Langley chosen to represent full Canadian experience

Exchange program brings ESL students from Japan to the Lower Mainland

Ninety-nine students from a private school in Kasukabe Japan have come to Canada to take part in a two-week English as a second language (ESL) program –Langley is their final stop.

Muskoka Language International (MLI) is a program based in North Vancouver that specialize in designing and facilitating cultural learning programs across the country.

Erick Jantzen, MLI’s curriculum developer and program coordinator said this particular group arrived in Vancouver on July 27, accompanied by four English teachers and two guides.

“So far they went sightseeing around Stanley Park and Granville Island, and then a tour at UBC, which might not sound as exciting to people here, but schools are comparatively different,” Jantzen said. “They are all staying there for their first week at residence.”

The first week of the program is designed to showcase Canadian culture and help make ESL classes more tangible. The students receive a mixture of classroom time and sightseeing tours, half of which, takes part around Langley.

“The intention is to see this beautiful community,” Jantzen said. “Langley is a little quieter and more typical of Canada as whole.”

Students stay with host families all across Langley and the Fraser Valley between Aug. 2 and 12, for an immersing Canadian experience most visiting from other countries would never get.

“Many, I’m sure, will be taking their student on outings to places like Fort Langley,” Jantzen added. “It’s learning English in a way that is fun. It gets them out of their comfort zone and see the world.”

The agenda includes a wander through Campbell Valley Park, a dream catcher making workshop, and a tour at the Nikkei Centre in Burnaby, an interpretive centre on the history of Japanese internment.

Students will continue the English program at Langley Christian Middle School where they will also get a chance to meet and learn from local students.

A farewell reception on Saturday, Aug. 10, gathered the students and their host families for a certificate ceremony, trip recap, speeches, and even a greeting from Township Councillor Kim Richter.

Read more: Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

Students fly back to Japan on Monday, Aug. 12.

Anyone interested in becoming a host family can visit www.mliesl.com/homestay-overview.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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