Language skills, profiles, and prospects among international newcomers to Edmonton, Alberta.
This article aims to build both community and scholarly knowledge of skills, aspirations, needs, and characteristics of the international newcomer adult population in Edmonton. It highlights the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) test scores, socio-demographic profiles, as well as goals and plans among adult immigrants and refugee clients of the Language Assessment, Referral, and Counselling Centre (LARCC) in Edmonton, Alberta. LARCC includes both provincially and federally funded programs. It provides immigrants and refugees with a recognized assessment of their current level of English language proficiency; knowledge of local options and resources for relevant English language and occupational training; and helps newcomers explore their educational and career goals/opportunities.
This article is largely practical rather than theoretical, presenting a practitioners' perspective into how to better enhance the benefits of immigration for immigrants, in particular, and for the larger society as a whole. As such, following an empirical discussion, we conclude with recommendations based on concrete knowledge of language skill development challenges at different competency levels, and the labour market advantages of language proficiency. Likewise, we suggest concrete ways to better address the language, occupational skills, and integration opportunities afforded by having such a diverse new population arriving in Alberta.
Cet article a pour l'objectif d'augmenter les connaissances dans les milieux communautaires et academiques au sujet des habilites, des espoirs, des besoins, et des caracteristiques de la population de nouveaux arrivants adultes a Edmonton. Il met en evidence les resultats des tests d'anglais, selon les Niveaux de Competences Linguistiques Canadiens (NCLC), les caracteristiques sociodemographiques, ainsi que les objectifs personnels parmi les immigrants adultes et refugies, qui sont les clients du Centre devaluation linguistique, d'orientation, et de conseil (LARCC) a Edmonton. LARCC comprend deux programmes, finances par la province d'une part et par le gouvernement federal de l'autre part. Ces programmes fournissent aux clients une ?aluation reconnue de leur niveau actuel de maitrise de Tangiais. Les clients apprennent aussi, au besoin, les possibilites et les ressources locales pertinentes a une formation professionnelle, ou reliee a leur metier cible. lis peuvent beneficier de I'aide pour mieux explorer leurs buts educatifs et professionnels.
Cet article se veut pratique plutot que theorique. Il presente le point de vue des agents qualifies dans le secteur sur la fagon de mieux valoriser les avantages de Timmigration pour les immigrants, en particulier, et pour la societe dans son ensemble. En tant que tel, nous presentons une discussion empirique, suivie de recommandations fondees sur une connaissance concrete des defis de ('acquisition de langue a differents niveaux de competences, et les grands avantages au marche du travail d'une bonne maitrise de la langue. De mame, nous proposons des moyens concrets pour mieux apprecier les possibilites d'echange et d'integration conferees par Tarrivee de tant de diverses langues, habiletes, et perspectives au sol albertain.
The 2006 Canadian Census on immigration and citizenship shows that 70 per cent of the national foreign n population does not speak English or French as a first language. This artic presents data culled from the 2012-2013 Annual Report of the Language, Assessment, Referral, and Counselling Centre (LARCC) in Edmonton, Alberta. It provides the statistical profiles of immigrants and refugees who were seeking assistance with their English language skills in the capital region of the resource rich province of Alberta. It reports how they fared in their language assessments, and what we know of their career goals and aspirations. The article continues with practitioner observations, perspectives, and suggestions for improvement in language and occupational training approaches in the region.
Although this is a study of the situation specific to Edmonton, it is expected to shed light on elements of language assessment, referral, and training that are applicable in other settings. In particular we identify issues and approaches that are likely to be of general relevance across provinces and cities in Canada.
IMMIGRATION SERVICES IN ALBERTA
The Province of Alberta identifies the need for a large immigrant workforce to support its growing economy (Esses et al. 2013). In fact, Alberta's immigrants accounted for 19.2% of its working age population in 2012--the third highest percentage among the provinces of Canada (Government of Alberta 2012). The Province may face a shortfall of more than 77,000 workers in the next ten years; thus, the successful attraction and retention of immigrants is essential for ensuring continued prosperity. Evidence suggests that immigration to Alberta is steadily increasing, with 24,201 arrivals in 2008 and 35,764 in 2012 (Esses et al. 2013). To meet the labour market goals of the province, and the career goals of the new arrivals, adequate language training, and occupational language training and integration issues need to be addressed.
The Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA) comprises an increasingly organized network of agencies and organizations dedicated to the successful integration of newcomers to the province. As an integral member of this network, Immigration and Settlement Service at Catholic Social Services (CSS), based mostly in Edmonton, has been working since 1962 to assist immigrants and refugees to settle, integrate, and contribute to Canadian society. In 2012, Immigration and Settlement Service at CSS served over 18,000 newcomers.
