Each year, ILSC Language Schools welcome over 250 students into our ESL High School Bridge Program. ILSC’s ESL High School Bridge Program provides specially designed English curriculum for young learners aged 13-17. The program also offers a great first step for students wanting to improve their English language skills before entering a Canadian secondary or high school, setting them up for both academic and personal success. We recently spoke to a former student of the bridge program, Sammi, and asked about her ESL Bridge experience, how it helped her in reaching her goals, and what’s next for her future.
1. What made you want to do a program like ESL Bridge Program at ILSC-Vancouver?
I was doing a lot of research before I came to Canada. I had no idea about what was the best choice for me to start a brand-new life. At first, my uncle recommended me to start high school right away as he thought it was the best way to learn English. However, I personally believed that I needed a little more time in order to accommodate an entirely new environment. After browsing countless websites, I found ILSC. I compared ILSC with other language schools in downtown Vancouver and I found that the ESL Bridge Program that ILSC provided was most suitable for me. I also went through lots of feedback from past students. They all gave the thumbs ups and highly recommended it for people who were not ready to start Canadian high school right away. That was why I chose the ESL Bridge Program at ILSC.
2. What are your future educational and career goals? How did or will this program help you achieve those?
My future plan is to graduate from the Canadian high school I am currently attending with people who are in my age, and go to a post-secondary institution in Vancouver. My goal is to get into UBC and study business. However, writing and speaking have been my greatest weakness for a long time. In Taiwan, we had English classes, but the teachers did not teach me how to speak a proper sentence or write an essay. Surprising, these problems were solved after studying at ILSC. David, Milo, and Barbara were my teachers, and they taught me all the things I could never learn in Taiwan. They always helped me with my writing patiently and encouraged me to speak English with them by sharing personal experiences. After my first semester of high school, I was able to take the regular English class instead of ESL classes. It was a huge achievement for me as I had only been to Canada for a year at the time. I was especially delighted to share this good news with my teachers at ILSC.
3. What were some of your favourite parts of the ESL bridge program?
I would definitely say my favourite parts were making friends with people from all over the world and learning English with people from different cultural backgrounds. In Taiwan, I was only able to befriend with Taiwanese people because there was no opportunity for me to get to know people from other countries. However, the ESL bridge program provided me this opportunity. I had a lot of fun and I also learned a lot about this world from my friends.
4. How did you find the lessons, classes, and instructors?
The teachers always made the classroom a place where I would like to spend my whole day. They made classes and lessons easy to learn and understand, and they always encouraged people who spoke the same language to speak English. When we did not understand the lessons, they always sat down and taught us until we were able to manage the problems we had. Sometimes I felt really discouraged because I felt like my writing was getting worse and I could not find where the problem was. I was totally at a loss. However, my teacher David spent his time after school, just to help me and guide me to the solutions for the problems I had. I would never forget that day when he said he was going to stay after school and help me without any hesitation.
5. If you could sum up your entire ESL Bridge Program experience in ONE word – what would it be and why?
Unforgettable. Everything I learned, every friend I made and every challenge I overcame, I would never forget. Even though it was tough at first as it was an experience I had never had before, but it marked my maturity and growth by the end of the program. I became a lot more confident in speaking English, and my English skills were improved dramatically. I would never ever forget the time I had at ILSC.