English Language Institute welcomes teachers from Saudi Arabia

Saudi teachers
Saudi teachers

The York University English Language Institute has welcomed 59 teachers, counsellors and principals from Saudi Arabia to the Keele campus for an immersive teacher professional learning program developed by the English Language Institute.

“On a per capita basis, more Saudi students study in Canada than anywhere else in the world.  This is a statistic of which we Canadians are very proud,” said Isaac Garcia-Sitton, director English Language Institute and International Education. “Our countries are committed to the importance of regional peace. Part of this noble goal includes education and training, and very good measures of the two.”

Saudi teachers gather at York University. The York University English Language Institute welcomed the teachers to the Keele campus.

The visiting group will spend six months at York University. In the first three months, they will participate in the Academic Program at the English Language Institute to improve their English language skills. In the last three months, they will work with local mentor teachers in placements across Toronto schools putting their new skills into action with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). The project also provides the opportunity for the participants to learn about the culture and values of Canadian society.

“We are delighted to host our teacher and principal colleagues from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Individualized Guidance component of Building Leadership for Change Through School Immersion,” said Rick White, coordinator of International Programs and Leadership in the Faculty of Education at York University. “An outstanding group of accomplished mentors from the Faculty of Education with current knowledge of exemplary practices utilized in Ontario schools will be supporting the participants in this program.”

This is the second collaborative project with the TDSB in the past 12 months, utilizing the expertise of the English Language Institute staff to build skills and the opportunities of the school board staff to provide practical experiences.

The Toronto District School Board noted in a statement that it welcomes “fellow educators from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into our schools and classrooms as part of the Building Leadership for Change Through School Immersion Program. We look forward to providing our visiting colleagues with a meaningful and valuable experience through this exciting program.”

The project is a joint initiative with the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau, the Faculty of Education at York University, and the TDSB. It is managed by the York University English Language Institute.

For more information, contact Isaac Garcia-Sitton at igarcias@yorku.ca.