In the classroom, students engage in activities designed to increase their skills in English and support academic study, intercultural communication, and integration to university life. Within the context of themes and units relevant to their programs of study, students focus on building their vocabulary and grammar skills while increasing their proficiency in academic reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Unit topics include sustainability, innovation, design, media, technology, diversity, language, global trends, and many others. Students have the opportunity to explore and discuss a range of inquiry questions with people both in the EFP as well as from across campus.
Through the development of language, critical thinking and collaboration skills, students are encouraged to find their unique voices in this new environment so that they can engage with the community in meaningful ways.
Cultural immersion activities
Students have many opportunities to get involved on campus and become active members of the UBC community. These opportunities include sports, art and culture exhibits, guest speakers, student clubs, and volunteering. Additionally, students are invited to take part in social outings and cultural celebrations. Participating in these types of events and more lead to developing English language skills, making new friends, and feeling connected to the campus and local community.
English as an Additional Language Learning Labs
Weekly labs involve students in experiential learning activities lead by undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants who are also studying on UBC’s Okanagan campus. For example, students have the opportunity make use of the on campus maker space, participate in a B.A.R.K. session, and take part in facilitated debates. In addition, the language learning labs include field trips, such as to Mission Creek Regional Park to see the kokanee salmon run, Kelowna Flightcraft Aerospace to learn about local technological advances, and visits to local tourist service providers to learn about the key management processes.
Students have the opportunity to work one-on-one as well as in groups with undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants to maximize their understanding of the concepts covered both in their EFP classes as well as in other classes they are taking on campus. They have extra time to ask questions or get clarification on class material. They also have access to extra support to developing their English language skills. Students may also work in partnership with EFP instructors and teaching assistants to develop personal learning plans to reach their English language learning goals.
EFP students are fully integrated into the campus community and may enrol in academic courses with other first-year students while developing their English language skills. With the assistance of an academic and career advisor, students enrol in academic courses related to their degree programs: Bachelor of Science, Applied Science, Arts, Management, Human Kinetics, Bachelor of Media Studies, or Fine Arts. By studying academic courses simultaneously, EFP students are able to be a part of their faculty cohort, earn credit toward their degree programs, complete a program of studies in a timely manner, and develop their English language skills in relation to their areas of study.