English: First ELT Group Graduates
By A. Scheerder
Many new Canadians graduated from the first Enhanced Language Training “English for the Workplace” course of 2006/2007, organized by the Toronto District School Board and funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The course is aimed specifically at internationally-trained professionals who already have high-level English but who need to upgrade their English language skills in order to be successful in the workplace. Topics covered during the eight-week course included telephone skills, attending meetings, making presentations, business writing, guest speakers, as well as job search skills. Many of the highly-qualified students graduating from the course are now on six-week job placements with various companies across the Greater Toronto Area. The work placement provides students with an excellent opportunity to get direct exposure to Canadian corporate culture.
The success of the ELT course can be measured by the number of students who either found employment or a work placement – not at survival jobs, but in fields directly related to their area of expertise.
Jenny Wu, a software engineer originally from China, found work with a leading software manufacturer. She credits the ELT classes for her increased confidence in speaking English. “I really enjoyed it and learned a lot from taking this course,” she said. Luz Marina Ortiz, a Colombian-trained lawyer, finds her placement with the Toronto Workers’ Health and Safety Clinic “interesting. right now I’m researching immigration law and this information will later be used for a workshop presentation.”
Royce Rao, a financial analyst from China, is now practising her banking skills at a financial investment company in North York. She is grateful for the work put in by the ELT Project Team, particularly the Job Developers who not only coach students on job search skills, but also accompany them on interviews. Jenny Tsui from Taiwan, who secured a placement in medical administration at Providence Healthcare said, “I am very lucky to have so many qualified people to help me, and who never gave up on me. I’ll do my best in this job, and try to help others who need help as I did.”
Still others graduating from the ELT course have decided to further their education at Ontario universities and community colleges. Srikanandan Senthooran, who majored in chemistry in his native Sri Lanka, will start a tool and die course at Seneca College in January, while Farjana Hossein, a physician from Bangladesh, wants to concentrate on her medical studies in order to practice in Ontario. The second “English for the Workplace” course started in September and October at four locations across Toronto. The next course session will be held in January/February 2007.
For more information, and to register for the next session, please call 416-395-3669.