June 15, 2005
By Linda Bloom*
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (212) 870-3660.
Those interested in being involved in the summer program as an individual volunteer can contact Gregory Forrester at email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.