Celebrating American Fall Holidays with our esl students
Fall is in the air at Excel English Institute. Our students are getting ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving. These are two of the most popular American holidays, and our ESL students are going to learn all about them. From decorations to parties, Excel students won’t miss out on these special fall activities. Usually, Excel English Institute has a Halloween party for its students, who are encouraged to come to school in costumes. Some students have never worn a costume in their lives, so this event proves to be a new experience and lots of fun. Then a good old game of musical chairs creates a healthy spirit of competition and a visit to childhood fun and games. At Excel English Institute, we not only teach English, but we also expose our foreign students to American culture to help them acclimate to life in the United States.
When students come to the United States, they often feel culture shock and have a hard time adapting and transitioning to life here. At Excel, our mission is to give each of our students a program and environment that allows for fruitful learning of the language and the culture. Imagine how surprising it is for someone who comes to this country in October and sees ghosts, pumpkins and scary objects everywhere they look. In order for this holiday to make sense to them, Excel staff works hard to teach students that learning a culture is an integral part of learning its language.
Following our Halloween party, Excel will prepare to introduce to our newcomers to the holiday of Thanksgiving. For a week prior to our luncheon, we teach our students about American history and how it relates to Thanksgiving. Students learn about the history of Native Americans and the first settlers who came to the New World. For many of our students, American history is not taught in their countries, so this bit of culture and celebration makes them feel more like they understand this new country they are living in and even embrace its rich history and culture.
Excel English Institute hosts a Thanksgiving luncheon complete with typical Thanksgiving Day foods for its students. In addition, students are encouraged to bring a dish from their countries to introduce a part of the world that many of their classmates may not know of. It is wonderful to see people from all over the world embrace their fellow classmates and attempt to understand their backgrounds.
This tradition of celebrating diverse cultures that Excel has established since its opening in January 2014, has functioned as a small effort on the part of the school’s founders to teach tolerance and acceptance of all people regardless of their ethnic, racial or socio-economic backgrounds. When students participate in classroom or extra-curricular activities, each one’s cultural diversity is celebrated and valued as all the student body has one fundamental thing in common: each student is here to learn English and bring to the equation a unique characteristic of his/her own culture, which is the ideal that America was founded upon.