The Harker English Language Institute (ELI) once again welcomed dozens of overseas students to strengthen their English skills to help prepare them for the nation’s top boarding schools.
The ELI program hosted students from Ukraine, Taiwan, Japan, China and South Korea. Students spent several weeks learning grammar, speech and conversational skills through a series of classes offered at Harker’s Saratoga campus. Two of these students, Dora Liu from Shanghai and Eisuke Tosu from Tokyo, are preparing to enter Stevenson School in Pebble Beach in the fall, as a freshman and sophomore respectively.
Liu enjoyed the program, saying her English was “never better.” Because she seldom speaks English at home, ELI gave her the chance to speak the language conversationally while further building upon her skills.
Tosu, who had been visiting California prior to attending ELI, enjoyed the atmosphere of the Harker campus, calling it a “very good environment to study.” While attending school in Japan, his exposure to the English language was limited outside of everyday English classes.
ELI students study grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension, but also spend much of their time composing different types of essays.
“That helps a lot,” Liu said, as boarding schools often require essays as part of their entrance procedures.
The program also helped immerse students in the language by encouraging them to speak English outside the classroom, thereby strengthening their skills in everyday situations. In addition, the new ELI Conversation Buddy program grouped ELI students with current Harker students so they could discuss various topics.
The students also got to have a little fun. Field trips included the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Zoo and the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.
It’s the value of the program itself, however, that students will take home with them.
“This program is very helpful, and my first week it was a little bit hard for me,” Tosu said. “I think if I can study hard here, when I go to boarding school it will be very helpful. I’m really making an effort now.”