Queen's School of English


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Summer/Fall Review 2015

Published on November 6, 2015

Greetings from Queen's School of English! 
Autumn is a time of transition. As we move from summer to winter and enjoy the last days of warmth and sunshine before the snow begins to fall, we resume the rhythm of study and preparation for the academic year ahead. 
This semester, we welcome twenty QBridge Pathway students to the Queen's School of English (QSoE). Continue reading to find out more about this pathway. 
We have a lot of exciting updates for you in this issue of our newsletter. We begin with a general reminder about the new Electronic Travel Authorization, and continue by sharing the QSoE student experiences, which are highlighted through our new video, a Queen's Gazette story about our QBridge Pathway, and a blog post. We also introduce our international partners to our new Tailored Catalogue. And, as always, you will have a chance to meet one of our instructors, Hee-sook Lim Kerstens.
In addition, we would like to highlight some of our other important developments.
We are pleased to announce that QSoE is now offering an English language pathway to the St. Lawrence College (SLC) students. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between SLC and QSoE in July and we have welcomed the first students into our English for Academic Purposes Program in September. Upon successful completion of our Beginner and Elementary levels, these students will transition back to SLC, where they will attend the Intermediate and Advanced levels of the English as a Second Language program before starting their diploma studies.
We also would like to welcome our new agent representatives:
  • CLASS Education, Mexico
  • Successful Education Center, Taiwan
And finally, congratulations to our newest members of the Student Ambassador Program: Barbara and Josafa from Brazil; Miho, Yuna, Hitomi and Tomoyuki from Japan; Meilin from Panama; and Ibrahim from Saudi Arabia.
Enjoy reading through our newsletter and email us if you have any questions.
Warmest regards,
QSoE Team

Canada Introduces Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
Important Message for our University Partners:
Starting March 15, 2016, citizens of visa-exempt countries who fly to or transit through Canada (by plane) will need to apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa. 

Our New Video
Our new video highlights three students, who came to QSoE to learn English. Each student had different goals and attended different levels of our English for Academic Purposes Program in the summer 2015. Watch the video to hear their stories: 

Tailored Programs for Institutional Partners
In partnership with some Queen's faculties and departments, we have developed a new Tailored Catalogue of program offering for our international partners. As part of the new catalogue, we offer exclusive content-based learning opportunities for language learning groups. Each short-term, non-credit course is delivered in English and combines subject-area content with language support to make for a dynamic language and content learning experience.
Possible program offering includes:
  • Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language
  • Medicine
  • Canadian Economics
  • History of Kingston and Canada
  • Art History
  • Development Studies
  • Gender in Popular Cultures
  • Musical Theatre
  • Ancient Greek and Roman Civilization and Archaeology
  • Bilingual Course in French Canadian and Quebec Culture and History

About Tailored Programs 


Bridging the Gap Between Cultures
By Andrew Carroll, Gazette Editor


Making the switch to university life can be difficult and is only compounded when you are also trying to find your way in a new community and culture. 
These are the challenges for many international students. However, with the support of a number of programs offered by Queen's University and the Queen's School of English (QSoE), that transition is being made easier. 
One such program is QBridge, which acts as a pathway or a bridge to undergraduate studies and delivers academic English language training to international students before they begin their studies at Queen's. 
The QBridge Pathway initially began in 2010 as an intensive eight-week English language summer program for conditionally accepted international students. This year, the QBridge Pathway was expanded to include the English for Academic Purposes Program, which allows students with conditional acceptance to spend the Fall and Winter terms preparing for undergraduate studies. The first group of QBridge student joined the English for Academic Purposes Program in September 2015 and are currently preparing for their 2016 Queen's undergraduate studies. 
In the QBridge Accelerated, the students, who have already been accepted to an undergraduate program at Queen's, listen to lectures, write essays, make presentations and take part in debates. By the program's end, students are meant to be proficient enough in their academic and language skills to be able to succeed in their first year of university.
This is not an introductory course.
"It's very intense but to get into the QBridge Accelerated program these students have a certain English-language proficiency that's higher than in other programs," says Rasha Fahim, an ESL instructor at QSoE who is also pursuing her Masters of Education. 
"It's also about accepting another culture, making yourself more comfortable in it and trying to gain something from it. That's what QBridge helps us to do." - Severus (Chongxi) Gao

Posts from our blog:
Transitioning from QSoE to Queen's University
By: Haoran Liang
Haoran graduated from the EAP program in 2014 and is now in his second year of the Bachelor of Commerce program at Queen's University.
International students studying at an English based university face a lot of unique challenges including adapting to a new culture, language and environment. When I first came to Canada, I did not speak English often. I found it very challenging to build relationships with people in Canada due to my lack of English skills. However, Queen's School of English helped me improve my English. I am very thankful that I had the chance to go to QSoE.
At QSoE, I learned English, attended social activities, enjoyed casual conversation with native English speakers and made a lot of new friends. My time QSoE played a significant role in helping me to overcome my culture shock, language barrier and other issues that I struggled with. Continue reading


Meet our Instructor
​Hee-sook Lim Kerstens brings a unique experience to her teaching practice at Queen's School of English (QSoE). Originally from South Korea, she moved to Canada with her family when she was five years old. She still remembers not being able to fully communicate with her classmates when she started school in Canada. However, years later, Hee-sook completed a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto, and gained her Master of Education at Queen's University.
Originally a high school teacher, Hee-sook joined QSoE in 2001, when she taught her first English language class. Hee-sook made a decision to stay at QSoE and pursue English language teaching as her career. "I love the other teachers! They are friendly, helpful, giving, and knowledgeable. A good relationship with colleagues who are supportive and helpful makes my job much more enjoyable. I also love the students! Their dedication and courage to learn and live in a second language is phenomenal. I have high respect for our students taking on this challenge in their studies."
Hee-sook's experiences as an immigrant child in Canada help her to relate to her students at QSoE, because she understands why it could be difficult to learn English as a foreign language.
When reflecting on how she learned English language, she says it was from being fully integrated into the English-speaking environment; however, she also recalls that watching Sesame Street was helpful in learning sounds!
When asked what her advice would be to her students, Hee-sook replied: "My advice would be to take courage and step out of their comfort zone; for example, don't worry about making a mistake or giving the wrong answer. It's more important to just try!"
She gave an excellent example: "I remember one Japanese student who always tried to speak to people while waiting for the bus. She ended up meeting a professor in medicine and research at the bus stop who then invited her to his research lab and introduced her to all his students and researchers! It was a great opportunity for her."
However, not all of her students are as outgoing. Hee-sook says that "The most challenging is getting 'shy' students to talk". During the current term of the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program, she is trying new methods in her class. Through group work and creating a reading portfolio, Hee-sook hopes to give enough opportunities to all of her students to practice the English language skills in class. 

In the previous newsletter, there was an error in Meet our Instructor. Monte Biggar "initiated the use of Nicenet as a collaborative, online community space at QSoE and successfully piloted a short blended learning program before collaborating on a series of online e-courses in Moodle". We have updated the story on our website