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ELI Welcomes International Guests

The English Language Institute recently welcomed international visitors from two continents with the goal of creating lasting partnerships.

In March and April, students from Kaisei Gakuin High School in Muroran, Japan, a sister city of Knoxville, worked with ELI to provide intensive language and American cultural experiences for four students. Discussions began in October with Jack Brodowski, International Department Deputy Director for KGHS who was looking for a new opportunity for his high school students to engage with a U.S. university.

The visitors participated in English classes at ELI from 9 a.m.-noon and spent the afternoon taking part in various cultural experiences organized by ELI staff — Doug Terry, Anna McDaniel and Rosario Grass. The students also participated in the Student Global Experience Showcase during the Center for Global Engagement’s first Global Engagement Summit, met Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, visited Great Smokey Mountains National Park and joined activities at the International House on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus.

What impressed our students the most was the exposure to different cultures in a classroom, appropriate language level placement and teacher-to-student ratio,” Brodowski said. “Other than that, delicious food and the southern hospitality were very common comments.”

In April, ELI hosted a delegation from Panama’s SENAFRONT, the elite border police unit. The delegation visited to explore collaborative opportunities with ELI to support SENAFRONT’s initiatives to teach English to selected individuals in the batallion.

Learning English can enable the border police to communicate more effectively with non-government officials, government officials from other countries, and English-speaking migrants.

Panama General Jorge Gobea provided the vision for the collaboration, and is enthusiastic about future collaboration withthe English Language Institute.