DOHA OVER 60 students, between the ages of 13 and 18, participated in Doha Youth Center’s (DYC) annual language trip to Britain and Canada recently.
The trip was organised under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and sponsored by ConocoPhillips in Qatar.
The ‘language trip programme’ aims to enhance the students’ linguistic abilities by providing English-immersion courses and field practice in Anglo-Saxon countries.
The programme also includes technical and special skills’ development to enhance the students’ abilities in a conservative environment. It also teaches independence and promotes education that combines fun and knowledge. This year’s participants were divided into two groups of Britain and Canada based on their age.
A Doha Youth Center official stated that the combined support of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and ConocoPhillips made the trip possible and also added to the center’s credibility.
Qatar’s ConocoPhillips President Gary Sykes said, “We are very happy that through our sponsorship, many students were able to perfect their language abilities.
They were also given the opportunity to hear the English language spoken as the mother tongue in its country of origin, England, and in Canada. ConocoPhillips is dedicated to improving the youths’ skills and their linguistic fluency. We have faith that these youths will become future leaders of Qatar.” Talking about the trip, Abdulaziz Ali Fakhroo, a 14- year-old student at Oman Bin Al Khatab preparatory school said, “It was an extremely interesting visit to Britain. We were able to immerse ourselves in the history of the Anglo-Saxon linguistic tradition. We also made a stop at Torquay, a town located in the south of London. Twentyeight of us, aged 13-15, have English immersion courses at the Riviera and Kaplan School. It was indeed a very enriching experience.”
Dr Khalid Alkhanji, chairman of Doha Youth Center, said, “The participants studied for 20 hours a week at these institutes. The programme improved their ability to communicate with British people in English. Their mentors and supervisors took this opportunity to organise leadership and educational courses as well.”
“In addition to the two schools session, the participants also visited London, Plymouth and Exerter. In Torquay, they visited the Birds’ Park, the Model Village and Kents Cavern. All in all, we believe that they had a remarkable time,” he added.
The second part of the programme included a two-week trip to Canada’s capital Ottawa.
Thirty-two students participated in the trip, during which they gained additional selfconfidence and self-reliance in their English practice.
“In Ottawa, the youths participated in educational courses and gained more linguistic and communication skills,” Alkhanji said. Abdulaziz Omer al Mal, student of Tariq Bin Ziad secondary school, said, “We undertook a very intense language course at Interlangues Language School. The course provided a high-quality study programme for five days a week with five hours a day. It was gruelling and invigorating at the same time. After the course, we were able to speak English fluently and much more confidently than when we started.”
Similarly, the Canadian tour included a programme consisting of 8 to 10 hours a week of intensive courses that trained participants in leadership, volunteerism and civil culture.
Social interaction with Canadian students created opportunities for cultural exchange and dialogue.
Throughout the visit, mentors maintained strict monitoring of the participants’ efforts to acquire knowledge of the language and culture, their general behaviour, mutual support and cooperation, as well as their respect of moral and religious standings.
“The goals of the trips are developing the students’ individual assets as responsible and self-reliant youths, exploring and maximising their creative potential and talent, fostering positive behaviour and team spirit and finding enjoyment in pursuit of knowledge,” Alkhanji said.