English: Embracing New Beginnings with Hope

by Donella Gilhooly

Many newcomers, who enter Canada in search of a new hope and a new beginning, must face the challenges of the English language, unemployment or underemployment. Adapting to a new country is not easy. It is no surprise that these and other concerns may create a significant amount of stress on you and your families.

Some of you, frustrated by the inability to find employment in your field, are forced to accept survival jobs (employment unrelated to your professional background) in order to make ends meet. Even if you do find suitable employment in your field, you may find it difficult to show your true value to the employer, if you have trouble expressing your ideas and thoughts, due to your lack of technical language training.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Government of Canada has recognized these challenges and has invested millions of dollars in higher language training to ensure Canada’s future citizens have access to all the resources they need to make this transition easier.

The Government of Canada has established that learning everyday communication is just not enough to be able to effectively communicate and understand workplace culture. A wide gap exists between the daily English communication and understanding the technical language for the workplace.

As a result, The Toronto District School Board has received funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to offer higher level of training in the English Language, called Enhanced Language Training (ELT), to close this gap.

The Toronto District School Board offers four Enhanced Language Training programs to meet the needs of the professionals from various educational and employment backgrounds such as Hairstyling, IT, Sales and Marketing, Engineering, Accounting, Financial Services, Customer Service, Retail, and Administration.

The ELT programs provide higher levels of language training to newcomers, for eight weeks, followed by six weeks of volunteer work placements based on your qualifications and expertise. The purpose of the placement is to help you gain Canadian work experience and confidence to communicate effectively and understand the workplace culture.

Toronto District School Board’s goal is to help newcomers gain the knowledge and experience they need to start their careers in Canada so that they can achieve their full potential. Eligibility requirements must be met.

The following are the four ELT programs contact information:

  • Enhanced Language Training for Hairstyling (416) 394-2251 (Toronto District School Board is the only operator offering this program)
  • Enhanced Language Training for Employment (416) 395-3669
  • Enhanced Language Training for Immigrant Women (416) 396-4434
  • Enhanced Language Training for Financial Services (416) 394-2241