Valuing the English Language through Tourism

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By Azeera Az

Some of the students from Global English Centre.

Imagine expanding your English vocabularies and grammar while enjoying adventure activities such as diving and snorkelling on an island, white water rafting in infamous rivers, and even experience rainforest safaris in beautiful wild jungles. Believe it or not, you are looking at the study tour itinerary of 72 students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who spent 6 weeks experiencing the cultural and linguistic immersion in Sabah at Global English Centre.

Proudly graduating on  31 August 2018, the students not only widened their educational experiences in foreign country, but they also had a great time participating in daily tourism activities in Sabah. Previously, the students visited Ireland and Turkey, while it was the first time that Sabah was listed in their study tour.

Suhaib, 18, from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

One of the students, Suhaib, 18, mentioned that his English improved a lot while studying in GEC. While he might not fancy Sabah’s traditional food, one of his memorable experiences was Discovery Scuba Diving in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. One of the tutors in GEC is a 24 year old University Malaysia Sabah student, Jezreel. “It is a challenge for them as they have a different cultural perspective from ours, so they see things more seriously than we do and our methods of teaching are inquiry-based learning”, he said adding that even though the students are ‘tough nuts to crack’ but by the end of the day, the most important thing is that they strive to learn and enjoy the English language.

One of the tutors in GEC is a 24 year old University Malaysia Sabah student, Jezreel.

Global English Centre (GEC) receives different international students from all over the world, mostly from Japan and Korea. Their mission is to help students enhance their English skills and qualifications, while introducing them to tourist destinations around Sabah. The centre also provides accommodation, meals, and even extra co-curricular activities such as visiting malls, watching movies at the cinema and also competitive sports such as paintball.

While it has been a challenge for the GEC team as it was also their first time hosting a large number of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia students, the director, Michael Kehoe, is already in expecting about 90 to 100 more Saudi Arabian students to come to Sabah for next year’s intake. This time, they will prepare more exciting activities for the students to participate.

Michael Kehoe, the director of Global English Centre (GEC).