Success . . . In the pool and in the classroom
“It's a very good program. It really depends on you. You can't get anything without putting in effort. You can only get a return from what you do.”
Daisuke Takagi could be speaking about his success in the pool, where as a water polo player for the Gannon Knights, he led the team in scoring in 2011 with 52 goals on 109 shots. Or he could be addressing his success as an information systems major, and recipient of the Division II Athletics Directors Association Academic Achievement Award.
But the program he was speaking about is Gannon’s English as a Second Language program without which none of his other accomplishments would have been possible.
Takagi’s father wanted him to study in the United States. Takagi, a water polo player with international experience, wanted to play. Gannon University was a place where he could do both. There was only one problem. Takagi knew almost no English.
He came to the ESL program prepared to work hard. “It's tough in the beginning, but I put in some effort learning some vocabulary and spent as much time as I could talking with friends,” he says. “When you’re a beginning ESL student, you take mostly ESL classes, so you have a lot of time to hang out with American friends. That way, you can really learn the language outside of the classroom.”
But Takagi’s classroom work was important, too.
“The teachers are there to support what you do, so it depends on you, but it's a really helpful program to be in,” he says. “You don't need special skills.”
The ESL program, Takagi says, “is not the final goal, it's a process.”
A process that worked very well for Daisuke Takagi.