The Language Assessment, Referral and Counselling Centre (LARCC) at CSS provides the centralized assessment service for the capital region of the province. As in other metropolitan areas around the country, the assessment centre does not provide language training itself, but provides objective referrals to the local training options offered by other service providers in the metropolitan area or region. LARCC is comprised of the Language and Vocational Assessment Program (LVA), funded now by Alberta Jobs, Skills, Training, and Labour at the provincial level, and the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Assessment and Referral Program, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Provincial Services in Edmonton: Language and Vocational Assessment (LVA)
LVA assists immigrants and refugees to: determine their English language proficiency; access language training opportunities; advance their vocational/career/employability goals; and enhance their educational opportunities. These services can include first language assistance. To accomplish its mission, the LVA Program serves stakeholders and the community. It identifies and analyses client needs, referring clients to appropriate language, education and training programs; conducts workshops; shares information; and provides networking and liaison opportunities. Furthermore, the Program undertakes special projects related to its mandate. LVA continues to provide a key service for international newcomers to the metropolitan area of Edmonton, and to other regions of the province. Beginning, as needed, with a formal assessment of newcomer communicative competence in English, according to the national Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB), the program provides co-ordinated information and access to relevant language and occupational programs and opportunities. CLB are correlated with the national Essential Skills framework to identify and describe the key communication skills for successful workplace integration.
The province of Alberta, through its Alberta Works, Skills Investment Program, provides language training opportunities at CLB level 5 and higher (out of a scale of pre-Benchmark to Benchmark 12). Benchmark levels are described in further detail later in this article. The province also makes available some occupation-specific bridging programs to assist new immigrants with credentials in fields such as engineering and nursing, to make successful transitions into employment in their fields. Limited programming is also available to train newcomers for fields in which they have no prior learning, such as Health Care Aide, Machinist, or Day Home Provider. Programming for eligible participants can include a modest living allowance based on family need.
Federal Services in Edmonton: Language Instructions for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
The LINC Assessment and Referral Program at CSS was established in January 1994 in response to identified community needs and to changes in federal policies related to eligibility for language training. The LINC Assessment and Referral Program's mandate is to serve LINC-eligible immigrant and refugee clients with: assessment of English language shills; assessment of learning needs; current and comprehensive information about LINC programs; and referral to appropriate LINC programs.
Most newcomers who are permanent residents are eligible for free LINC language classes. Federally funded language instruction was first introduced in Canada in 1947; at that time the emphasis was still on the explicit assimilation of newcomers (Joshee 1996). In 1965 the Department of Manpower and Immigration became responsible for the language training of immigrants who were planning to enter the labour force (Cleghorn 2000). At that point, most federally sponsored immigrant integration programs were mandated to emphasize employment. These programs were aimed at the declared breadwinner in the household regardless of actual employment status. As a result, far more men than women were able to access language training because men were more likely to be deemed the principal breadwinners. When the LINC program was first introduced in 1992, it brought a swing of the pendulum in the content focus of language training for new immigrants. Consequently, the objective was broadened to foster integration into Canadian society. Today language classes are devoted to teaching basic language literacy as well as advanced and workplace-specific language skills (in part, through a regionally determined selection of Enhanced Language Training partnerships). Some seats are available for newcomers with special needs.
LINC is offered in six levels, from complete beginner to an intermediate level at CLB 5 or 6, depending on the jurisdiction. Learners receive language training, orientation to the community, Canadian cultural experiences, and assistance in developing skills needed to live in a Canadian community. Qualified instructors teach LINC classes either in a classroom setting or through distance education. Classes may be full-time or part-time, during the day, evening or on weekends. Some LINC programs offer funding to cover the cost of child care and transportation. Child-minding services are sometimes available on site.
OVERVIEW OF LARCC CLIENTS (APRIL 1, 2012-MARCH 31,2013)
This section presents answer to the following questions:
* Who is coming for language assessment services in Edmonton?
* What CLB language levels are newcomers achieving?
* What are newcomers' priorities and goals in Canada?
As reflected in Table 1, LARCC served the English Language and occupational learning needs of 8,444 new and return clients, using CLB tools, from April 1, 2012-March 31, 2013.
Socio-Demographic Profile of Clients Served
As presented in Figure 1, more female clients than male clients seek language assessment and referral services: 1,512 (61%) for LVA and 1,559 (63%) for LINC. The exact reasons for this are unknown, though anecdotally, many women who come for service fill the role of homemaker in the family system, and demonstrate less familiarity with English. These results confirm the report of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2013) that Canada's female population is increasingly diverse. In 2006, there were 3.2 million immigrant women, a fifth (20.3%) of the entire female population. Canada's population is aging and females continue to outnumber males by a slight margin (50.4% to 49.6%), in part due to their longer life expectancy.
