June 14th 2011. – English has become one of the most important languages around the Globe. Almost every country has incorporated it in their Schools and Universities, is also the most common language used on business negotiations, software and technology usage. Jefferson School has more than 34 years teaching English as a Second Language for students of different levels from elementary school up to senior levels in Ecuador. As part of our ESL program we have been affiliated to the ISSE association for more than 25 years; therefore we have incorporated an exchange program usually with the United States in order to promote the practical use of the language and also to share cultures and traditions abroad.
This year 8 students from Elementary School travelled to the city of Cincinnati in the State of Ohio and visited Nativity School for about 2 weeks. Their visit was filled with enthusiasm, cultural learning and tradition sharing. Now was the time for us to receive the Nativity School delegation. Our American fellows arrived on a late evening Delta flight, they were received by an enthusiastic group of parents and kids, all exited and waiting to see their future newly “siblings”. After a long wait, 10 kids and 2 nice teachers passed through the “international arrival hall” at Guayaquil’s Airport, our Jefferson crowd broke down with energetic cheers and posters greeting our visitors. Hugs, kisses and lots of pictures were part of our warmth welcome; all the flashes indicated that something special was going on at JJO’s Airport, as if celebrities had arrived to our country, nevertheless for us they are as important as any Hollywood star. Right after a 5 minutes photo session everyone was ready to hit the road and go home to get ready for tomorrow’s big day.
Their first day was very exciting and at the same time scary, the official presentation was taking place at the morning assembly at elementary school. An extraordinary program was prepared, national music, special gifts, national anthems, and many other things were part of this nice presentation. Later on, they had a campus tour and time to visit different classes as observers and interact with many students and Ecuadorian teachers. Their lunch was empanadas, pan de yucca and yogurt. That same night a family hosted a welcome dinner where they had pizza and cake. Their second day was taking place at High School; they started with a campus tour hosted by Miss Mercedes Delgado, head coordinator of the English Department. After that, they were invited to have a delicious brunch prepared by the Tourism and Hospitality Students. The environment was decorated with Ecuadorian themes and we shared different videos and information of our country explaining “why visiting Ecuador is a unique experience and a chance to discover biodiversity”. Later on they had recess time and were invited to participate on a “Jeopardy” game prepared by 8thgraders. Our visitors were split into groups and had the chance to meet new friends; they also played “sparkle” thanks to Miss Lisa who taught our kids how to have fun just by spelling words. At 12h40 we had our High School assembly and Nativity Delegation was formally introduced by our principal Dr. Cecilia Vera. The last two hours all the kids were distributed into different activities such as: soccer, basket, fencing, volley ball, art and radio & television. Miss Brooke and Miss Lisa were interviewed at Jefferson’s TV show and they had the chance to share their experiences and opinions about the exchange program with us. The third day was super exciting because they had a visit to the “Parque Historico”, again food was a fundamental part of the tour, this time they had corn tortillas, ice-creams, chocolate cakes and chocolates. During the afternoon we assisted to a delicious barbecue hosted by Mr. Basil Haylock, Head Chief of the School, we shared with his family at a natural paradise surrounding us in his beautiful house. During the evening the kids had time with families. Some went shopping at the mall, others toured the Malecon downtown area, others watched movies with Spanish subtitles. All in all they seem to have a great time in our country and definitely for Jefferson students this is an extraordinary and a one life experience, not only because they are practicing their English but also learning new cultures and making long term friendships. We can assure that this exchange is an innovative approach for Jefferson School that realizes the importance of international experience in modern education. I will keep you updated with further information on our Nativity Guests and their visit to Ecuador. Stay put.
More Pictures visit: http://familiajefferson.blogspot.com/2011/06/nuestros-visitantes-de-intercambio.html