ESL Instructor Lauren Wilson and Francis Kao, Public Programs Manager at Seattle Repertory Theatre piloted ISpeak, a theatre residency program at SCC a little over a year ago, and last week, the fruits of the partnership were featured on the KOMO 4 web site.
"The program, designed for ELL and ESL students, uses theatre-based exercises," Wilson says, "to build communication skills and collaboration within the classroom and community at large."
Wilson says the ISpeak curriculum provides a platform for non-native speaking students to connect with each other and with their teachers as well as develop their confidence and clarity in speaking to an audience.
"We hope to empower our students to share their ideas and life stories," Wilson says. Check out the KOMO 4 story.
One of the project goals is to increase the visibility and understanding of immigrant and international students at Shoreline and Wilson says they hope to create and pilot new curricula that will fit into a variety of ESL courses at Shoreline this academic year.
The pilot curricula was designed by Wilson and Kao with five different groups over the past four quarters. In winter and spring of 2011, they are expanding the ISpeak program by collaborating with the SCC drama department and including a broader range of students. Drama Instructor Jesse Ross is working with them in this collaboration.
So far 112 students have taken part in ISpeak, and 59 students and faculty have seen a play at Seattle Repertory Theatre as part of the residency.
A public performance of ISpeak, co-hosted by Shoreline Community College and Seattle Repertory Theatre this spring will culminate this pilot year of the project. Wilson says they hope to receive grant funding to continue the program and to grow it with collaboration with other instructors, programs and community partners.