Early Childhood Education Pathway at Capilano University Helps Students Improve Their English While They Take Early Childhood Courses.

May 25, 2015

An Exciting Program.  Once again in the Fall term of 2015, Capilano University will be doing something exciting. International students who are interested in the Early Childhood Care and Education Program (ECCE) will be able to take Early Childhood courses even if they still need help improving their English. The ECCE Department will be working with another department at Capilano, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) to support students.

English Support. “The normal score necessary for admission to Capilano University is 6.5 on the IELTS or an 83 on the TOEFL. However, with the ECCE Pathway Program, students who are still improving their English can begin taking Early Childhood courses and get credit while they take academic EAP courses at the same time. To begin the Pathway Program in the first term, students need at least a 5.5 IELTS or a 67 on the TOEFL.” said Corey Muench, the director of the Pathway programs.

How does it work?  Students who are part of the ECCE Pathway Program need extra help improving their academic English skills.  At the same time, they can begin studying in their academic program in Early Childhood Education.

Paint - ECCE
The First Term (Fall 2015).   In the first term, (15 weeks long) students take 16 hours per week of EAP 090 (academic English) with highly trained instructors who care about the students’ improvement in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. At the same time, students take one academic course: Education 178 (about 4 hours per week). All of the instructors work together to help the students succeed in all parts of the Pathway.    

According to Kathleen Kummen, the ECCE Coordinator, “Education 178 asks students to look at the learning environment of a childcare centre. Students examine how the classroom is set up to promote social interaction and honour diversity”.

The Second Term (Spring 2016).  In the second term, (also 15 weeks long) students in the ECCE Pathway take 8 hours per week of EAP 100 and 101 and three academic courses. They are: Education 173, Education 221, and English 100. (Each academic course is about 4 hours per week.)

“This may seem like a lot of courses, but again, it is important to remember that in the Pathway, all of the instructors are constantly working together to support the students in their learning in order to make sure that they are succeeding not only in their academic English but also in their academic courses. The instructors have regular meetings to discuss how to improve the English instruction and how to work with a group of international students in the academic classroom,” Muench explained.

Kummen says that in EDUC 173, students think about what and how to teach young children. “Students in the EDUC 173 course get an introduction to curriculum in early childhood education. They work with materials such as paint and clay to develop an understanding of the properties and possible materials for young children. Whenever it is appropriate and possible, we try to provide opportunities for the students to work with the young children at the Capilano University Childcare Centre,” Kummen explained.

Paintings Outside - ECCE

“The Childcare Centre is a real-life learning experience for ECCE students, and it is located right next to our department, on our beautiful, forested campus. Our students work with the children in our Centre. These children are part of the Capilano community, and in this way, our ECCE students get hands-on, experience,” Kummen said.

“Education 221 examines health and safety issues related to early childhood education and the provincial child care regulations that pertain to early childhood education in British Columbia,” said Kummen.

In addition to these two ECCE courses, students in the term two of the Pathway take English 100. This course is required for all ECCE students, and will be linked to the EAP 100 and 101 courses so that the EAP and English instructors work together to help students succeed.  This is very useful because international students find English 100 quite challenging.

What happens next?
  After finishing term two of the Pathway, students who achieve at least a B+ in
their EAP 101 and EAP 101 courses may be fully admitted to Capilano University’s ECCE program with no further EAP study. They can choose to complete a certificate, a diploma, or a degree in ECCE. Depending on the choice,  it will take one to three more years to complete the ECCE program. With the degree, students can become early childhood educators in British Columbia either in the public school system (preschool program) or at a daycare centre.

Why Capilano?  Capilano University is special. We are located only twenty minutes from downtown Vancouver, yet we have a forested campus located near a beautiful mountain. In addition, we offer students great support from the most qualified and trained instructors, both in ECCE and the other participating departments.  (For example, all EAP instructors have a Master’s degree or related education degree in teaching English as a Second Language and many of the ECCE faculty have a Ph.D. degree in their field.) Capilano also offers various other support resources for students that many other schools don’t have such as a variety of elective courses in other academic departments, a full library, student union, and help centres.

Mr. Muench said, “I’m very excited about the new Early Childhood Care and Education Pathway. Capilano University is a beautiful place to study, and these programs are really set up to make sure the students succeed in the future by getting a lot of help from their instructors, by giving them exposure to a variety of courses, and by giving them practical experience with children right here on campus.”
Early Childhood Education Pathway Courses

Term 1 (15 weeks)

EAP 090 (16 hours per week) English for Academic Purposes 3

EDUC 178 (4 hours per week) Caring & Learning in Early Years Settings

Term 2 (15 weeks)

EAP 100 & EAP 101 (8 hours per week) English for Academic Purposes 4A & 4B

ENGL 100 (4 hours per week) Academic Writing Strategies

EDUC 173 (4 hours per week) Curriculum Development

EDUC 221 (4 hours per week) Introduction to Centre Administration

Contact. We want to hear from you!
Visit our website: www.capilanou.ca/eap
Email: eap@capilanou.ca or ecce@capilanou.ca

Note: All photos by Sylvia Kind

Submitted by: Corey Muench