LVA had 885 new clients whose ages ranged from 35-44 years old (36%), while 933 of new LINC clients were 25-34 years old (38%). Results coincide with the Statistics Canada (2009) report stating that people tend to migrate while they are young. As a result, the immigrants who arrived in Canada since 2001 were over-represented in the younger age brackets. In 2006, 57.3% of recent immigrants were in the prime-working age group of 25 to 54, compared with only 42.3% of the Canadian-born population. Together, recent immigrants to Canada accounted for 3.9% of the population in this age group.
Mother Language and Birth Country
Thirteen per cent of LVA clients during the year represented spoke Tagalog as their first language, while 10% of LINC clients spoke each of Somali and Mandarin. Tagalog was the fastest-growing language in Canada, as the number of people who report speaking it has gone up by 64% between 2006 and 2011 (Statistics Canada 2011).
Results show that the Philippines, China, and India were the three top countries of origin among LVA and LINC clients in 2012-13. The result is congruent with the Statistics Canada (2013) report that Asia (including the Middle East) was Canada's largest source of immigrants from 2006-2011.
Moreover, the Canadian census (2006) declares that Edmonton was the census metropolitan area (CMA) where the sixth-largest share of newcomers settled. Among the estimated 1.1 million recent immigrants in Canada, 2.9% settled in Edmonton, up from 2.2% in 2001. Edmonton has the second-largest foreign-born population in Alberta. In 2006, 189,800 foreign-born were living in the Edmonton CMA, who represented 36% of all Albertans born outside of Canada.
Among the Edmontonians who were born outside Canada, 16.8% arrived in Canada between 2001 and 2006. In total, the 2006 Census enumerated 31,900 newcomers. Most of the newcomers to Edmonton (62.1%) were born in Asia and the Middle East. The Philippines (13.4% of newcomers), India (13%) and the People's Republic of China (12.2%) were the leading countries of birth of recent immigrants who settled in Edmonton in 2006.
Immigration status shows that 27% of new EVA clients entered Canada as skilled workers, and likewise 27% through the family class category; while 36% of LINC clients entered through the Government Assisted Refugee program.
Of the 3392 new and returning LVA clients, 16% were Canadian citizens. LINC does not offer service to Canadian citizens.
Length of Residency and Secondary/Inland Migration
Twenty-eight per cent of new LVA clients (703/2488) responded that they relocated to Alberta after spending several days, months, or years in other areas of the country. Sixteen per cent of new LINC clients (404/2471) reported that they relocated to Alberta after spending time in their original destination city. These numbers are congruent with the Statistics Canada (2013) report that Edmonton attracted a large share of newcomers in 2006. It adds that the foreign-born population in Edmonton grew by 14.9% between 2001 and 2006, outpacing the total growth of the CMA (10.6%), and the national growth rate of the foreign-born population (13.6%).
Based on social integration research, the Alberta Settlement Outcomes survey (2013) finds that the majority of immigrants hope to live in the province for the next five years, but may move to other places primarily if there are better job prospects elsewhere.
Fourteen percent of LVA clients sought language and/or occupational supports from the program after more than ten years of residency in the country. This implies that successful labour market inclusion eludes a significant number of newcomers.
These recent immigrants were asked about their educational attainment or technical training from their home country. Data show 1767 (72%) of new LVA clients had either university or post-secondary technical education, while 1357 (55%) of new LINC clients had higher education.
As indicated in Table 6 the data imply that most newcomers are equipped educationally. Hence, supporting them with some training can allow them to be ready in the job market.
As noted in Table 7, twenty-eight per cent of first-time LVA clients were employed fulltime when they came for service, 13% part-time, and 1% were self-employed, for a total of 42% known to be working clients. The Alberta Settlement Outcomes survey (2013) indicates that almost 70% of immigrants are working full- or part-time, with a further 4% self-employed or owning their own business. LARCC clients include those newcomers to Alberta who are not working in employment which they find satisfactory.
When asked about occupation in their home country, 13% of LVA clients were students, and at least 20% (estimated 36+ %) were working as professionals or tradespeople. More than one third of LVA clients (37%) worked in unique occupations, each representing less than 1% of the total number of clients served, as represented by the "Other" category in Table 8.
As demonstrated in Table 8, in Canada, most newcomers are employed in sales, cleaning, labour, or entry level work. Employment in Home Country of LINC clients during the year represented, are reported in Table 9. At the date of this article, the federal LINC program does not capture statistics on newcomer occupations in Canada.
Data correspond with the Alberta Settlement Outcomes Survey (2013) that shows most commonly held jobs in Alberta are in Sales and Service occupations, and jobs that do not require university degrees.
