June 2014

Let’s disagree agreeably!

June 27, 2014 • Written by


A simple altercation between two students can be a pivotal moment to learn conflict resolution in Canada.

Not too long ago, my international students were puzzling out different ways to analyze a case in the news. Everybody was caught up in the activity until a loud annoying noise startled the whole class. Two students were throwing angry words at each other. Incessant shouting caused a massive disturbance; therefore, I was compelled to diffuse the tension and give my students a lesson on how to resolve a disagreement nicely. My students learned the following practical steps:

–        Listen well to the person disagreeing

–        Focus well on the issue and not on the person

–        Express opinion calmly by using softeners such as “I see your point, but I see things differently” and “Oh that’s an interesting way to look at it; however, I may have to say that…..”

My students finally understood that taking issue with someone need not be stressful and confrontational. Indeed, they realized that knowing clearly and appropriately how to deal with a conflict in Canada means gaining trust, respect and opportunities.

Submitted by Jules Mejia, Intensive English for International Students (IEIS) Instructor, RRC’s Language Training Centre

⇒ Check out the Language Training Centre’s microsite (rrc.ca/ltc) to find out more about RRC’s communication programs for international students and permanent residents.

Enrolment Services Office Closure Friday June 20 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

June 20, 2014 • Written by

The following Enrolment Services Offices will be closed today Friday, June 20, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. morning,  for a staff meeting.

  • Student Service Centre – D101 Notre Dame Campus
  • Registrar’s Office – D105 Notre Dame Campus
  • Student Service Centre – P104 Roblin Centre
Students can visit Continuing Education office (C116) between 8 and 1 for assistance however staff in that office are only able to accept debit and credit card or cheque payments. Students wishing to pay with cash can visit the Controller’s Office in C212 between 8 and 11:30 (closed for lunch 11:30-1).
All offices will reopen on Friday at 1:00 p.m.

Immigrant Centre – Job Fair

June 20, 2014 • Written by


Immigrant Centre – Job Fair

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Gordon Bell High School

3 Borrowman Place (Near Maryland Street between Portage and Broadway)

·     Free Admission

·     Job Fair open to Immigrants only

·     Over 20 employers attending

·     Please bring a copy of your resume, reference lists, pen and notebook

How (Not) to Greet Your Boss

June 10, 2014 • Written by


“Hi, boss,” said Roberto (not his real name), a recent immigrant, on his first day of work in Canada.

“Don’t call me ‘boss’,” was the reply. “My name is Jim.”

Do you think Roberto has created a good first impression at work? Maybe not. A seemingly simple social exchange has led to a misunderstanding and possibly hurt feelings. But as someone who was raised in South-Asia, it was natural for Roberto to want to show deference to his superior in their first interaction. In fact, studies show that in the Philippines, where Roberto is from, hierarchy is more important than almost anywhere else in the world! Yet as a Canadian, it was natural for Jim to want to be addressed as an equal. Hierarchy is not valued as highly here.

For individuals like Roberto, understanding Canadian cultural values is an important part of integrating into the Canadian workplace. And there are many other cultural orientations, in addition to hierarchy vs. equality, which are studied by academics in the field of inter-cultural communication: time vs. relationship, individualism vs. collectivism and directness vs. indirectness to name a few.

Complicating matters further is the reality that the Canadian workplace is multicultural, so recent immigrants to this country need to understand the cultural values not only of their coworkers who were born and raised in Canada, but also of those born elsewhere, like themselves.

Providing guidance in navigating these rough waters was one of the major goals of a course in Canadian Communication recently offered by the Language Training Centre to a group of internationally-educated engineers in a pilot Bridge to Civil Technologies program. A motley crew of students of various nationalities (Chinese, Colombian, El Salvadoran, Filipino, Iranian, South Korean and Vietnamese) developed their awareness of Canadian cultural orientations through the completion of a variety of communication tasks. Needless to say, with such a diverse crew, it was not always smooth sailing. Nevertheless, with practice, they gained the knowledge and skills necessary for their work-term placement and successful integration into the Canadian multi-cultural workplace.

Roberto now understands why in the Canadian workplace we typically address each other by our first names and avoid deferential titles like “boss” and “sir”.

Submitted by Stuart Schwartz, EAL Instructor, RRC’s Language Training Centre

Check out the LTC microsite! rrc.ca/ltc

Red River College Libraries will live stream #TEDxManitoba

June 5, 2014 • Written by

tedx-logo-headerTEDxManitoba is a locally organized conference in its fourth year.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.

When: June 12, 2014  (Speakers scheduled 9:00AM – 4:30 PM)
Where: Tom Hendry Warehouse Theatre, 140 Rupert Avenue
Web:  http://tedxmanitoba.com/

For individuals interested in attending, tickets are no longer available, however, on June 12th you may still connect to watch the live stream on the TEDxManitoba.com web site.

