Harker’s English Language Institute (ELI), known internationally for its top-level English instruction, kicked off in late June. Bringing students from China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Turkey, ELI provides international students with English skills they will be using at American boarding schools and English international schools.
As in previous years, ELI continues to offer the customized scheduling that has become a hallmark of the program. Students can also enroll in a special boarding school prep program for students looking to apply to boarding schools.
Areas of study offered by ELI include vocabulary building, study skills, reading comprehension, grammar, writing and composition and oral presentation. Students also enjoy after-class activities such games, sports and swimming.
Anthony Wood, ELI director, says that Harker’s worldwide reputation as a top-tier school also helps to set ELI apart. “Personally, I think the prestige of the school ensures that most students come with the highest degree of self-efficacy and passion to learn,” he said. “We also value ourselves on our long history of success in teaching English as a Second Language. Remember, Harker had a boarding school for over 20 years, and this lineage has helped shape the program’s philosophy and curriculum in foreign language learning.”
The program has added new teachers this year “who will provide added professionalism and expertise to our faculty,” said Wood. “We’ve also hired more college graduates who are seeking a teaching profession.” The new staff members will support the students both inside and outside the classroom. The ELI curriculum is also being redesigned to make sure it matches proficiency levels and maximizes its effectiveness.
Learning is far from the only item on the agenda, however. Students will also get to see the many sights California has to offer, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, the Exploratorium, the San Jose Tech Museum and an Oakland A’s baseball game.
Connie Yang, a student from Shanghai who was born in San Francisco, will start grade 8 in the fall in China and is planning to attend high school in the U.S., and enjoys the ELI program because its teachers make the classes “fun and interesting.”
Another student from China, Christine Guo of Shenzhen, attends Santa Clara’s Sierra School and enjoys the environment offered by Harker’s campus. “There’s a swimming pool, a big field and it’s clean,” said Guo, who will start grade 10 in the fall. She also likes the flexibility offered by the program, recalling how she was able to easily request a transfer from the intermediate to advanced class, which she enjoys more due to the challenge it offers. “I still need to improve my English, even though I’m in a regular high school now, so I think this program will help me,” she said.