ESL Program Overview
All Canadian International Services English as a Second Language (ESL) programs focus on developing the student’s conversation and comprehension skills in English.
In class, students engage in a variety of activities that help develop their speaking and listening ability. The small class size allows all students to be active learners engaging in word games, song, role playing, video, and group exercises. Their existing knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary provides a base to build a stronger ability in conversational English that they will use on excursions and in their homestays.
Part of each class focuses on the homestay experience so that students gain a better understanding of Canadian culture and the kinds of everyday English they are likely to encounter in their homestay. They learn vocabulary and expressions that help them better communicate with their host family during mealtime and in leisure activities.
Classes also prepare students with the vocabulary and background information that make their daily excursions more meaningful. When they go to a major league baseball game to watch the Toronto Blue Jays, for example, they will learn the cheers and songs they will hear at the ballpark.
Homestay families always comment on the change they see in their student over the course of their stay in Canada. When they first arrive, the host families say that the students are shy and reluctant to speak more than a few words. When they prepare to leave at the end of the program, they are fully engaged in conversation, are taking risks with English and are not afraid to make mistakes.
“I really enjoy the experiences gained in working within the CIS program. The students we teach expand our understandings of our own pedagogy, in working with a cultural background so distinct from our own."
“The program offers students an unforgettable opportunity to see a different part of the world, while developing their English language skills, as they experience Canadian culture through classroom activities, excursions, and interactions with their homestay families.”
"It is very rewarding for me, as an educator, to witness the growth in the students’ language skills over a short intensive period of time. The base of vocabulary they arrive to Canada with serves as a good testament to their English training in their own school system."
"I think the activities that are embedded within the program provide the students a solid means of showing much of the Canadian lifestyle, in terms of day-to-day recreation, but also other features that require the use of larger spaces, that are not as prevalent in their home country. These, in combination with the homestay experiences and dietary differences from home, provide the students with a truly well rounded experience."