SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – On Tuesday, May 21, students enrolled in the University of St. Martin (USM) English as a Second Language (ESL) program, received their Certificates of Completion.
Some 12 students started the ESL Basic level program on February 5, 2019, and 9 received their certificates on Tuesday. The 72-hour program was held 3 times a week for 2 hours over a period of 12 weeks.
Before receiving their certificates, Dean of Academics Dr. Rolinda Carter expressed words of congratulations and encourages to the students. She then challenged every student to say something in English to highlight their experiences in the program as they receive their certificate from USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona Baez and Dr. Carter. Students shared their happiness at being able to better understand and speak the English Language, while others noted the importance of continuing on to achieve fluency and proficiency.
ESL Coordinator Corinne Lejuez-VanPutten, who was described as “full of joy,” by one of her students, said that her goal for ESL is to create a structure that would achieve quality, and sustainability at USM, while at the same time making it fun and meaningful for her students. According to Lejuez-VanPutten, her number one rule is: “Only English will be spoken!” implementing a type of immersion program where students are compelled to learn the language through different methods, such as using a translator app on their cell phones.
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or call USM directly at 542-5249 for more information.