Communication professor provides a helping hand to International Students
Jessica Samens: Communication Studies Professor, Forensics coach, and English as a Second Language tutor through the AESC Office at Bethel. Can her schedule get any busier? Jessica is part of a newer program at Bethel that offers tutoring to undergraduate students where English is their second language.
Jessica first stumbled into this field when she was asked to teach a Public Speaking course for English as a Second Language (ESL) students at Mankato State University. Each time she taught the course she found classrooms filled students who came from all over the world. One class had over 8 cultures represented in just one course—each student working at preparing and delivering speeches in English, a language they were often nervous about using in such a public manner. In these courses, students would create a bond with each other and Jessica and would jump right in, talking with them, sharing meals together, and listening to their stories. A group of students even fasted together for Ramadan, sharing their insights about fasting during class times.
Although Jessica has not been formally trained in working with ESL students, her passion shows through. These students often cherish a kind word and someone willing to sit down and help them understand some of the things that happen in the classroom that people who grew up in this culture often take for granted. Jessica also serves on the Multilingual task force at Bethel and trains writing center tutors to be able to better meet the needs of these students. Working with International students is a way for Jessica to pursue her passion while giving back to students. What can you do with a major in Communication? Work with people from around the world in a way that communicates the love and acceptance of Christ. That’s what.