Outcomes of English Language Proficiency Assessments: CLB Test Results
The CLBs are a national standard used in Canada to provide a frame of reference for assessing, programming, teaching, and learning adult English as a second, or additional, language (CCLB 2014; Holmes et al. 2010). The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB) is the centre of expertise in support of the national standards in English and French for describing, measuring and recognizing second language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants for living and working in Canada. The CLB are founded on significant theoretical considerations and principles (CCLB 2012). The most influential one is the principle of communicative language ability, which relates to the ability to understand and communicate messages effectively and appropriately in a particular social or professional situation. Language ability requires an integration of language knowledge, skills, and strategies. The CLB standard is based on an adaptation of the model described by Bachman (1990) and the model described by Bachman and Palmer (1996). It also draws upon a pedagogical model of communicative competence by Celce-Murcia, Dornyei and Thurrell (1995). The benchmarks can help in opening doors to more effective hiring, better training, greater employee retention, improved productivity, and competitive advantage.
As a tool, the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) standardizes the description of an individual's language proficiency according to 12 benchmark levels. It covers four skill areas: reading, writing, speaking, and listening, using real life language tasks to describe language skills. Levels 1-4 are considered a basic level of proficiency; 5-8 are considered intermediate; and 9-12 are considered advanced. Increasing numbers of occupations refer to CLB levels in order to target required language competence for safe and successful workplace integration.
The two main assessment tools used at LARCC are the Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment (CLBA) and the Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT), each of which assesses English skills from Pre-Benchmark to Benchmark (BM) 8. The original CLBA can take up to four hours to administer, and provides clients opportunity to demonstrate a range of skills in a variety of tasks up to BM 8. It is used most frequently by the LVA team at LARCC to determine language levels of clients seeking entry into professional/occupational training or bridging programs. The CLBPT was created to provide a more time efficient tool, which can be completed in 1.5 hours or less. It is used for placement into adult English as a Second or Alternative Language (ESL/EAL) or LINC programs.
The Canadian Language Benchmarks Literacy Assessment (CLBLA) can also assess the literacy levels of clients who have little or no education in their first language. It can be conducted in 27 languages, including English. The LINC team uses this tool more frequently than the LVA team, and only 165 clients had their English skills assessed using this tool during the 2012-2013 year. The Enhanced Language Training Placement Assessment (ELTPA) assesses client English skills levels from BM 6-10, however, criteria for taking the assessment includes a previous CLBA or CLBPT score. It was used infrequently at LARCC in 2012-13, and only 10 individuals scored higher than BM 8 in at least one skill area. Clients tend to score higher in the receptive language skills (Listening and Reading) than in the productive skills (Speaking and Writing).
LVA Client Language Levels
The results of CLBPT (N = 1,741) and CLBA (N = 1,139) taken by LVA clients are presented in Figure 4. Data show that 647 (22%) of clients got BM 5 for listening and 1,029 (36%) got BM 5 and 6 for speaking skills, respectively. This listening score implies that clients can understand many words and phrases about familiar topics spoken at a normal speed. They also understand some indirect meaning when people talk about familiar topics. Individuals with the most common speaking scores have initial or developing intermediate oral proficiency. They can communicate facts and ideas in some detail, and can use a variety of grammatical structures, some of them complex, in routine social conversations. Likewise, they can also use a range of common vocabulary, perhaps some idioms, and demonstrate reasonable fluency. They have not yet developed the competency in English to communicate complex or abstract ideas in more challenging or formal situations. (Thorough descriptors of language skills at the different benchmarks are available in CCLB materials, and online through their website, at www.language.ca).
In reading, the largest number of LVA clients, 490 (17%), scored BM 6, which means that they can understand short texts written in plain English that are a little difficult. They can get the main idea, key details, and some indirect meanings. They are beginning to understand the writer's purpose, intent, and attitude. In writing, the most common score was BM 4: 477 (17%) clients. This score means that clients can use short, simple sentences to write a paragraph about a personal experience or other familiar topic.
LINC Client Language Levels
It can be gleaned from Figure 5 that 479 (21%) of LINC clients got BM 5 in listening whereas 794 (34%) scored at BM 3 or 4 in speaking. Clients served by LINC tend to be more recent arrivals to Canada. Their English speaking ability at this level is characterized by communication in simple sentences, with strongest competency in expressing familiar ideas in a day to day context. The greatest number of reading scores, 416 (18%) were at BM 3. This means that they can read and understand simple, everyday words and some basic information from simple, short stories about routine events. Writing scores of 453 (20%) of respondents were at BM 4, meaning that they can use short, simple sentences to write paragraph about a personal experience or other familiar topic.
Based on the results of the Literacy Assessment (CLBLA) taken by 165 clients, the greatest number of individuals scored Pre Benchmark in listening and speaking, which means that they neither understand nor communicate in English. In reading, 72 (43%) scored BM 2, indicating that they can read the alphabet, simple words, and very simple sentences about everyday life. They need pictures to aid their understanding in writing. The majority (50%) of clients got BM 1 in writing, which means that they can copy words and numbers correctly. Likewise, they can write simple words about themselves.
