As the oldest and most accredited language school in Kelowna (est. 2002), we design learning environments, and then our teachers deliver curriculum for the teaching of students. There are skills learned, primarily English language skills. However, it is understood that the curriculum of the class is not the only learning that occurs.
To ensure quality learning, there needs to be an emphasis on creating an environment in which the students can feel confident, accepted, and challenged to continue their learning curve. The pedagogy of learning pertains to curriculum delivery, but the psychology of learning deals more with setting the stage in preparation for learning to occur.
Social constructivism is focused on the collaborative nature of learning. At IGK, because of having students from many countries, languages, cultures, ages, and experiences, we learn a great amount about each other. At the same time, we have our common learning goal, learning the English language.
Through our efforts welcoming many Ukrainian nationals over the past 6 months, we first prepared the learning environment so that we could ensure that we set the best stage possible for their learning.
Efforts around simple items, like ensuring fresh coffee and snacks available might seem small, yet were impactful, nonetheless. We offered weekly barbecues on Fridays, included music at breaks, attended and supported their fundraising events with our staff. These small details ensured our new friends felt comfortable, and IGK was a safe place for them....to congregate with other members of their community, but also with other communities in Kelowna.
Through partnerships with Kelowna Community Resources, WorkBC, and others, IGK has continued to provide a safe space, where students not only learn the English language skills and other cultures, but also to see the qualities of empathy, patience, and care, which are the best of the Canadian culture.