37 students from one of China's top middle schools are honing their English language skills under the English Language Institute at Elms College held from July 27-Aug. 3.

Students from China have some fun during one of their English language exercises at Elms College's English Language Institute.

Elms Institute Hosts Chinese Students 

 Thirty-seven Chinese middle school students are being hosted under the English Language Institute at Elms College (ELIEC), being held from July 27-Aug. 3.

 This is the second year that Elms College has held the ELIEC program and hosted students from China’s prestigious Experimental Middle School of Xiangyang No. 5 Secondary School in Hubei Province. A boarding school for 900 junior high students, the Middle School is affiliated with Xiangyang No. 5 High School, which places its students among China’s top colleges and universities. The Middle School prepares its students with excellent foreign language instruction and sends 100 percent of graduates on to secondary education.

 “The students will spend each morning in English classes, where the focus will be on developing speaking and listening skills,” said Dr. Joyce Hampton, director of the ELIEC program. “For most, this is their first visit to the United States.”

Group coordinator for the trip is Lei Zhonghua, a professor at Beijing Language and Culture University. Also accompanying the students are representatives of the Experimental Middle School: Lin Daoming (director of the Student Affairs Division), Song Shuangxiu (teacher), and Gao Yue (advisor to the Parents’ Council).

ELIEC is partnering with Holyoke Community College’s Quest program, which helps prepare low-income teens for college academic success, to foster opportunities for communication and friendship between the local students and those from China. The groups will share an afternoon experiencing American holidays, including Christmas, Easter and Halloween, as well as take a trip to Connecticut to watch a New Britain Rock Cats baseball game.  

During their U.S. visit, the students will also make sojourns to Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C., to experience and learn more about American culture and history.

In addition to Dr. Hampton, the ELIEC staff members are: English as a Second Language (ESL) Instructor Robin Bradley, M.Ed., who has studied abroad in Chile and Spain and taught in schools throughout the U.S.; ESL Instructor Rebekah Madera, M.Ed., a professional development trainer for other teachers and recipient of the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award; and Student Activities Coordinator Melaina Fraboni, who received her B.A. in Chinese studies from Drew University in May 2014.

Student Activities Assistants are Gretchen Carhart, a sophomore interior design major at Anderson University in South Carolina; and Mike Hampton, an honors student and senior at East Longmeadow High School.