It was the coldest season of the year 2017. Ahlam, 36 years old, arrived in Canada speaking very little English. Nervous about starting a life in a new culture and a new society, she decided to sign up for ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. She achieved CLB (Canadian Language Benchmarks) Level 3/4 and enrolled herself in the Food Handler Program, which she successfully completed. She was ready and eager to fully integrate into Canadian society as a successful woman but had to put her plans on hold to take care of her newborn baby.
In her new role as a full-time mom, she had to find a way to continue improving her English while taking care of her family at home. In her search for a class with flexible schedules, Ahlam came across CultureLink’s ‘SOS English Conversation Circle via WhatsApp’. She liked the idea of studying with an all-women group, and without leaving her house. The WhatsApp group was perfect as it allowed her to practice English while still being close to her growing family.
Our program helped Ahlam and other participants with their speaking, listening, writing and reading skills. It provided a safe space for them to makes mistakes, learn and improve their English. For one hour a day, the group participated in listening to recordings and reading the chats, following a workbook created especially for these classes.
Ahlam was able to put into practice what she had previously learnt and appreciated having different teachers, with different experiences and teaching styles.
“This is a great program. I hope it continues to help other ladies who are eager to improve their English Language skills and unable to attend daytime language school. It is also good for ladies who feel shy to speak or are worried about others making fun of them if they make mistakes. I am so grateful to have been a part of it. Thank you!”
Upon completion of the SOS English Conversation Circle, she took the language assessment at YMCA and showed remarkable progress (CLB level 4/5). She is now ready to take her Citizenship test.