Friday, May 06, 2011

The Need For "Staging Schools"

So if you've read this blog for a while (thank you for those who do), you know by now that I am a college student. Being a modern campus, we have many foreign students on campus. I never really thought about it until my girlfriend took a social work class, and part of it was having a conversation partner from overseas who was taking a class learning to speak English. This is where I had  great idea: We need staging campuses in the United States.

Here's how it would work: Rather than foreigners going to a college campus from the get-go, they would go to one of several campuses around the country, based on what their native tongue is. There, the professors would do nothing but teach them English. The tuition would be considerably lower than regular universities. There would be no pressures to worry about math, biology, or keeping up with what is going on in other classes. They would do nothing but learn English.

But these campuses wouldn't be cut off from the world. That would be a waste. Instead, the local community would be welcomed to the campus to speak with the students, improving their language skills and teaching everyone about a different culture. Think about it. A specific cultural hub where the American people could learn about the French, Chinese, Saudis, German, Spanish, Brazilian, Russian, and a mix of other cultures too. All the while, the students are also learning about different cultures (not only American culture, but other cultures too. Last I checked there's a difference between a Portuguese person and a Brazilian), all while surrounded by a familiar language and immersed in a foreign one.

Now, this may seem a bit racist. On the surface it looks like we're just putting foreigners into certain spots until they learn what we want them to. This couldn't be further from the truth. By creating a cultural hub, both groups can benefit. Americans learn about a group, thus gaining tolerance and understanding, while the foreign group learns about the culture they will soon see once they go to an actual university and practice their language skills so they can graduate faster. Also, because the staging campus is cheaper and more focused than learning the native language on a non-specialized campus, they will save more money, learn faster, and can start on equal footing once they graduate.

Unlike other plans that I have set forth in this blog, I actually think this one can work. Even if just a satellite campus was set up, or a kind of community college, this could be possible. Volunteers could be used to save money, tuition would pay for the construction fairly quickly, and the benefits certainly outweigh the cost. Just something to consider as elections are coming up.

Enjoy what you just read? Or am I missing something? Let me know your thoughts! Leave a comment or contact me to fill me in!

No comments: