The Refugee ‘Welcome Kit’ Nods to a Kinder Canada—and a Harsher World · thewalrus.ca

This is a long and lovely essay about Canada’s greeting to refugees.  It was written before the inauguration and the dramatic rise in refugees walking or swimming across the Canadian border. The federal government has stayed pretty silent on how to handle the recent changes in policies, south of the Canadian border.

Parkas, art, and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms embody an aspirational vision for our country

Source: The Refugee ‘Welcome Kit’ Nods to a Kinder Canada—and a Harsher World · thewalrus.ca

Editorial: Tweak our thinking on labour in wake of TFW changes

This is an interesting opinion about some things that may need to change in the Alberta workplace.  Alberta has the largest number of temporary foreignworkers, and is the most significantly affected by the changes in the TFW program.  Do you think that fast food restaurants will raise their wages, and their prices to hire Canadian workers, or will they reduce their hours or close their doors?  If you are affected by the policy changes, or if you need to write an opinion essay, this is good reading for you!

Editorial: Tweak our thinking on labour in wake of TFW changes

Editorial: Tweak our thinking on labour in wake of TFW changes.

Province roasted over list of temporary foreign workers that could call Canada home

Province roasted over list of temporary foreign workers that could call Canada home

Many immigrants have been working hard in Alberta as Temporary Foreign Workers, and many of them have decided that they want to make Canada their permanent home.  However, the rules for immigration keep changing, and it’s very confusing and stressful for those who have been waiting, and may need to leave the country.

Province roasted over list of temporary foreign workers that could call Canada home.

Alberta could see rise in illegal immigrants as thousands of TFWs face deadline to return home

Alberta could see rise in illegal immigrants as thousands of TFWs face deadline to return home

Alberta could see rise in illegal immigrants as thousands of TFWs face deadline to return home.

Changes last year in the Temporary Foreign Workers’ program mean that many Albertans are reaching the end of their visas, and many workers may need to leave in April/2015, or soon after.  It’s a stressful time, as many people say goodbye to their friends, family, and co-workers, and as others wait to see what their future will hold.

Top stories of 2014 — #4: New rules for foreign workers

McDonald’s noted that prior to the new rules, only four per cent of its 85,000 employees nationwide were temporary foreign workers — but in Alberta, they made up 23 per cent of its employees.

Top stories of 2014 — #4: New rules for foreign workers

Top stories of 2014 — #4: New rules for foreign workers.

Here in Alberta, most of the students that I teach and tutor are here as temporary foreign workers, or as family members of a TFW.  Most of these people are leaving economic difficulties behind, and they generally hope to become Canadian residents.  However, employers often having them working 6-7 days/week, and many of these workers have almost no opportunity to use or improve English.  Obtaining permanent residency is a very big challenge, because workers must find time to improve their English enough to pass language proficiency tests.  2015 will almost certainly bring new rules for TFWs, and for Canadian residency.  What will those rules be?

Reading passages for ESL language learners in Canada

 

Reading passages for English language learners in Canada

Reading ESL

Although there are many language resources available online for language learners, it is difficult to find good materials for practicing reading for comprehension.  This site has reading passages on many subjects, especially related to Canada, so it will be useful for preparing for the citizenship test, as well as for improving your reading skills.  Click the link and let me know what you read about!

BBC News – ‘Fat man’ says New Zealand visa decision ‘totally unfair’

 

Who do you think is right?

BBC News – ‘Fat man’ says New Zealand visa decision ‘totally unfair’.

This is an interesting interview to listen to.  The person who is speaking is Afrikaan, a South African man with Dutch heritage.  You may need to listen a few times to catch what he says.  Take a look at some of the vocabulary and expressions before you listen to make it easier to follow along.  These questions are from ESL library.com, a resource for ESL teachers.

 

Key Vocabulary and Expressions from the Interview

  • BMI (body mass index)
  • in the blink of an eye
  • broke the camel’s back
  • temptation
  • kicked out
  • burden
  • horrendous
  • sensitive
  • on the dole
  • stuck between a rock and a hard place

Comprehension Questions

  • Why does  the government feel that this man’s health is not at an “acceptable standard”?
  • What does the earthquake have to do with this man’s problem?
  • How is the man currently dealing with the situation?

Discussion Questions

    • Do you agree with the South African man that all of this is “totally unfair”?
    • Do you agree with the interviewer that chefs have more food temptations than other people?
    • Should people on a work permit be allowed to “go on the dole”?
    • What suggestion would you have for this man and his wife?

 

I want to be a resident in Canada!

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Many of my students want to stay in Canada, and they are trying to become a resident.  If you’re already working in Canada, you may qualify for residency, but you’ll have to take a test to shows your skills with an official language (English or French).  The 2 tests that are recognized are IELTS and CELPIP.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/cec/language-testing.asp

Each test has a different format.  Both tests are similar in cost.

http://www.ielts-exam.net/

http://www.ielts.org/

http://www.ielts-blog.com/

IELTS – The International English Language Testing System

IELTS is jointly managed by Cambridge University, the British Council, and IELTS in Australia.  The test uses mainly UK English, and all writing is done with pencil and paper.  The speaking is an interview format, with a tester.  The General writing tasks include writing a letter and writing an opinion essay.  These tasks are quite difficult if you have been away from school for a long time.  Most students find that they need to prepare carefully to succeed at this test.

A newer test in Canada is the CELPIP test:

http://www.celpiptest.ca/about-celpip-g/

https://secure.paragontesting.ca/CelpipTour/Listening

This test has a different format.  Everything is done on a computer, and the English is Canadian English.  The writing tasks are an informal and a formal letter.  The speaking is done using the computer.  Several listening and speaking tasks include describing a picture.

If you want to take a language test to become a Canadian resident, you should try both sample tests to see what format is best for you.  It will be important to take time to study regularly, and a class or a tutor can help you to do that.  Ask me if you have any questions about the tests and how to get ready.