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Providing unique experiences for English Language students

By UCOL on Friday, 10 November 2017

A group of English language students at UCOL

A group of English Language students are enjoying some unique experiences and taking their learning beyond the classroom.

Some of the students within the New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 4) programme at UCOL recently got the opportunity to try abseiling in the Palmerston North Campus Atrium. This group was made up of students from China, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, India, and Vietnam.

UCOL English Language Lecturer Josh Lion says abseiling was a fun way for students to take a break from the classroom and experience something new. 

“We’re trying to introduce the students to new things outside of the classroom, provide them with unique opportunities, and challenge them.”

Earlier this semester, some of the students also took a trip to Whanganui, where they explored Kai Iwi Beach, took in the great view of the city from Durie Hill, and learned how to make pizza in the UCOL training kitchen.  

Josh says that while these out-of-classroom activities are fun for the students, they are also good for their English skills. 

“These activities not only build students confidence to overcome difficult challenges in life and study, but they also allow students to practice listening skills in a real context.  For both the abseiling and cooking, they needed to listen to the lecturers and follow instructions carefully”, says Josh.  

English Language student Zi Quan Yuan says the abseiling was a little scary at first, but he ended up really enjoying the experience. 

“It was interesting. I’d never tried it before, but if I had another chance I would do it again.”  

UCOL English language student Xi Wen Xing
Pictured: Xi Wen Xing descends from the Atrium walkway (photo by English Language student Luan Vo).

Fellow student Xi Wen Xing says the Whanganui trip was a good opportunity for the students to see another part of the New Zealand.

Zi Quan and Xi Wen came to UCOL from the Chinese cities of Dongguan and Shenyang respectively. For each of them, this is their first time living away from home, and they’re liking what Palmerston North has to offer. 

“I think Palmerston North is better than any city in New Zealand. For example, Auckland is quite expensive, noisy, and there are lots of people. I like that Palmerston North is smaller and quiet,” says Zi Quan.

The New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 4) is designed to prepare students who speak English as a second language for further study at UCOL.

Xi Wen says it was a good decision to learn English at UCOL. He is looking to study Photography at UCOL next year, while Zi Quan plans to stay at UCOL to study Information Technology.