I have been involved with ELTOC for a few years now and will soon start tutoring sessions with my fourth student. It has been an interesting and sometimes challenging experience so far.
The ideal result for our students is to enroll in full time English classes or to succeed in becoming Canadian citizens. My first student, a young woman from Egypt did neither but returned to full time employment when her little girl was old enough for daycare.
My students have come from diverse backgrounds and it has been a learning experience for me to understand the challenges they faced while trying to integrate into a new society.
They were all similar in that they were young women at home with young children. I feel that the ELTOC volunteers present a friendly face from the community, a contact and support in what can be a isolating experience. One of my daughters was on maternity leave at the same time as my first student and she came with me a couple of times for a social visit. My second student was from Afghanistan, I tried to instill more confidence in her by praising and encouraging her in all her efforts in learning English. She had hoped to return to full time classes but that did not pan out and she dropped out of classes when she was expecting her 4th child. I have maintained some contact with her and do hope, at a later stage, she will resume classes and achieve her goal of becoming a Canadian citizen.
My third student was highly motivated, keen to do homework, in fact reminding me to set work for her if I had forgotten. She wanted to become a Canadian citizen and we worked laboriously through the citizenship materials and celebrated when she passed the test first time.
I have felt enriched by my experience as an ELTOC tutor and hope in some way that I have helped and will continue to help instill confidence in new Canadians to integrate into their new society.
Emer Cronin, Volunteer Tutor – September 12, 2019