Yulin Chen

Photo courtesy Yulin Chen

When I first came to Vancouver, I was afraid to talk with local people... ELC quickly improved my language level.

Yulin Chen studied in SFU’s English Language and Culture program for four months in 2016. Originally from Dongguan City, Guangdong Province in China, Yulin is now majoring in economics at SFU and expects to graduate in 2020. We caught up with Yulin to find out how he benefited from his experience in the ELC program.

How do you think studying in ELC has helped you follow your dreams?

Before studying at ELC, my English ability was very poor. When I first came to Vancouver, I was afraid to talk with local people. Even when I asked for directions, I had to search the electronic dictionary and practise for a long time. I learned a lot at ELC. First of all, I got to practise speaking a lot, and I got to know a lot of international students similar to my English level through the placement. We solved each other’s English problems. The extracurricular activities organized by ELC every week introduced me to a lot of Vancouver attractions and helped me meet other students. The instructors helped me find the way forward. ELC quickly improved my language level during four months.

How were you challenged and helped by your instructors?

My teachers helped me a lot—my biggest improvement is in speaking and writing. Before I came to Canada, I had no chance to practice speaking and writing in English. At the beginning, every time I talked, I had to organize my grammar in my head. After I went to ELC, I could speak English naturally. When I went to Fraser International College, I met a friend who I’d studied with in China. She was shocked by my progress. In addition, the instructors also asked us to record life in English every week, which was helpful for my future studies.

What advice would you give to students now studying in ELC?

Don’t resist speaking English because you’re not confident in yourself. ELC’s instructors have a wealth of teaching experience. They understand what you mean and correct you. As long as you meet their requirements, your English level can be greatly improved within a few months. Chat with local people and learn a lot about the customs of Canada.

Is there anything else you would like to say about your time here?

I’m grateful to the ELC instructors and event organizers, and I’m fortunate that I chose to study at ELC. The program not only helped me improve my English ability, but also allowed me to speak English confidently and learn a lot about Canada’s culture.