Client Priorities and Goals
At intake, LVA clients are asked about their priorities in Canada. Forty percent identified full-time or part-time English as a Second/Alternative Language (ESL/EAL) as their priority. Skill and Career Training was listed second, at 15%. Results imply that clients prefer to improve their English first before they integrate into the Canadian mainstream and pursue their chosen field of specialization. Indeed, LVA Counsellors often work with return clients who have lost employment because linguistic or cultural misunderstandings at the worksite led to their layoff.
Employment goals are extremely varied among LVA clients. Twenty percent of clients name unique professional goals captured under the 'Other' category in Table 14. At least 21% were seeking employment in one of various medical care professions. A significant number were unable to name a specific occupational goal at the time of intake.
LARCC staff and counsellors note that clients come with enormous skills, talents, potential, and dreams. Most are facing labour market and economic realities that curb their aspirations. Staff typically do their utmost to ensure clients are aware of local language and occupational training resources and opportunities, to fill the gaps in linguistic and contextual knowledge, and to be successful in their new locale. By focusing on knowledge gaps; however, the province may be missing out on the opportunity to recognize and support the tremendous personal assets, unique knowledge, perspectives, and skills that newcomers bring. Newcomers need opportunities to build networks for relationships, to share ideas and resources, to express their hopes, and to build individual and collective potential in their new society. They bring the seeds of new and diverse growth in the province, and on personal and familial levels, they need to trust that a reasonable livelihood is forthcoming.
SUMMARY, PROGRAM OBSERVATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Clients served by LARCC from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013 come from diverse backgrounds. Fifty-five per cent of LINC first-time clients came with post-secondary qualifications, while 72% of LVA clients had this level of education.
Employment status statistics show that 28% of LVA first-time clients are employed full-time in Canada, mostly in front line jobs. Of repeat clients coming for service, none report full-time employment, and a quarter to a third consider themselves students.
The majority of international newcomers served by LVA were in the Skilled Worker and Family Class immigration categories last year, while LINC clients were primarily in the Government Assisted Refugees (GAR) and Family Classes.
The majority of clients assessed by LINC fall in the Benchmark (BM) 3-5 range, and BM 2-4 in writing compared to their LVA counterparts: BM 4-6 range, and BM 5-7 in reading. LINC tends to serve those clients with English skills in the earlier BM ranges, and LVA tends to serve those at the higher BM ranges. There are language skill development challenges at each of the competency levels, and all adult newcomers need to secure a livelihood. There are strong social and labour market participation benefits to supporting each adult newcomer to attain the strongest level of competency possible in each language skill.
Most clients reporting a future occupational goal indicate a choice for the practical nursing or health care aide field. This trend undoubtedly comes from common understanding of the growing needs of the aging Canadian population, and the availability and accessibility of related skills programs.
The data on priorities show that most clients served are looking to improve their English, followed by a need for skills training, upgrading, information, and employment, or different employment. Five per cent are looking to pursue post-secondary studies. Observably, there is a strong correlation between client priorities noted and the referrals provided by LARCC. This service provides an initial step in the path to secure livelihood. A second step includes some of the excellent full-time and part-time LINC, ESL/EAL, and occupational training or bridging programs available around the capital region.
In order to maintain and build healthy key service infrastructure for international newcomers to the metropolitan area of Edmonton, community partners need to work together to create the networks and pathways that lead to substantive labour market success for the majority of newcomers. Further steps need to include more social, business, and employment networking opportunities into which newcomers can reliably integrate. They need to include more supported on-the-job language and occupational skills development, including intercultural or transcultural skill development for established workers and newcomers alike.
Current language training programming is set up to address language skills before occupational skills, and there is certainly some merit to this system. Paradoxically, however, clients also report finding themselves isolated in the comfortable bubble of a language class for too many months, to the detriment of their professional skills and networking opportunities. LVA has frequently recommended in program reports that language and occupational training opportunities need to be more immediately linked to employers, so that newcomers build their connections and opportunities more seamlessly. The idea of an apprenticeship type model of integrating newcomers into the labour market has gained some traction, however not to a significant extent. If employers and civic communities can more readily be expected to encourage and support relevant language training, and opportunities for inter-cultural and inter-ideological understanding for all staff or community members, we may make more significant strides towards maximizing prospects and potential for newcomers and all community members.
Meanwhile, the mechanism of federally funded LINC classes (and provincial or municipally funded initiatives) could potentially expand to partner with more employers, work sites, and municipalities to make participation in language and settlement training more feasible for a greater number of newcomers. Established residents, municipal groups, and workers also need formal opportunities to intentionally connect with and better understand the new colleagues with whom they are living and working.
LARCC Language Assessment, Referral, and Counselling Centre. LVA Language and Vocational Assessment LINC Language Instructions for Newcomers to Canada CIC Citizenship and Immigration Canada CLB Canadian Language Benchmarks CLBA Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment CLBPT Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test CLBLA Canadian Language Benchmarks Literacy Assessment ELPTA Enhanced Language Training Placement Assessment
We would like to acknowledge Alberta Jobs, Skills, Training, and Labour for their funding support. Thanks to the anonymous reviewers who provided very helpful comments on the earlier draft of this paper.
