The last summer program on campus, right before second-year students come back to campus, is SPELL – the Summer Program for English Language Learning.

SPELL is a 10-day program of language learning support for first-year students who could use a little extra time and support on campus to get more comfortable in their surroundings and with their English skills. This year, four experienced second-year students supported 12 incoming first-years and helped them to settle by offering community, support and fun afternoon activities. The main goal of SPELL is to build up the student’s confidence in their English skills and give them a head start on their life at Pearson.

But what exactly are the SPELLers doing? While the first-year students gather together in the Marine Science building classroom to practice their English and useful conversation techniques, the second-year students, all former SPELL students themselves, have time to work on their Extended Essays. In the afternoon, activities are organized by the second-year students and usually consist of lots of fun, trips and outdoor activities. It’s a full language immersion, with lots of supports.

Looking back on their first year and their earlier participation in SPELL, the new second-year students notice a big difference: Not only do they feel a lot more comfortable speaking English, they also have honed their leadership, communication and collaboration skills.

They also all observed another big change: “This year the new students are more open and motivated to express their own opinion and speak up for themselves, than I remember us a year ago. Everyone is included and we’ve already had some impressive discussions,” elaborates Mohamad (YR 45/2020, Syria)

Sixteen motivated SPELLers, a floating classroom and numerous open conversations: after these effective and supportive ten mid-summer days, the students were excited to welcome their co-years with confidence and conversation.