The last week of August 2019, Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary held an intensive English course. From chapel in the morning to evening activities, the focus was on speaking English.
The intensive offered maximum classroom time each day with workshops focused on cultural and language-related topics such as American Baking, Losing Your Accent, Cross-Cultural Adaptation, Practical Teaching Skills, Drama, Simultaneous Translation.
In the evenings an English movie theater was organized for students and game rooms were available for students to continue to use English and develop their language skills.
The course was organized by Joshua M. Tokar, an English teacher at UETS known for his interesting projects and enthusiasm.
Joshua commented, “During the academic year we lack the time necessary for students to practice English. So, we decided to hold an intensive course in summer where they could improve their English by immersing themselves in the language. We even introduced a system of rewards and fines to motivate students to speak only English during the one-week course.
“However, learning English is only one of the goals. The course also has a spiritual component as this year we are studying Philippians 2 about how Jesus humbled Himself by becoming man. Students likewise practice humility through the difficulties and struggles of language learning. You have a certain status and level of competence in your native country, speaking your own native language, but in a new culture and language you have to be humble and start from scratch.”
Joshua had help in organizing this course from a team of volunteers from Elk River Baptist Church – Pastor Jason Sorley, Lisa Bjergo, and Carmi Laehn – as well as from Stella White, an experienced English teacher who has taught at UETS since 2014, and Juliana Kostyuk from California, who has recently joined the English teaching staff of UETS for the 2019-20 school year.