Intensive English Program Immerses Students in American Culture

Ask anyone — there is no better way to learn a language than to immerse yourself in the language’s culture.

For this reason, the Intensive English Program (IEP), a Continuing Education program on Osceola and West Campuses, is excited about the successful launch of its Living Language Excursions (LLE). The mission of the IEP is to provide the highest quality English language programs to international students to meet their personal, academic and professional goals while creating an environment that fosters cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. The LLEs help support this mission by immersing IEP students in opportunities to practice English outside the classroom, which includes involving students in the community.

In fact, the excursions alternate between cultural and civic engagement lessons and are focused on American culture themes related to topics students study in class.

Excursions have included tours of and scavenger hunts at the Orlando and Osceola public libraries, where students have the opportunity to get a library card and check out books; Orange County Regional History Center; Orange County Regional Wastewater Educational Center; Doctor Phillips Center for the Performing Arts; Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida; Winter Park’s Hannibal Square Heritage Center to learn about the role African-Americans have played in local history and the Civil Rights Movement; and the Orange County Courthouse to experience the American judicial system. To correlate with the themes of environmental awareness and sustainability, groups have also experienced a guided nature walk at the Disney Wilderness Preserve in Poinciana, where they learned about reducing their carbon footprint and living in harmony with nature.

Excursions also happen in our own backyard, too. IEP students have visited some of Valencia’s unique facilities, such as the Hydroponics Aquaponics Garden, the School of Public Safety, the Basic Construction Lab and the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center.

The excursions, which happen once a month, provide meaningful interactions between the students and the community, while also giving them an opportunity to use English outside of the classroom — as excursions are conducted in English.

If you would like additional information about the IEP or the LLE, please contact Tracey Partin, assistant director of curriculum and instruction, Center for International Education and Instruction, at tpartin1@valenciacollege.edu or at 407-299-5000, extension 1234.

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