18 Oct Namaste, Bonjour and now Hola and Ni Hao
This semester we have seen the merge of the ESL and Language Departments which will help both departments collaborate in the area of language acquisition and cultural appreciation. These combined efforts will help students to develop into global citizens who are deep thinkers, multilingual and have a sincere appreciation for our global and multicultural community.
Tyler Stinchcomb is the new head of department and brings with him a very solid background in languages and TESOL. Tyler holds a BA in Spanish from the University of Maryland and MEd in TESOL from Regent University. He has been teaching Spanish and ESL at the secondary and higher education levels for a combined twelve years.
“No one can deny that Woodstock is a diverse school. With students and staff from all over the world, one can get to know the richness of other cultures by simply engaging in conversations with people they see on a regular basis. Woodstock is rightly proud to be a diverse institution that also has the opportunity to open up the rich culture of India to those with whom it comes in contact,” Tyler said.
ESL and languages play an important role in Woodstock’s 20/20 strategic vision as we work to expand student diversity and increase academic success. One of the first goals is to bring a wider range of ESL students to Woodstock. The ESL and Languages Department aims to help students who are high-achieving but have not had the opportunity to develop their English skills as yet. The goal is to help these students develop English-language proficiency while pursuing the rigorous Woodstock curriculum.
An exciting co-curricular enrichment initiative called PASSAGE has begun and this will broaden global understanding for students. Through French, German, Hindi and Spanish clubs students not only practice their language skills, but also watch foreign films, cook ethnic foods, and observe important cultural traditions celebrated in other parts of the world. In the next school year Spanish and Mandarin will be added to the curriculum alongside French and Hindi to give students a wider range of languages to choose from.
Grade 9 is putting all this into practice during activity week. The students and their teachers will visit isolated villages to gain an understanding and perspective on lifestyles different from their own. Hindi-speaking students will have the opportunity to bridge the communication gap between villagers and students while other students will be able to teach English.
Our diverse Woodstock community will continue the tradition of growing as global citizens and reaching out to others from our outpost in the Himalayas.