Each year, the Language Training Centre (LTC) is further developing the connections it has with programs throughout the rest of the College. These connections help “our” students to be better prepared to become “your” students in the future. Allowing LTC students to interact with staff and students in full-time programs gives newcomers a better understanding of what college is like in Canada and how staff and students typically interact.
At the Language Training Centre, I teach a language class for newcomers to Canada who have engineering backgrounds. Typically, they have knowledge and experience in their field, but they need more English language skills to be successful in Canada. My idea was to have the students spend “a day in the life” of a student in some particular technology programs. These students were given a warm welcome by instructors and program staff and, despite being pretty nervous, had a really positive experience. They were able to observe how classes were conducted, how students interacted with instructors, and even how Canadian students acted when they thought that no one was looking. They also came back with some new subject area knowledge, as well as a preview of what lies ahead of them in the fairly-near future.
As the LTC grows year after year, more permanent residents and international students are coming to study English here, specifically because they have already decided on a particular RRC program. By building more connections between what we do here and what instructors do in other programs, we can help each other to create more successful students.
In January 2014, a new program called Bridge to Civil Technologies will get underway for the first time at RRC. This pilot program will be a collaboration between the Civil Engineering Technology program and the LTC. It is designed to provide support for language and socio-communication learning alongside content area classes. This program will be a pathway to better support newcomers who have the background and experience to make a career in engineering in our province.
Submitted by Jonathan Bailey, Instructor of English for Specific Purposes programs at LTC