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ELLA Immersion Programs

English Language and Culture Immersion Programs

Note: For groups of teachers who would like to improve their teaching skills while being immersed in Canadian culture, please click here.

  • What is immersion? Intensive group language training opportunities.
  • Goal: Develop the knowledge and skills to communicate more easily and confidently in English. Learn and gain appreciation for Canadian culture
  • Length: Programs are typically 4 weeks.
  • Hours: 15 hours a week of language instruction and 10 hours of weekly experiential learning activities with the focus on the development of oral/aural skills.
  • Experiential learning: Opportunities to use and improve English skills by enhancing cultural understanding of Canada and the local environment.
    • Homestay experiences.
    • Off-campus excursions.

Class Components

  • Readings, lectures, and discussions to prepare students for critical analysis of their field trip and outing experiences. Debriefings of the field trips reflect on the experience from an intercultural perspective.
  • Class size less than 22 students for more opportunities in language learning.
  • Evaluation components:
    • Participation, class work, oral and written homework assignments, journals and quizzes.
    • Evaluation forms can be adapted to your organization’s requirements.
    • Completion reward: Certificate and report card.

Experiential Learning

  • When: Every afternoon.
  • Who: Students with a teaching assistant known as a "monitor".
  • What: Informal activities with a chance to develop confidence and practice English in an informal comfortable and supportive atmosphere.
    • "Workshops" are on-campus sessions to practice using English spontaneously. Activities may include role playing for ordering at a restaurant, improvisational drama exercises to develop an awareness of body language, or sport and team building activities.
    • "Outings" are off-campus excursions to sites of cultural, historical, or social interest.

Graduation Ceremony

  • What: Graduation dinner and ceremony
  • When: At the end of the program
  • Program:
    • Students have an opportunity to give brief speeches, present skits, and sing to demonstrate their skill and comfort in English.
    • Host families, new friends, and instructors are invited to help celebrate the success and achievement of the students.


  • Students have a daily opportunity to talk with their families and participate in Canadian family life. Homestay is an important part of the immersion experience.
  • Homework activities are designed for the students to help them communicate with their families. Assignments typically include conversation questions about family traditions, Canadian celebrations, or a favourite tourism destination in B.C.
  • An evening social is organized for each student and his/her homestay family to gather together in a group setting to eat and play games.

Free Time and Optional Activities

  • Each week, students have the opportunity to participate in optional activities during free time. These include sports activities, seasonal festivals, recommended restaurants, or places to visit during free time.
  • These activities provide a chance for students to use English in informal settings. Costs may be associated with these activities and are not covered by the program.

See a Sample Calendar (2 weeks of 4 week program).

Programs for English Language Educators

Douglas International and the ELLA/TESL department also offer programs for English-language educators from other countries.

As in the programs above, participants stay with home stay families, learning about their day-to-day lives and Canadian culture.

These programs, usually designed in collaboration with the home institution, provide students with the following:

  • Intensive in-class, interactive instruction in the latest methods and techniques for ESL instruction.
  • Observations of ESL classes, with guided observation tasks and feedback sessions.
  • A chance to create materials and try out newly learned techniques in microteaching sessions.
  • Off-campus excursions (see above).

See a typical schedule for this type of program.

More About English Language Learning and Acquisition (ELLA)

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