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Jacqueline Chen


B.A. Linguistics, University of Kentucky 2010
M.Ed. TESL (Adult/International), University of Cincinnati 2012


My current research examines how ESL students can contribute to and benefit from service-learning.  ESL students often become passive recipients of untrained ESL tutors from a variety of academic disciplines in the name of service-learning, but I explore how ESL students can actively participate in serving the community while integrating specific language skills learned in the classroom.

In 2011, UK CESL students piloted our first project, reading books one Saturday to 5-year-olds in YMCA's Countdown to Kindergarten.  In 2012, UK CESL students read books to 60 children at the YMCA, raised over $400 to help feed the homeless, and recorded 12 hours of oral history at the Lexington Senior Center.  In 2013, UK CESL students gave weekly individualized homework help to kids at an elementary YMCA afterschool program for 16 weeks, raised over $800 to prevent local homelessness with the Lexington Rescue Mission's Walk for Warmth, created videos to encourage their peers to donate their old textbooks to the International Book Project, and directly served the homeless for 6 days on a Spring Break trip to Washington, D.C. through a partnership with the UK's Center for Community Outreach. 

In 2014, we received a grant through Go Teacher Project Ecuador to begin pursuing a long-term service-learning program.  In Spring 2015, we launched a partnership with Fayette County Public Schools for our English teachers from Ecuador to observe and assist in ESL classrooms for about 60 service hours per week. In Summer 2015, these Ecuadorian teachers will provide 720 service hours as they apply new skills from their TESL Methods course by staffing a Summer English Camp for teens who recently arrived as refugees from Congo, Nepal, and Iraq through a partnership with Kentucky Refugee Ministries.