Exploring Batavia

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What is the best way to learn English? I had been asked this question many times. To me, the best way to learn any language is to actually be in the country where that language is commonly used. Thus, I think the best way to learn English is to come and study in America.

On May 22nd 2014, GCC welcomed 29 Japanese students to come study as part of the ESL (English as a Second Language) program during the summer. This program helps these international students enhance their skills in English that will prepare them for the college courses that they will be taking in the Fall semester.

IMG_3561According to Kathleen Klaiber, GCC English and ESL Instructor, GCC incorporated a summer tour to the school’s ESL program to help increase student knowledge about American culture. For many years, she had been working to coordinate wonderful trips for ESL students to various places around Western New York.

Last Friday, the class took a tour around Batavia by B-Line bus to see some of the attractions in town. As the bus drove around, Mrs. Klaiber pointed out important places that students may want to know such as the library, hospitals and post office. Student Erin Kanno said that this was her favorite part of the trip.

IMG_3639After the bus tour the group visited the Peace Garden and the Holland Land Museum in downtown Batavia. At the museum, students were able to learn about the birth of Western New York and the old living style of the people back then. “I want to stay in the museum longer, because I like history” said Kentaro Kawase, while Yu Shimizu hopes to visit the museum again once her English improves.

Afterward, the students ate lunch at Rancho Viejo, a Mexican restaurant in Batavia. For most of them, it was their first time eating Mexican food. “I like it, Mexican food was surprisingly delicious.” said Hiroki Yoshida. The most fun part for students was dessert at Oliver’s candy shop. “I really enjoy the candy shop, it is really cute. Japan doesn’t really have cute candy stores like that.” said Mina Horiuchi.

IMG_3676The trip ended, but this is just the beginning of the summer. There are still many adventures to have and many places to explore. In the upcoming weeks, these students will get to visit the Jello Museum, Jazz Festival, Kiwanis Park, Lechworth State Park, Niagara Falls  and many more places. At GCC, learning doesn’t necessary take place only in the classroom and certainly, the summer tour had successfully prepared many students for their next step in education in America.

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