University of Victoria - English Language CentreContact Information:
English Language Centre PO Box 3030 Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3N6 Canada
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|Name:||Makiko Noge and Ji Hye Kim|
|Country of Origin:||-|
|Field of Study:||English language skills|
Student Story:On June 4, 2008 some international students were selling cookies. They were students who are studying English at the University of Victoria and it was a part of a class project was about helping a charity. This project has been done since 2004 by teacher Gerry Luton and his students in the 12-week intensive program.
Gerry said, "I wanted to do a project for which students could practice all their language skills and to get them involved in a project that would develop their awareness of international development issues."
This project was not very easy. First of all, the students had to decide which charity they were going to help. Through their research and discussion, they decided to help "Free the Children" which is the world's largest network for helping children with their education, sanitary systems, health, etc. After that, they prepared the presentation of this project and visited other classes in order to let them know about this event. Jun, who was involved in this project, said, "It was a challenge for me, because sometimes I had to go to higher level classes than mine. However, when I finished that presentation, I felt more confident than before."
Finally, they held a bake sale for donations for two days in different locations around the university. The cookies were prepared by students and teachers. Tina, who was involved in this project, said, "When I got cookies from other teachers, I was really thankful and I felt more motivation and responsibility to sell cookies."
It was tough for some students to sell cookies because talking with native speakers was not familiar to them. However, as time went by, they became more confident and got more attention from people. Most people were interested in this event and some just donated money without taking any cookies. Masahiro, a student who was involved in this project, said, "At first I thought it was important to raise a lot of money, but I realized that the most important thing was to get people to pay attention to this issue."
From the Bake Sale, $954.57 was raised and the money was donated to "Free the Children." Even though each person donated only one dollar, it could be a big help. Dan, who was involved in this project, said, "When Gerry suggested we do this project, I was not happy…but now I can say it was helpful for me not only to improve my English skills but also to consider people who are suffering from poverty or exploitation all over the world." Even though it is a small project, there is a hope that it can let people know about those serious problems. Gerry said, "I hope that this project will remind people of how lucky they are and how difficult life is for people who suffer from poverty, diseases and war."