A college in the borough is using a unique approach to teach English to foreign students. NY1's Talia Kaplan filed the following report.
Gabriela Snitko attended her first baseball game Thursday at Citi Field. The 15-year-old is from Poland and just moved to Queens last month.
"It's interesting," she said describing the Mets game.
She's one of 14 students from abroad participating in the 'Teen English Academy' this summer. The course is at LaGuardia Community College. It is a five week intensive English class designed for teens like Snitko who just moved to the City or are visiting friends and family.
The students are from Ecuador, Colombia, and Spain just to name a few.
"Today is the grand finale," said Heather Barikmo, the Associate Director of the English Language Center at LaGuardia Community College. She says the academy used a unique approach to teach the students.
"Rather than using textbooks, we're using things like TV shows, pop songs, talking a lot about Pokemon Go, and talking just about things that are happening in New York City this summer," she said.
The Mets game was all part of the curriculum. Students learned baseball terminology to prepare. The outing to Citi Field was just one out of five trips the group took to immerse themselves in local life and culture.
"My favorite trip was the Brooklyn Bridge and Jane's Carousel," said Snitko.
The students also visited Central Park, hopped on the Staten Island Ferry, and checked out the Top of the Rock.
"I think the trips have been key. I think getting out of the classroom, getting into real world situations where people have to put money on their metro card, or buy a hot dog at the concession stand, these are all areas where English becomes authentic," said Barikmo.
Snitko says the course proved to be helpful.
"I am really happy because I know English word, I'm more confident in English, I meet many new friends, I saw many new interesting new places," she said.
Next year, Barikmo says, the goal is to reach even more students and teach them English through the interactive method.