On June 19th, over 200 English Language students attended the first annual Celebration of Learning awards ceremony at the Matsqui Auditorium.
The adult students are a part of our Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and Access2English programs. The LINC program provides free English classes as well as Canadian citizenship, history, and employment information. The Access2English program matches adult learners in our community with volunteer tutors who teach literacy, computer skills and more.
“We started this event because we wanted to recognize how hard our students have worked to learn an unfamiliar and complicated language,” said Paula Mannington, manager of English Language Services.
More than 100 students received certificates for progressing to the next level in the Canadian Language Benchmarks system. 64 students were also recognized for their excellent attendance and commitment to learning. One student, in particular, hadn’t missed a day of class in the past two years.
Other honorees included instructor Rosanna Chisholm who has been with the LINC program for 25 years and Maria Bos-Chan who has been an integral part of training tutors for the Access2English program.
The Celebration of Learning event featured a dessert reception, photo booth, prize draws, and performances from students.
“It was a wonderful evening which symbolized hope, learning, confidence and friendships in a new world summated with a rendition of “What a Wonderful World ” by the staff,” said Manpreet Grewal, Director of Multicultural and Immigrant Integration Services.
“Our programs are so much more than an ESL class,” said Mannington. “it’s a small community where people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds become friends who support and encourage one another. The classes help foster a sense of belonging and encourage our students to become valuable members of our community.”
Abbotsford Community Services has been offering adult English classes to newcomers for over 25 years. In addition to language classes, the ACS Multicultural and Immigrant Integration Services department connect newcomers to the wider community in a variety of ways. Settlement workers give guidance to adults and help integrate immigrant and refugee children into schools. There are also specialized employment services to help skilled immigrants find relevant work in the local workforce.
We started this event because we wanted to recognize how hard our students have worked to learn an unfamiliar and complicated language. Our programs are so much more than an ESL class.
It was a wonderful evening which symbolized hope, learning, confidence, and friendships in a new world summated with a rendition of “What a Wonderful World ” by the staff.