The Junior Leaders Program began as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. After witnessing the success of programs for K–12 students, the Asian Affairs Center is continuing to provide educational opportunities to even the youngest of our global community. This program is for students in grades K–8 and includes instruction on all aspects of the English language and focuses on increasing exposure to English speaking and listening for students at home.
Our mission is to give students a head start and promote positive academic relationships. The Junior Leaders Program fosters English communication in a way that allows them to be at the forefront of global change. Our instructors have a wealth of experience and come from a variety of backgrounds, including public schools, teaching abroad experiences, homeschooling, preschools, Sunday schools and various forms of online learning. They collaborate to bring the very best instruction from every facet of education.
The objective of the Junior Leaders Program is to provide a launch pad for young scholars (grades K–8) to learn how to confidently use their English voice with their peers. This online opportunity allows them to meet junior scholars from other countries and begin using English in a meaningful context. The American classroom format allows students to give into a new culture of learning and sharing. By providing an interactive and positive English experience, participants will have a positive attitude and outlook on English education.
The program focuses on using English in a setting that builds articulation, critical thinking and stance development. This differs from an ordinary English as a second language program because we do not focus only on grammar. It is a supplement to English learning and allows students to apply what they have already studied.
Seven-week sessions available in 2021:
- Session I — Jan. 23–March 6
- Session II — March 13–May 1 (no class April 3)
- Session III — May 15– June 26
- Session IV — July 10– Aug. 21
- Session V — Sept. 4–Oct. 16
- Session VI — Oct. 30–Dec. 18 (no class Nov. 27)
Classes meet once a week on Saturday mornings. Each class will be 30–50 minutes (depending on level). Note that for students attending from Columbia, MO, classes will take place on Friday evenings.
The program has three levels offered in order of increasing difficulty. Participants will be placed following an interview with one of our instructors.
- Investigation and Articulation: This course is the foundation for good leadership skills — to ask questions in order to gain understanding and respond to people using clear and descriptive language. Junior scholars will learn how to gather and deliver specific and important information.
- Critical Thinking: In this course, junior scholars will use their investigative skills to ask probing questions, allowing them to examine multiple view points and challenge present ideas with the intent to examine and brainstorm solutions.
- Stance Development: This course teaches the final skill of debate. Junior scholars learn how to voice their opinions and ideas using facts and logical arguments. This is the core of leadership in the form of persuasion and reasoning.
$175 per seven-week session