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Migrant Worker Outreach and Education Program

This innovative program draws undergraduate students from across campus based on their shared commitment to social justice and desire to expand their own intercultural competencies for their future careers. Selected students find a challenging academic experience both in the classroom and in the field as student teachers working with diverse local populations with mixed English proficiency. Alumni of this program attest to the many ways that it honed their leadership and communication skills, enhanced their ability to think on their feet in unpredictable circumstances, and provided them with a savvy and sophisticated view of the rapidly changing national demographics.

This program is offered in collaboration with the English Language Institute and the department of American Culture. It includes two courses:


Principles and Practices of ESL Teaching in Migrant Communities: SPRING (2018: MWF10:00am - 12:00pm)

Students in this course explore agribusiness in the US through the experience of migrant farmworkers in southeast Michigan. What is the economic, cultural, and historical context of migrant farm work in the US? Who are the workers? Where do they come from? How do they live? What is the history of migrant outreach and education efforts? As they investigate these questions, students also learn and practice the methods and techniques for teaching ESL to a mixed-proficiency, primarily Spanish-speaking population. In addition to academic articles, the course invites speakers representing agencies working in the migrant community. Students should also be prepared to experiment with different teaching techniques, such as visualizations, games, interactive presentations, and art/dramatizations. Students participating in this course are eligible to work with migrant families or to intern in community agencies in ELI 396. This course satisfies R&E requirement.



Migrant Community Outreach and ESL Teaching Practicum: SUMMER 2018 (TBA)

In this summer half-term course, students either teach ESL to migrant farmworkers and their families or intern with an agency or organization servicing the health and legal needs of the migrant community.   All students engage in reflection on the experience in discussions and written assignments. Pre-requisite: ELI 395/ELI 390/ELI 391 OR previous ESL/language teaching experience. (2-3 credits)


For more information, please contact Mabel Rodriguez at or Deborah DesJardins at