The Red River College Library will be live streaming TEDx Manitoba at both the Notre Dame and the Exchange District Campus Library locations.  Come on down and enjoy a few TED talks with us!

List of Speakers

Hosted by emcees, Aisha and Ismaila Alfa, TEDxManitoba 2014 will be a day full of big ideas, passionate stories, life reflections, insights and expertise.

The 2014 TEDxManitoba speakers include: (subject to change)

  • Ali Ashtari, PhD: Head of Research at Invenia and Canadian immigrant
  • Brian Bowman: Partner with Winnipeg’s Pitblado Law
  • Angela Cassie: Director, Communications and External Relations at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
  • Pay Chen: Toronto-based radio and television host, producer and writer
  • David Gingera: Founder and President of urban agriculture venture CitiGrow
  • Althea Guiboche: Winnipeg single parent, poet and author battling homelessness and poverty
  • Joe Kalturynk: Founding director of RAW:Gallery of Architecture and Design and Founding partner and designer of RAW:almond 2013/14
  • Jo MacDonald: Winnipeg educator
  • Andrew John Milne: Winnipeg artist technologist
  • Leif Norman: Full time commercial and event photographer
  • Sandi Reimer: Administrative professional for the Province of Manitoba and inspirational runner
  • David Samborski: Engineer and writer
  • Nick Skytland: Houston-based open innovation, data and technology consultant
  • Chris Summerville: CEO of the Schizophrenia Society and Executive Director of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society
  • Ted Geddert: Builder of well-designed and architecturally inspiring prefab houses

Stay connected for additional TEDxManitoba information

“Talking to Immigrants is So Hard!”

June 5, 2014 • Written by


I got the flu this winter, like everyone else in Winnipeg, and I needed a letter from my doctor, like everyone else at RRC. As I sat in the waiting room, trying not to suck in any other viruses, a newcomer was trying to communicate with the nurse at the desk. She asked him about private insurance. He said, “Manitoba Health card?” She said no, and repeated what she had said before. My inner EAL (English as an Additional Language) instructor welled up, but I held myself back from going up to help the poor guy. It’s not my job to save every immigrant struggling on the street, and besides I wasn’t feeling well. But I was surprised that a health care professional, in an office where many immigrants were accessing service, was not able to modify her speech to make it easier for the patients she works with. Often a conversation like this can be managed successfully if the English speaker uses a few tools. Here are some ideas:

  • Face the person you are talking to.
  • Speak slowly and clearly; don’t mumble. There’s no need to yell, hearing is not the issue.
  • Repeat what you said a couple of times.
  • If this is not working, rephrase what you’ve said. Use simple words, and be aware of slang and idioms you might be using.
  • Check for understanding. If your listener looks confused, try some body language or show them what you’re talking about if you can.

Hopefully these tips will help you feel more comfortable in such a situation. Remember that someone who is confused is probably frustrated and embarrassed, so a smile and relaxed attitude from you will help you both relax. Good luck!

Submitted by Janice Ching, Intensive EAL Instructor, Language Training Centre

Check out our microsite! rrc.ca/ltc

The HAWK Camp: Highlighting Aboriginal Culture and Education

June 4, 2014 • Written by

10727194134_49e0ec43a3_bThe 2014 HAWK Camp (Hands on Activity Week for Kids) is an Aboriginal cultural camp hosted at the Notre Dame Campus for one week each summer. The 2014 camp will run the week of July 7-11, 2014.

We host 16 kids aged 12-14; this group started with us last year as part of a cohort where we bring the same kids back for three consecutive summers, highlighting different academic programs each year.

We will track the kids’ post-secondary paths to determine if this model impacts their choices to enrol at Red River College. We also want to ensure the camp advances their confidence and self-esteem as strong Aboriginal youth, by offering traditional teachings through the morning sessions and highlighting academic programs in the afternoon sessions.

We have chosen four programs to highlight this year: Dental Assisting, Animal Health Technology, Photography and Plumbing.

We feel it’s important to showcase the week by having a photographer present to take candid shots of all activities. We then provide a compilation of what was covered in our annual HAWK Camp Magazine.

Click here to view the 2013 HAWK Camp Magazine.

There is still an opportunity for Aboriginal RRC students to become a “Team Leader” for a week. If you’re interested, please contact Lisa Carriere, HAWK Camp Coordinator, at licarriere@rrc.ca

A hundred volunteers represented the College at the Pride Parade this year!

June 3, 2014 • Written by

Pride Parade - GroupOn Sunday, June 1st, Pride Winnipeg hit the streets for the 27th annual Pride Parade, and about 100 volunteers from Red River College (RRC) joined this year’s parade!

Pride ParadeFaculty, staff, students, friends and family members marched in the 2014 Pride Winnipeg Parade as a means of showing support for the local LGBTT* community and celebrating diversity.

The College’s presence in the parade marked the third time RRC has taken part in Pride Winnipeg festivities.
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