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Amity has short, long-term teaching programs

 


Amity has short, long-term teaching programs

June 15, 2005

By Linda Bloom*

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Brian Newell, a United Methodist and librarian at the Logansport (Ind.) State Hospital, has found a way to put the Chinese he learned to use.

From July 3-Aug. 3, Newell will participate in the Amity Foundation’s Summer English Program in China.

Last summer, 62 teachers from the United States and United Kingdom were sent in teams to 14 locations in 12 provinces to teach English to Chinese middle-school teachers. The goal was to improve the listening and speaking abilities of those teachers, along with involving them in cultural exchange activities.

The program, Newell explained, gives "these middle school teachers practice speaking English. It gives them a chance to listen and learn about culture. And it introduces western-style classroom methods that may be more communicative, learner-centered and active."

Volunteers "bear witness to their faith" through teaching and participation with Chinese churches, he added.

Newell is the first to be dispatched to Amity’s Summer English Program through the individual volunteer program of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, according to Jeanie Blankenbaker, a board executive. A married couple had planned to participate earlier but were forced to cancel because of the SARS epidemic, she added.

"We’re looking forward to expanding our involvement in the short-term program," Blankenbaker said.

Newell first learned about the summer program when he heard a presentation at his church by Connie Wieck, who taught for the Amity Foundation in Inner Mongolia. Wieck currently is a United Methodist missionary, teaching English at Luzhou Vocational and Technological College in Sichuan Province, under the auspices of the Amity Foundation.

Church World Service coordinates the Amity Teachers Program on behalf of participating U.S. denominations. Volunteer teachers serve at Chinese universities and colleges, instructing prospective teachers in English as a second language. A two-year commitment is required, along with an interest in teaching.

United Methodists interested in the long-term teachers program should contact Jungrea Chung in mission personnel at the Board of Global Ministries by sending an email to jchung@gbgm-umc.org or calling (212) 870-3660.

Those interested in being involved in the summer program as an individual volunteer can contact Gregory Forrester at indvols@gbgm-umc.org or call Blankenbaker at (212) 870-3825.

*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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