By Amy Valeria Pereira León – Student of the English Club in ULACIT
Since the day of its creation, the English Club has had the primary objective of inviting more students from the ULACIT, and has improved their skills in different areas for good practice of the English. The club has been recognized for its many strengths, such as the link that exists between its members and the good learning of the language through varied activities with great theoretical and practical content. But our club doesn't just want people to demonstrate the skills that they may have in a classroom. We want to promote the importance of English outside the classroom as to apply it to daily life. So, what strategies might be helpful?
Hauser and Dudley (1975) define the importance of knowing and evaluating the population for different purposes, such as the formulation of objectives and monitoring plans. It is important to recognize that each person is totally unique with their own modes and levels of learning. However, it is possible to generalize to the university population in terms of most of its members. For example, the ages present in the students could vary between 18 years and older, with greater predominance in young adulthood. Similarly, there are distinctions in terms of gender, nationalities, etc.
Students are training the way to their future, and it is recognizable that, through the acquisition of a second language, especially English, there will be a greater possibility of obtaining a better job. So, we can also deduce the great interest in the application of English. How could the points of interest and learning levels in the population be known in detail? The methods are varied, but a good tool is the use of surveys that allow students to have greater visibility. Their opinions and experiences should be listened to improve its development.
Once the Club has the knowledge of preferences, we should design activities and projects that are coupled with this information. The options are very diverse. We just have to apply creativity and strategy to a good end. Particularly at this time when communication is mainly virtual due to the pandemic, the population will have greater accessibility to participate. One of the activities that has shown great success are the talks given by professionals with a good command of the language of various topics, whether with professional or everyday approaches.
In the same way, mainly conversational workshops can be carried out. Talking more to the people around you, helps you to get to know them better thus allowing your relationship with them to grow. Many studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with others are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer (Fahim, n.d.)
It is important to consider that when planning these activities there may be challenges for students, especially those who do not have a full command of the language and are left behind or prefer not to participate because they feel ashamed. That is why those in charge of the activities remain attentive to the needs of the population and to all those circumstances that could come out different from what was planned.
The time has come to put our motto into practice. Once our action plan has been created in terms of the detected needs of the population, it is time to put it to the test. Ideally, the strategy generates a high impact and invites more students to participate. Also, the experiences last in the students, so that they feel motivated to apply English in their daily lives. In addition, attention must be paid to the results after each plan, so that strengths and weaknesses can be rescued for the continuous improvement of our beloved club, PERIOD.
MOXIE es el Canal de ULACIT (www.ulacit.ac.cr), producido por y para los estudiantes universitarios, en alianza con el medio periodístico independiente Delfino.cr, con el propósito de brindarles un espacio para generar y difundir sus ideas. Se llama Moxie - que en inglés urbano significa tener la capacidad de enfrentar las dificultades con inteligencia, audacia y valentía - en honor a nuestros alumnos, cuyo “moxie” los caracteriza.
Fahim, A. (n.d.). Why talking is important. Student Pocket Guide. https://www.thestudentpocketguide.com/2017/07/student-life/health-and-relationships/why-talking-is-important/#:~:text=Talking%20more%20to%20the%20people,health%20problems%2C%20and%20live%20longer
Hauser, P. & Dudley, O. (1975). The study of population. The University of Chicago Press.