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ALBERT MAGANAKA has a Ph.D. in Extension Education from the Philippines. As a Program Coordinator, Education Counsellor, and Language Assessor at LARCC, he has provided language assessments and relevant educational referrals to adult ESL/EAL clients and organized information sessions for Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs). He also facilitates client access to community supports, events, and resources, and conducts formal/informal research. He is certified as a Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment (CLBA), CLB Placement Test (CLBPT), and CLB Literacy Placement Test (CLBLPT) assessor. His Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) with Advance Consulting for Education was recognized by TESL Canada.
HEATHER PLAIZIER worked with the national community volunteer program, Katimavik, then taught French Immersion in the school system, and worked as a curriculum and materials developer, and language, literacy, and workplace instructor with refugees and immigrants to the Edmonton area. She joined LARCC in 1999 as Education Counsellor, and then worked as Team Leader and Program Manager. She served on the Board and as Regional Trainer for the CCLB. During her Master's degree at the University of Alberta, she investigated "Sense of Place" among newcomers to rural settings, and continues to explore that experience in her personal life.
TABLE 1. Category of LARCC Clients Category of LARCC Clients (LVA & LINC) N % First-time Clients 4959 59 Repeat Clients * 2580 31 Group Participants ** 905 10 Total 8444 100 * Repeat clients include those who have returned months or years after initial service by LARCC, after their initial file has been closed. ** Group clients are served in information sessions or workshops. TABLE 2. Distribution of LVA and LINC Clients by 15 Leading First Languages/Mother's Language Languages (LVA) N % Tagalog (Filipino) 320 13 Arabic 247 10 Spanish 171 7 Somali 167 7 Mandarin 156 6 Punjabi 121 5 French 109 4 Urdu 98 4 Amharic 85 4 Nepali 71 3 Tigrinya 69 3 English, Farsi 232 10 (Dari/ Persian), Gujarati, Russian, Bengali (2% each) Korean, Hindi, Turkish, Oromo (1% each) 133 4 Others 508 20 Total 2488 100 Languages (LINC) N % Somali 252 10 Mandarin 251 10 Arabic 232 9 French 160 7 Tigrinya 131 5 Amharic 92 4 Punjabi 86 4 Urdu 73 3 Oromo 67 3 Russian 59 2 Vietnamese 51 2 Chinese-Other 50 2 Hindi 50 2 Tagalog 49 2 Korean 46 2 Farsi (Dari/Persian) 37 1 Others 783 32 Unknown 2 0 Total 2471 100 TABLE 3. Distribution of LVA and LINC Clients by the Leading 15 Countries/Region of Birth Country Countries N % Philippines 341 14 India 249 10 China 181 7 Somalia 168 7 Ethiopia 136 6 Pakistan 102 4 Nepal 67 3 Egypt 63 2 Eritrea 58 2 Mexico 55 2 Sudan 45 2 Colombia 42 2 Lebanon 41 2 Ukraine/Bangladesh (2% each) 78 4 Iran, Iraq, Korea (South), 173 5 Afghanistan, Vietnam (1% each) Others * 689 28 Total 2488 100 * Other Countries and Regions (Total= 130) Countries N % China 306 12 India 267 11 Somalia 253 10 Ethiopia 170 7 Eritrea 141 6 Chile 102 4 Pakistan 81 3 Iraq 61 3 Philippines 58 2 Vietnam 55 2 Colombia 53 2 Afghanistan 51 2 Korea (South) 44 2 Sudan 42 2 Iran 41 2 Others 746 30 Total 2471 100 * Other Countries and Regions (Total = 130) TABLE 4. Categories of LVA and LINC Clients LVA First time Repeat Clients LINC * Categories N % N % N % Skilled worker 669 27 206 23 -- -- Family Class 667 27 259 29 1296 31 Government Assisted Refugee 290 12 182 20 1483 36 Other refugee 212 9 83 9 -- -- Live-in Caregiver 64 3 19 2 -- -- Provincial Nominee 61 2 35 4 -- -- Temporary resident/student 54 2 10 1 -- -- Convention Refugee (has letter) 29 1 11 1 -- -- Independent & or Self Employed 18 1 8 1 -- -- Canadian born 17 1 6 1 -- -- Business/Investor/ Entrepreneur 10 0 2 0 -- -- Foreign born Canadian Citizen 2 0 -- -- -- -- Minister's permit 2 0 -- -- -- -- Economic -- -- -- -- 1257 30 Undetermined 393 15 19 2 26 1 Other -- -- -- -- 85 2 Total 2488 100 903 100 4147 100 * new and repeat clients