ESL Students Learn to Boot Scoot for the Rodeo!


Visitors to Rice University who drove past the lawn in front of the Anderson-Clarke Center last Friday enjoyed quite a show! In preparation for our trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that evening, four rodeo volunteers visited us at Rice to teach our Intensive English students how to line dance. The event kicked off with yummy chili and cold iced tea, traditional Texan fare, and then students formed up in lines for their line dancing lesson. First we learned the four corners line dance, used to dance to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” and then we circled up for the dance hall favorite “Cotton-Eyed Joe.” Our ESL students had so much fun learning to country dance, and those who weren’t quite brave enough to line up with their peers enjoyed tapping their feet to the music and cheering on their friends. The dance instruction ended with a song our students easily recognized… “Cupid Shuffle.” It’s always nice to dance to a song that tells you all the steps!

At the end of the day students hopped on the bus and headed out to the rodeo to put their new dance moves to good use. Even the rain wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of our students at the rodeo, many of whom had never seen bronco riding or steer wrestling before. Our students (and chaperones) were very impressed by the bull riding, but by far the favorite event was the mutton-bustin’…nothing compares to how cute little kids look riding sheep. Just as the rodeo wrapped up the skies cleared and students got to enjoy all the best parts of the carnival, including the infamous deep fried oreos. We love taking our ESL students to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and can’t wait to go again next year!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator


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ESL Students LOVE to Party!


For Valentine’s Day, what do you give to the ESL student who has everything? A big Valentine’s Party, of course! On February 11, we threw our first annual Valentine’s Party, complete with chocolate, conversation hearts, valentine-themed coloring sheets, and, everyone’s greatest love, pizza. Lots of pizza. We decorated with enough pink and red to make Cupid blush, and students loved the heart-themed photo booth. It was a great day of food and friendship. We hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day spent with friends and loved ones!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator


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Rice ESL Students see the Houston Rockets win!

DSC_0106 BA great thing about living in Houston is the diverse entertainment options available on any given day, including a number of professional sporting events. With basketball season fully underway, we decided it was time to show off one of the city’s greatest assets: the Houston Rockets!! Sixty ESL students loaded up a bus last Friday for the twelve minute drive to Toyota Center, home of Houston’s very own NBA team. Students got to enjoy all the excitement a Rockets game has to offer; watching the fan cam, the halftime entertainment, all of the silly antics of Clutch, the mascot, and best of all, a Houston Rockets win against the Milwaukee Bucks!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator



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Meet and Greet to Start the New Year


After a nice long holiday break for students, the Rice Intensive English Program is back in full swing! We are so glad to have our returning students back for another session, and just as excited to welcome over one hundred new students to the program! With so many new students joining our classes, we decided to start the year off with a Meet and Greet so that all of our students could spend some time meeting their new classmates. Our ESL students gathered in the afternoon to chat with new students, enjoy a few snacks, and meet our Language Programs office staff.

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator



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ESL Students Holiday Bowling Party!


It’s hard to believe that it’s the end of the last session of the year for the Intensive English Program! To celebrate, fifty of our ESL students made the short trip down the road to the Bowl on Bellaire bowling lanes for some holiday-themed bowling. We have some talented bowlers enrolled in the Intensive English Program…and a few very enthusiastic amateurs! Students bowled a few games, ate pizza, and exchanged gifts to commemorate the holiday season. As our classes end this week, we want to wish all of our students safe travels and very happy holidays. See you all in January!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator


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Coffee, Tea and a Well Deserved Break


With finals just around the corner, our Intensive English students really needed a break. Now that the weather has cooled off in Houston, is there a better excuse to pause from studying than coffee? During the break in between classes, our hardworking ESL students gathered in our student lounge for coffee, tea, and sweet treats. After some caffeine and a cookie or two, students returned to class bright-eyed and ready to work! Best of luck to all of our students during the last week of class!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator


