process. Course standards, objectives, as well as content and assessment will also be covered.

James Balicao is in the UH Mānoa LTEC Masters 2018 Cohort. He works for UHM College of Education’s Technology & Distance Programs – DCDC. Part-time Culture Workshop instructor for Kapiʻolani Community College.

Erin Nakano is a full-time middle school ELA teacher on the Island of Lānaʻi. She currently is participating in an alternatively scheduled PhD program in Learning Design and Technology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, which means that most of my classes are online, with a few required face-to-face sessions. Due to the fact that she is such a busy person, she really appreciate the flexibility that online courses provide.

Mark Yap has over 20 years of experience in information technology (IT) and in video/multimedia production, as well as recent work in the educational technology field. He has a bachelor’s degree in Communications, certificate in Ethnic Studies, and a Master’s of Education in Learning Design and Technology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Mark is currently a PhD student in the Learning Design and Technology program at Mānoa.


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