There is no doubt that speaking English or French is an asset in navigating and integrating into Canadian life. Newcomers and immigrants indicated that often they are not aware about language training opportunities available to them at no cost.
In our area, the small city / rural region is challenged to provide the wide range of education needs to the community, in particular literacy supports. The regions primary immigration comes from Family Class and tends to be newcomers with lower levels of literacy and education. English classes are currently available throughout the county. However the times, location and demands of the classes may not be flexible, and may be restrictive to some potential students. In addition to consideration for English classes that are accessible, there is also a need to focus on access to literacy classes. Often the access to these classes is restricted in time, and students need to leave the class before they are ready. The main focus of this priority is to work to find ways to improve the accessibility and appropriateness of these classes and to increase awareness of language training opportunities.
STELIP will place high importance on providing educational opportunities and removing barriers that prevent access to language classes, literacy programs, and conversation circles. Improvements in language skills will help immigrants access the labour market and foster social connections. STELIP will work to build stronger connections with the community, ELL providers, and the school boards to demonstrate the need for flexible, rural language learning and provide a wide range of opportunities to newcomers.