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Los estudiantes de Inglés Intensivo de Rice University dan gracias por el alimento y la amistad


En los Estados Unidos, la llegada del otoño es un momento para reflexionar sobre el año que ha pasado, específicamente sobre las personas y cosas por las que estamos más agradecidos. ¡Es también un buen momento para pensar en el pavo! Cada año celebramos un almuerzo tradicional de Acción de Gracias para nuestros estudiantes de Inglés Intensivo, repleto de todos los platos que aquellos de nosotros quienes crecimos con esta tradición atesoramos: papas majadas, habichuelas tiernas, salsa de arándano, relleno, tartas gloriosas y, por supuesto, el ave. El 12 de noviembre más de 220 estudiantes, maestros y empleados se reunieron para participar de esta tradición americana y saborear los platillos favoritos de la temporada.

Este año también invitamos a los estudiantes de Inglés como Segunda Lengua (ESL) a compartir aquello por lo que están más agradecidos y escribirlo en una hoja de nuestro “Árbol de Dar Gracias”. Algunos estudiantes expresaron su gratitud por la oportunidad de estudiar en los Estados Unidos, otros por sus amistades cercanas y buena salud, mientras muchos otros dieron gracias por sus familias. Nosotros, en cambio, estamos tan agradecidos por nuestros estudiantes; por su deseo de aprender, por sus perspectivas ingeniosas y frescas y por la energía que aportan a nuestro programa. Con los más cálidos saludos le deseamos un feliz Día de Acción de Gracias a toda nuestra familia del Programa de Inglés Intensivo.

Autor: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator


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Rice ESL Students Give Thanks for Food and Friends


In the United States, the arrival of fall is a time when we reflect on the year that has gone by, specifically on the people and things we are most thankful for. It is also the time to turn our thoughts to turkey! Every year we host a traditional Thanksgiving luncheon for our Intensive English students, replete with all the dishes that those of us who have grown up with this tradition cherish: mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, stuffing, glorious pies, and of course, the bird. On November 12, over 220 students, instructors, and staff gathered to join in this American tradition and sample all of the holiday favorites.

This year we also invited ESL students to share what they are most thankful for by writing it on a fall leaf and hanging it on our Thankful Tree. Some students expressed gratitude for the opportunity to study in the U.S., others wrote how grateful they were for close friends and good health, while many others were thankful for their families. We, in turn, are so very thankful for our students; for their eagerness to learn, for their bright new perspectives, and for the energy they bring to our building. With warmest regards we wish a happy Thanksgiving to our entire Language Programs family.

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator


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No Tricks, Just Treats at the Halloween Pizza Party

DSC_0071_bWe had a spooktacular end of the session here at the Intensive English Program! Our annual Halloween Pizza Party was the perfect combination of food and fun Halloween shenanigans for students taking a study break before their end of session finals. Many students and teachers wore their best creepy and cute costumes to the event, while others brought silly hats and masks to wear for the festivities. We ate LOTS of pizza, learned about the phrase, “Trick or Treat!” (while loading up on yummy candy), and donned hats, feather boas, kooky glasses, and other silly accessories to take pictures in the Halloween photo booth. Wishing everyone a safe and fun Halloween weekend!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator

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Making friends at the Meet and Greet

DSC_0075_bFall is when traditional undergraduate and graduate degree programs start at Rice University, and it is also when the largest group of new ESL students arrives each year. With over one hundred new students entering our program this September, it was time for a Meet and Greet! One of the things we love the most about our program is seeing the friendships that come out of it, and that is what the Meet and Greet was all about. We enjoyed snacks and lemonade and asked some fun questions to get to know each other a little better. It turns out we have some very talented and well-traveled students among us! One student is a fan of both American football AND soccer. There are several dancers and at least one musician. One of our students has visited twenty-two countries! We had a great time learning about our students, and look forward to more social events with such a fun crowd!




Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator

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