We get a lot of foreign students in the hostel who have come with the express purpose of learning English.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Schools have become a real growth industry here in Toronto. We seem to be a popular destination for Spanish, Latino, French and Japanese students.
They tend to arrive in groups and most often for extended periods – an immersion learning method, if you will.
The problem is that there is the temptation to stick together and speak their own language. It’s just easier. So it is quite common to hear “groups” of individuals in our common areas speaking French, Spanish, Japanese etcetra.
Needless to say, it’s not a very good method of learning the English language.
We have a “group” from” Chile here for several months. (I put “group” in quotation marks because this group is actually a family.) The four of them arrived about a month ago and share a room in the hostel.
Patricio and Constanza are brother and sister; Rodrigo and Alejandro are brothers and they are all first cousins! They range in age from 20 to 23! And their approach to learning English is first rate. You can already notice a marked improvement in their language skills!
This family chooses not to take the easy route and spend their time conversing in Spanish with other students from Latin America and Spain. They do their best to speak English even among themselves!
This is one group/family of ESL students who have a really healthy approach to learning. They are also polite and considerate and a pleasure to host at the hostel.
Patricio and his sister Constanza with first cousins; brothers Rodrigo and Alejandro.