Comment 42132

By d.knox (registered) | Posted June 17, 2010 at 21:32:40

I work quite a bit with EFL and ESL students, both adults and children. I've worked overseas and in Canada. I think the experience has broadened my horizons, but also shocked me (I was naive). For example, many people in developing countries, who do not live in Canada, do not want to live in Canada!!! That was shocking to me. Canada is such a great place that I assumed in my first overseas teaching experience that any people who were interested in learning English were doing it to come to Canada (or more likely, the USA). Nope.

The other shock - some people who have come to Canada actually hate it, and can't wait to go back home. Nothing we've done - it's just not home. Immigration is a mixed experience and as an immigrant child, I saw first hand the trauma of the experience (and we were lucky not to have a language barrier). Shouldn't really have been a surprise - my mother still doesn't love Canada and still hates Hamilton (even in the '70's, she thought the downtown was horrifying and disgraceful).

Still, I think we do a great deal to assist with integration. We have more programs for refugees than immigrants, granted, and we make the credential verification experience for educated immigrants quite difficult. But still, we (I speak provincially since I'm not familiar with programs nationally) seem to do a fairly good job of helping immigrants adjust. That is certainly the feedback I get, even from seriously depressed students who cry daily that they are no longer in the place they tried so hard to get away from.

So I take the long term approach. Eventually everyone becomes Canadian, and what we mean by Canadian continues to change. It's nice. Like us.

Comment edited by d.knox on 2010-06-17 20:35:50

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