August 13, 2020
Back in April, May and even June, there was still great uncertainty as to whether our Summer Language Program would proceed as scheduled. Thankfully, the Austrian government, health officials and general population demonstrated excellent discipline and cooperation and brought the first wave of infections down relatively quickly; much more quickly than in most areas. Due to this outstanding response, AIS-Salzburg opened its doors to summer language students on July 19 and completed two of the regularly-scheduled program sessions with great success.
We feel very lucky to have been given the chance and opportunity to continue with on-campus programming this past July and August which enabled us to refine and further develop our plans for September with direct experience of offering educational programming during this health crisis. This will serve us well come September.
Mr. Joe Suttmann was one of the English teachers for the 2020 SLP and found that the new classroom renovations contributed well to keeping things safe.
“The very recent and new renovations to classroom 4, where my SLP classes were held, contributed greatly to the measures enacted due to Covid-19. Brand new flooring and ceiling, along with freshly painted walls, gave a clean and sanitized feeling to the room. The new, room-specific classroom furnishings were perfect in establishing appropriate social distancing, while still leaving a comfortable, instructional feel to the classroom,” said Mr. Suttmann of his first lessons since the school closed doors on March 13th due to the pandemic.
When asked of any alterations he made to his lessons Mr. Suttmann replied, “I did eliminate any class group activities that would have required close physical contact of the students to each other, but my class was very content with the group dynamic we established.”
From all appearances, it did seem that the students thoroughly enjoyed all the Summer Language Program had to offer, both inside and outside the classroom.
“With our class consisting of many early or beginning learners of English, I had a strong focus on oral communication during the first period each day. The students grew to be happy and confident as their English speaking abilities improved while recounting what they had done (and eaten!) the day before. We also had fun with a game called “Two Truths and One Lie”, which coaxed even the most timid English speakers to add to the conversation,” said Mr. Suttmann of the assignments that were the biggest hit with the students.
We also had fun with a game called “Two Truths and One Lie”, which coaxed even the most timid English speakers to add to the conversation.
We also limited our activities to those which took place outdoors in large, open spaces and within local and regional areas with few only a few positive cases reported.”Miss Baehler
Miss Baehler explained that during the week, they would leave for activities at 1:30 pm every day once language classes and lunch were finished. These activities would run all afternoon with a return to campus at 6:00 pm for dinner. In the evenings, students would either have programming planned on campus, such as competition games, challenges, etc. or head to an evening activity in the surrounding area. They would return to campus around 9:00 pm each evening, and lights out would be at 10:30 pm to ensure everyone was getting enough sleep and was well-rested for the next day.