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Collaborative English-as-an-Additional-Language Program

Funding Extended for PEI ANC's Partner in Language Training

Posted: Tuesday 9th August 2011 12:52

PEI ANC is pleased that funding has been extended to the Confederation Centre Public Library, its partner in a volunteer-based English-as-an-Additional-Language (EAL) tutor training program. This collaborative program of the Community Connections Program at the PEI ANC and the Confederation Centre Public Library, provides newcomers with the opportunity to practice their English language skills outside of a classroom setting, and more established Islanders with a chance to broaden their understanding of another culture. Materials are distributed at any of the Province’s 26 public libraries and are also available online, while the training with volunteer tutors occurs at the Confederation Centre Public Library with matches arranged through PEI ANC.

Over 400 newcomers have participated since the program’s inception in 2006. The program is made possible due to the generosity of over 250 volunteers who have received training and generously volunteer their time to assist newcomers with their language skills. Carol MacMillan, who has been a tutor since 2006, says, "The tutoring experience is enriching, causing me to reflect on my culture while I work with a newcomer and learn about theirs. The library is a great resource, especially the human component."

"I am very pleased with the popularity of this program and it is encouraging to see Islanders and newcomers working together to learn from one another," says Allan Campbell, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning.

Joe Byrne, who coordinates the EAL Volunteer Tutoring Program for PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada, is thrilled that the Public Library Service has received funding to support and expand this important program. "Our experience has been that newcomers to PEI learning English as a second language really value the opportunity to work one-on-one with a trained tutor. EAL provides more than just language mentorship though -- friendships are made, and newcomers feel connected to their new community through these friendships."

"[…] The Public Library Service is pleased to be part of such a dynamic program on the Island, providing a great volunteer opportunity for Islanders and welcoming newcomers by engaging in conversation and friendship," says Trina O’Brien Leggott, Chief Librarian at the Confederation Centre Public Library.

Funding for this program provides person-to-person or online training for volunteers, the purchase of language training software and a selection of books, DVDs, and audio materials for learners of all ages and levels.

More information:

PEI Public Libraries

EAL Volunteer Tutoring Program
Library Tours for Newcomers

For more information on how to participate in the EAL program, or to volunteer as a tutor, please contact:

Yvette Doucette

Yvette Doucette
Community Connections Worker

(902) 628-6009 ext. 226