Tabor welcomes Chinese students for immersive language and cultural program

Jul 29, 2018

Tabor Academy welcomed 35 students from China and other countries for two three-week sessions of "Tabor Gateways" to help them, among other things, become more fluent English-speakers.

The students range from 8th to 11th graders. They arrived on July 15, and will stay through Aug. 17.

Now in its third year, the Gateways program, is a language immersion program for Chinese and English language learners who wish to learn each other’s languages, according to Kerry Saltonstall, director of communications for Tabor Academy. All of the students this year are from China or have a Chinese background and live in English-speaking countries, including Canada and Australia, she said.

While here, the students are offered seminars in history, Model UN, marine science, and chemistry and cooking. All are taught in English.

"During the afternoon, they enjoy swimming at the waterfront and playing field games and team sports," Saltonstall said. "Squash is also popular."

In the evenings, the students go back to class for one hour of language instruction to learn communication skills in English or Chinese.

"The Chinese speakers record interviews with native English speakers to improve their skills, while the native English-speaking students are instructed in Chinese by Tabor faculty and have time to practice their skill with their Chinese classmates," Saltonstall said.

Five days of each session are devoted to off-campus excursions. For instance: a whale watch in Plymouth, the Cliff Walk in Newport, and visits to MIT, Brown University, and Harvard.

The teaching staff includes four Tabor faculty for the seminar classes, three Tabor faculty as program leaders, and four Tabor alumni as teaching assistants and residential leaders.