Applications are now being accepted for Harker’s long-running and highly successful English Language Institute (ELI), held on both the lower and upper school campuses.
ELI provides overseas students with the opportunity to learn and practice their English skills, enabling many participants to go on to attend top American and international schools.
New to the program this year will be a “Very Interesting Places” (VIP) tour. The optional VIP offering, available to all ELI students (ages 6-16), will take place at the conclusion of the program’s regular five-week academic session. The tour will take students around Silicon Valley and the Bay Area to visit theme parks, museums, companies, school campuses and more. It will be capped off with an overnight trip to Yosemite.
“Over the past few summers, I have received interest from ELI participants in having more trips and excursions to enhance their American social and cultural experience,” reported ELI director Anthony Wood.
So, Wood decided to introduce the VIP program, which will allow students to discover California outside the classroom by embarking on strategic visits to boarding schools, university campuses and places of interest such as a Giants game, Point Lobos State Marine Reserve, the Jelly Belly Factory and Six Flags amusement park. The action-packed tour will conclude with an overnight stay in Yosemite.
Wood said that enrollment for the trip is expected to fill up quickly. He also noted that ELI teachers will accompany the students on the tour and provide a specialized curriculum to continue with their language learning.
To help get the word out about ELI, current Harker and alumni families are sponsoring receptions in cities around the world in early spring. The receptions will provide an opportunity for interested families to meet Wood and learn about the benefits and features of the program. In March and April, ELI receptions will take place in Russia, Turkey, China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
Joe Rosenthal, Harker’s executive director of advancement, who directed the school’s former elementary boarding program for 20 years, will be on hand as well. Rosenthal is a frequent guest lecturer to the current ELI program on the topic of studying in the United States.
“The ELI receptions are a wonderful way to get the word out about the quality of our program,” he said.
Each year, Rosenthal travels abroad to meet prospective ELI students. He said he enjoys meeting with alumni and their families, updating them and keeping them connected to the school.
ELI initially began as a year-round boarding school program, which closed in 2001 due to Harker’s upper school expansion. It evolved into the current summer program, which launched in 2004. Last summer, more than 60 students enrolled for the secondary division and a record-breaking 55 enrolled in the primary division.
“The goal is to keep the program small and offer a very high-quality experience,” explained Wood.