The Students Activities and Welfare Department at the Abu Dhabi Educational Zone (ADEZ), has honoured 240 male and female students for completing the 'English Summer' programme at a special ceremony held at Zayed University (ZU), ...

By Nada S.mussallam

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Published: Thu 15 Jul 2004, 10:46 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:46 AM

Abu Dhabi campus.

The English summer camp was offered by the Center for Professional Development, College of Education at ZU in cooperation with ADEZ, with the main objective of developing a positive attitude for students towards learning English language. The summer camp was designed to improve students' oral and written English and avoid regressing of the language over the long summer break.

The English training programme, which commenced on June 26 was funded and supervised by the President, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's Presidential Court. Sixteen male and female teachers from the College of Education at the ZU were selected to lead the summer camp as instructors.

During the ceremony, which was organised on the University premises students expressed their gratitude to Shaikh Zayed for providing them with the opportunity to improve their language skills. They agreed unanimously that the month-long summer camp has changed their attitude towards learning English language.

However, the students criticised the fact that the summer training programme was short and that they would have benefited more if the duration of the camp had been extended. Gassim Al Tahir, Director of the Students Activities and Welfare Department at the Zone congratulated the graduates, and added that the students' suggestions will be carefully considered and that his Department will work hard to extend the duration of the training programme next summer, so as to increase the opportunities for students to avail of the activities provided during the summer camp.

When asked why the Zone has chosen a university for conducting the camp, Mr Tahir said: 'We were very keen that the venue of the summer activities should be at a higher educational institution, in order to make the students familiar with university life. We were also looking for a programme of distinguished style and not a traditional one. Choosing a university as venue for the activities of the camp, was unusual and an exciting experience for students. The Zone, was also keen to avail of the modern and world-class facilities available at ZU, to enhance the different training programmes that the camp has offered.'

Speaking to City Times about the summer camp, Robin R. McGrew Zoubi, Assistant Dean, College of Education at ZU-Camp Director-Girls said 120 female students in preparatory and secondary levels (grade7 to12) from different schools affiliated to the Zone enrolled in the English training programme. The training courses focused on teaching students English language through different kind of activities, like handicrafts, reading, advertising, painting and sports, she said.

'We divided students into eight groups and assigned a faculty member as an instructor for each group, and a student from ZU as a 'Big Sister' entrusted with responsibility of conducting a survey about the future plans of students about their university life in particular and life experience in general,' said Mrs Zoubi. 'We conducted a pre and post attitude survey, to test the students' attitude towards learning a second language and the importance of knowing more than one language,' she said.

According to Mrs Zoubi, the camp activities managed to provide the students with the opportunity to take part in a variety of fun but challenging workshops about searching the Internet techniques, writing poems, making accessories, as well as learning more about various nutrition systems.

Paul Abraham, Camp Director-Boys said the camp which included 120 male students in the age group of 11 to 18 developed intensive English language programming in an organised entertaining kind of format.

'The programme had a combination of the students interest while teaching them additional speaking and listening skills in English. It succeeded in motivating students to learn the language,' said Mr Abraham told this reporter.

However, he said, the greatest benefit of the camp, was that it developed a very positive attitude for students towards learning English.

'This will definitely help them with their regular academic programmes in their schools and open their eyes that English language is attainable,' said Mr Abraham. Voicing his comments about the camp, Mohammed Salim Al Dahiri, ADEZ's Director said the Zone has chalked out plans to work closely with Zayed University on a number of projects in the future in the best interests of school children.

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