Staff and Community
"I have often said that we at MLI are in the business of creating memories great memories. The students who come to visit and learn in our small towns experience a warmth and culture they never forget. Many happily return as students or as adults, all take home timeless images and joyful impressions of Canada, a country that made them feel welcome.
The families who shared their homes with the visitors always comment on the quality of the program and the people who make it happen. In truth, it is the families who are the ones who make it work. Their selfless time commitment to these young travellers, there willingness to share their stories, friends and family routines make the visits a safe and exciting part of our visitors experience. It might be as simple as star-gazing or paddling a canoe, things Canadians take for granted that become lasting memories and touchstones of conversations for years after.
The lessons in school are presented in Canadian fashion, lots of hands on activities and stimulating conversation designed to improve the ear and the tongue. All students leave with a better command of English and a Canadian vocabulary. -can you say maple syrup and blueberries with my pancakes please!
Watching this process unfold over a few weeks is magic. The teachers and their Canadian student helpers bond quickly with our visitors for there is an urgency to connect and to value every minute. The wonder is in watching these relationships develop as a lesson is learned or a phrase perfected. The magic is seeing the students trying out their newfound phrases in the shops and on the streets of our small towns. They depart with their camera full of friendly images and their minds crammed with happy memories."Tom Clark, Program Coordinator - Ontario
"My role as a Program Coordinator for Muskoka Language International (MLI) has given me an excellent overall perspective with regard to all the people involved in the Program and activities that are provided. The Japanese Students and Teachers, Host Families, Student Leaders and Buddies, Students and Teachers of Host Schools, Program Teachers and the Communities in general all benefit from this wonderful experience. Everyone seems to glean an appreciation of the short time spent together and feel these new friendships may have a significant impact on their lives.
I have witnessed the emotional bonds created between new friends and extended families. The world has shrunk due to the internet and the willingness of Canadian Families to receive Japanese Students And Teachers into their homes, lives and become apart of their extended family. I have observed the apprehension in the faces of the Japanese Students when they meet their Host Families, Buddies and Teachers for the first time, then watch the doubts wash away and be replaced with respect, happiness and a sense of well being. Departure only heightens the impact that the adventure has had on these Students and anyone who has had contact with them. Tears are shed by everyone as goodbyes are said and promises are made
Host Families, Student Leaders and Buddies who have been involved in several programs have indicated to me that they have maintained contact with their Japanese Student over the years and are very willing to increase the size of their extended Family each year because the emotional bonds that have been successfully created. Some have actually visited Japan to renew their friendships and a couple of my Student Leaders have also completed a Rotary Exchange based on the experience they had being associated with MLI. All of these individuals had a great experience and acknowledged the impact of the past activities on their lives and future endeavors.
As a Teacher and Administrator, the times I remember fondly are the memories and experiences that I had with people and how we interacted. Now that I am retired I can still build on these fond memories due to the association I have with MLI."Wayne Stokley, Program Coordinator - Ontario
"I was so impressed with how much of the English language students learned in such a short time. Some of the improvement was because of hard work and increased confidence, but I really think the small classes made a huge difference. Students were able to talk with each other and have lots of one-on-one time with their teacher. Also, because the lessons each day were tied to the activities in the afternoon, the English language we practised was relevant and easily understood.
At first, most students were much more confident with writing than with speaking, but after a couple of days, everyone relaxed and speaking came more easily. The use of games and activities helped, too. The teachers at MLI are not only qualified, but also full of joy and the love of teaching. They really enjoy finding creative ways to present material to students. Because the administration of MLI is so well organized and clear, teachers and students can focus on learning, with no worries! There were excellent resources and the facility was state of the art: modern and intimate at the same time.
The March Break I spent with MLI was a wonderful time where students and teachers learned together and made life long friendships!"Judi Symes, Lead Teacher - MLI Group Program