A new professional development workshop series designed to strengthen the teaching skills of ELL practitioners who work with refugee learners commenced last week. The workshop series is part of a two-year project undertaken by the CEIIA and funded by Calgary Learns.
Twenty-six ELL practitioners had the opportunity to participate in the first professional development workshop, The Arrival Experiences of Refugee Learners, on May 2. The workshop was held at the Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre (MCRC), a refugee service provider and temporary accommodation facility for Government Assisted Refugees.
ELL instructors and volunteer tutors from seven different Calgary ELL service providers learned about refugee pathways to Canada and became familiar with the settlement process of refugees in Calgary. The workshop was facilitated by Bindu Narula, Issues Strategist at the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. Bindu, a former member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, shared her extensive knowledge of the refugee process. Participants also had the opportunity to have a tour of the MCRC and see first-hand the facility's amenities and services.
"The workshop gave me an opener to the refugee process and a much bigger appreciation of what my refugee students must deal with in a new country", said one Calgary ELL practitioner. Another workshop participant reflected that the workshop "really helped me understand my learners and gave me a better understanding of what information and support my learners have received."
We will be offering this workshop in a condensed webinar format in the fall of 2017.
Over the next two years, the CEIIA will offer six face-to-face workshops that will provide ELL practitioners wtih information, resources, strategies, and instructional practices to better support refugee learners in the ELL classroom. All workshops will be offered in a condensed webinar format.
To learn more about this professional development workshop series, visit the ELL Training Network.