TABLE 5. Length of Residency in Canada/Alberta among LVA Clients Length of Residency In Canada In Alberta (years) (LVA) N % N % Less than one year 27 1 47 2 1-3 years 1253 51 1476 59 4-6 years 574 23 552 22 7-9 years 234 9 187 8 Over 10 years 358 14 196 8 No Answer 42 2 30 1 Total 2488 100 2488 100 Length of Residency Secondary/Inland (years) (LVA) Migration N Less than one year 21 1-3 years 465 4-6 years 124 7-9 years 64 Over 10 years 29 No Answer -- Total 703 TABLE 6. Years of Schooling in Country of Origin LVA LINC Years of Schooling N % N % No formal education 63 2 88 4 1-7 years 145 6 290 12 8-10 years * 721 29 471 19 11 years or more 1559 63 1612 65 Total 2488 100 2471 100 Technical/Vocational Training 1-2 years 182 143 3-4 years 114 102 5-6 years 21 18 7 years and over 8 1 Total 325 13 264 11 University/College Education 1-2 years 219 196 3-4 years 706 560 5-6 years 400 328 7 years and over 117 9 Total 1442 59 1093 44 * Note that some international educational jurisdictions allow students to pursue technical or post-secondary education after 10 years of primary and secondary education. TABLE 7. Employment Status of LVA Clients LVA First-timed Repeat clients clients Employment Status N % N % Employed Full time 698 23 -- -- Employed part time 335 13 6 1 Unemployed 687 27 206 23 Homemaker 210 8 -- -- Student 121 5 259 28 Other 67 3 -- -- Maternity/Parental Leave 42 2 -- -- Self-employed 24 1 -- -- Disabled 9 1 83 9 Retired 8 0 -- -- Unknown 287 12 349 39 TOTAL 2488 100 903 100 TABLE 8. Occupation of LVA Clients in their Home Country and in Canada Occupation of LVA Clients Home Country Occupation N % Student 319 13 Teacher/Educator 229 9 Sales/Customer Service 125 5 Homemaker 118 5 Accountant 88 4 Nurse-Registered 85 3 Owner-Small Business 80 3 Driver/Delivery Pick up 65 3 Doctor/ Physician 55 2 Administrative Asst./Secretary 53 2 Hair Stylist/Esthetician 35 1 Cashier 26 1 Trade-Carpenter/ Construction 26 1 Engineer-Civil 25 1 Other * 917 37 Unknown 204 8 Not Applicable 38 2 Total 2488 100 Occupation of LVA Clients in Canada Occupation N % Sales/Customer Service 257 10 Student 157 6 Janitor/Housekeeper 135 6 Homemaker 132 5 Labourer 127 5 Cashier 89 3 Healthcare Aide 88 4 Driver/Delivery/ Pick up 76 3 Hospitality/ Hotel Worker 49 2 Cook's/Kitchen Helper 43 2 Factory Worker 42 2 Cook 37 2 Day Care Worker 35 1 Live-In Caregiver 33 1 Trade-Other 32 1 Trade-Carpenter/ Construction 29 1 Other * 544 23 Unknown 482 19 Not Applicable 101 4 Total 2488 100 * Other Occupations: (Total = 122 occupations) (less than 1% each, in descending order of frequency) * Other Occupations: (Total = 92) (less than 1% each, in descending order of frequency) Pharmacist, Professor, Engineer-other, Nurse Practical, Manager-Operations, Medical Technologist (many titles), Farmer/Gardener/Livestock, Manager-Service/Retail, Marketing, Bank Teller, Factory Worker, Cook, Engineer-Mechanical/ Industrial, Janitor/Housekeeper, Nurses/Health Care Aide, IT Network Specialist, Labourer, Other, Engineer-Electrical/ Electronic, Social Worker, Receptionist, Hospitality/Hotel Worker, Waiter/Waitress/Bartender, Trade-Electrician/ Instruments, Trade-Other, Seamstress/Tailor, EngineerChemical/ Materials, Other-Technical, Day Care Worker, TradeMechanic, and Dentist Childcare Worker, Security Guard, Waiter/Waitress/ Bartender, Owner-Small Business, Trade-Machinist/CNC, Shipper/ Receiver, Administrative Assistant/Secretary, Other-Technical, Receptionist. Hair Stylist/Esthetician, Baker, Supervisor-Customer Service, Manager-Service, Homecare Worker, Painter/Decorator, Other-Professional, Accountant, and Teacher TABLE 9. Occupation of LINC Clients in their Home Country Occupation N % Student 351 14 Unemployed (ex: Refugee Camp) 301 12 Homemaker 202 8 Teacher/Educator 197 8 Sales/Customer Service (many titles) 127 5 Accountant 80 3 Owner-small business 56 3 Administrative Assistant/Secretary 47 2 Farmer/Gardener/Livestock 43 2 Driver/Delivery/Pick up 35 2 Cook 34 1 Nurse-Registered 31 1 Labourer 30 1 Trade-Carpenter, construction, etc. 