An Olympic theme was the focus of the English Language Learners (ELL) Summer Experience, a camp for Westfield students that provides meaningful enrichment activities to help students continue their English language acquisition.
This year’s ELL program ran from July 12-23 at Wilson Elementary School and welcomed 14 students in grades 1-5 whose native languages include Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Polish, Russian, and Portuguese.
“The first week we learned about the Olympics – the origins, traditions, and the modern practices/games,” says Edison world language teacher Jillian Martinez, who runs the program with fellow world language teacher Mercedes Poyntz. “The second week, we focused on playing games, practicing sportsmanship, and being a good team member and part of a community.”
Martinez says students were given hands-on opportunities to create arts and crafts to represent their native countries and cultures, while also playing games modeled after actual Olympic events.
“The idea was to have them bond with their peers about their unique backgrounds and hopefully create fun moments watching the real Olympics with their families,” Martinez adds.
K-12 World Languages and ELL Supervisor Enrique Pincay says the 2021 ELL Summer Experience has been a success.
“Given the many restrictions our students faced this past year, our teachers focused their efforts on hands-on activities and kinesthetic learning,” Pincay says. “Capitalizing on the 2020 Olympics – postponed last year due to the pandemic – our teachers brought the games into the classroom and playground.”
Pincay says social and emotional learning also was addressed with daily yoga, friendly competition and collaborative activities.
“We are happy that we have been able to offer our students an opportunity to learn through play, especially after such a challenging year,” he says.