The following blog post was written by Michael Graham, Educational Assistant at the School of Global Access.
Finding the Threads
My role as an Educational Assistant in the School of Global Access involves a diverse range of inquiries comprised mainly of half-hour appointments with learners booked directly with me (learner self-referral) or on behalf of a learner through their instructor (instructor led-referral). These sessions focus on a previously identified aspect of English or life in Canada in order to provide greater shape and context to the request through explanation, examples, and exercises.
Encouraging learners to establish a clear starting point within a more general theme such as ‘reading’ or ‘writing’ can help to unravel what might otherwise be a rather tangled situation while providing a sense of autonomy and ownership.
There are additional opportunities to work with small groups in a classroom setting, facilitate workshops for learners from English for Academic Purposes classes, or meet with individuals seeking assistance with aspects of technology literacy dispersed through each term.
Assisting learners to improve their fine motor skills, focusing on aspects of sound-letter correlation, or trying to enhance the structure of a research paper are just a few of the areas that might be considered within just a single morning. This variety is certainly one of the more remarkable features of my role.
Having the good fortune to help learners in such ways offers a great deal of insight and opportunity to support the concerns which exist and, in many cases, overlap.
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