30 1 Manager-Operations 27 1 Engineer-Electrical/Electronic 26 1 Waitress/Waiter/Bartender 23 1 Hospitality/Hotel Worker 23 1 Trade-Mechanic 21 1 Bank Teller 21 1 Others (less than 1% each) 724 29 Unknown 42 2 Total 2471 100 TABLE 10. Client Priorities Seeking Provincial Language Services in Edmonton Client Priorities N % ESL Full Time 694 28 Skill Training/Career 361 15 ESL Part time 288 12 Upgrading 210 8 Information 163 6 Employment 129 5 Post-Secondary 121 5 Educational Counselling 83 3 Other 144 6 Not entered 295 12 Total 2488 100 TABLE 11. Future Goals Future Goal N % Unknown 216 9 Practical Nurse 182 7 Health Care Aide/Nurse's Aide 164 7 Accountant 84 3 Teacher/Educator 77 3 Registered Nurse 65 3 Medical Technologist 54 2 Day Care worker 44 2 Administrative Assistant/Secretary 43 2 Driver/Deliver/Pick Up 40 2 Civil Engineer 32 1 Doctor/Physician 32 1 Own small business 30 1 Pharmacist 27 1 Child Care Worker 27 1 Social Worker 25 1 Mechanical/Industrial Engineer 24 1 Others * 495 20 Not entered 827 33 Total 2488 100 * Other Occupational Goals: (Total= 81) (less than 1% each, in descending order of frequency) Business/Marketing Consultant, Chemical/Electrical/IT/Environmental/Petroleum/Geological Engineer, Chemistry/Physics/ Medical/Biology Researcher, HVAC Trade, Homecare Worker, Manager, Agronomist, Producer/Publisher, Nutritionist Dietitian, Draftsperson, Coach/Lifeguard/Fitness/Sports, Forestry Technician, Health/Safety Inspector, IT Technician, Librarian, Real Estate Agent, Sales/Customer Service, Teacher's Assistant, Financial Advisor, Receptionist, Optometrist, Human Resources Professional, Psychologist, Counsellor, Retail/Marketing Manager, Public Relations, IT Network Specialist, Fashion Designer, Civil Servant, Lawyer, Foreman, Professor, Veterinarian, Clergy, Dentist, Industrial Technician, Architect, Bank Teller, Janitor, Machinist, Mechanic, Plumber, Hair Stylist/Esthetician, Welder, Pilot, Seamstress/Tailor, Baker, Cook, Painter, Decorator, Police Investigator, Security Guard, Homemaker, Student, Environmental Officer, Farmer/Gardener/Livestock, Graphic/Web Designer, Hospitality/Hotel Worker, and Physiotherapist Fig. 1. Gender Distribution among LVA & LINC Clients LVA LINC Female 1512 1559 Male 970 908 No Answer 6 9 TOTAL 2488 2471 Note: Table made from bar graph. Fig. 2. Age Distribution among LVA & LINC Clients LVA LINC 15-24 years 229 292 25-34 years 862 933 35-44 years 885 761 45-64 years 487 394 65+ 11 81 No answer 14 10 Total 2488 2471 Note: Table made from bar graph. Fig. 3. Canadian Citizenship Status among LVA Clients Yes 16% No 78% No answer 6% Note: Table made from pie chart. Fig. 4. CLBPT/CLBA Outcomes for LVA Clients Listening Speaking Reading Writing Pre BM 31 30 98 50 BM 1 110 132 128 177 BM 2 188 170 198 249 BM 3 294 270 320 302 BM 4 439 402 404 477 BM 5 647 514 412 451 BM 6 438 515 490 468 BM 7 302 391 418 427 BM 8 431 453 395 264 TOTAL 2880 2877 2863 2865 * Note that numbers include results of approximately 400 repeat clients. Clients can be eligible for re-testing after six months have elapsed. In exceptional cases re-writes are possible in less than six months in a decision made in discussion with an LVA supervisor. Also, on occasion, clients require only one portion of a CLB test (L, S, R, or W). Note: Table made from bar graph. Fig. 5. CLBPT/CLBA Outcomes for LINC Clients Listening Speaking Reading Writing Pre BM 135 144 192 74 BM 1 282 321 194 381 BM 2 274 234 308 395 BM 3 439 393 416 406 BM 4 345 401 394 453 BM 5 479 338 353 260 BM 6 212 246 233 160 BM 7 78 154 140 127 BM 8 48 61 56 32 TOTAL 2292 2292 2286 2288 * Results of Canadian language Benchmarks Placement lest (CLBPT = 2,241) and Canadian language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA = 51) Note: Table made from bar graph.
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|Author:||Maganaka, Albert; Plaizier, Heather|
|Publication:||Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2015|
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