We are a few weeks deep into this semester and we’ve gotten some wonderful news. Three of our students have done exceptionally well on their international exams for English certification. The three students are in grade 11 and they mean business. Mandy and Emily achieved a level 6 in IELTS which allows them, in the future as international university students, to take courses in their subjects without English preparatory classes. And Angela, on her TOEFL exam, got a score of 104, the highest ever from a student here! Way to go ladies!
I sat down with them to get their thoughts on their latest accomplishments. Here is what they said in a nutshell.
Their previous traditional school environment was not really conducive to the English skills they were looking for. They found themselves overworked and short on time in a strict environment and could not move forward in any meaningful way towards their own personal goals.
Here however, they can speak English most, any time, on any subject. Teachers, both foreign and local, do their thing in class and are available throughout the day to provide assistance or even to just chat. They can also plan their own schedules and choose the courses they want. They can even work on a subject not offered by the school and receive credit for it. If okayed by the administration, they report to their mentor throughout the semester while studying their subject. Mandy said, “I already know that I want to do design and now I can work on building my portfolio and apply to the college or university I want.”
These ladies are all different from each other but one thing they have in common is they are positive, if not outright happy. I queried them on this and their response is very telling. I think this is why they are so successful and why, I believe, have brilliant futures ahead of them. They said that their schedule allows free time for sports activities, self-study or chatting with friends. This interaction with teachers and friends has helped them realize options and mold a plan for the future. Knowing where you are going gives your today more importance and purpose. Listening in class or studying for a test becomes less of a burden knowing it is a specific piece of the puzzle, a tool for the future you want for yourself. Sometimes dreams happen but the best dreams are made. These wonderful students are dreaming up the lives of their future and are obtaining the pieces and putting them together.