Bridging the gap with sports
Students in the Intensive English Program (IEP) at UD are adjusting to all sorts of cultural differences, from food and social norms to currency and measuring systems. Add to the list: sports.
To help educate their new peers, students from sport management assistant professor Haozhou Pu’s Sports in the Global Community class visited the IEP students to teach them about some American sports and outdoor pastimes.
Pu’s goal was to get his students out of the classroom and share the knowledge they’ve gained during the semester about how sports translate globally.
“Sports can be a very important way to bridge different cultures,” Pu said. “And more so here at the University of Dayton to create a more inclusive and diverse environment.”
In a presentation on baseball and cornhole, students explained the rules of the game, showed videos of professional baseball players and participants in a national cornhole tournament and talked about the history of these American pastimes.
For third-level IEP student Yasmeen Behbehani, the presentation brought a lot of new information.
“This is the first time I’ve played cornhole and the first time I’ve held a baseball glove and a bat,” Behbehani said.
Behbehani had not previously heard of cornhole, but recalls learning about baseball through American television shows and playing it on the Nintendo Wii.
When Behbehani completes the IEP program, she will become a student at the University of Dayton and study electrical engineering. With Pu’s class presentations, she will enter the community even more immersed in American culture.