Project Description

Our project consist to run the “Integrating ESL in Our Community” project once a week for 10 weeks total at Century House for at least 20 seniors from our community.

Immigrants to Canada face the challenges of learning a new language, finding employment, navigating a new landscape, and a new culture. Immigrant seniors may also have physical mobility limitations and slower language acquisition. English language acquisition is essential for accessing important health and wellness services, and navigating government systems, among other needs. Adults with limited accessibility and literacy skills have more health problems, suffer more isolation, have greater difficulty understanding information, and do not access available services.

In our experience, immigrants seniors are keenly interested in learning English and in participating in their new community, but prefer programs that are tailored to their age group.

Some immigrant seniors have shared with us that government funded programs such as Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) have not suit their needs for different factors: like the pace of learning and the limited opportunities to make new social connections.

Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV) has developed an ESL curriculum specifically for senior immigrants. In it we provide participants with the supports to motivate their attendance and learning. Our materials and content improves students’ comprehensibility and vocabulary retention. Our activities and field trips promote community participation.

Community Benefit

FSGV offers the only ESL curriculum that tailor to the needs of seniors in New Westminster, a group that is at high risk of social and physical isolation, because of age, mobility limitation, and language limitations. Participants build confidence using English, while also building a social network and knowledge about community resources and improved healthy and wellness literacy. Our project incorporates strategies that reduce social and physical barriers to participation.

Located at New Westminster Century House, a place that is accessible and tailored to the needs of seniors. Our project offers a fun environment where seniors can learn and practice English with their peers and at their own pace. We promote civic involvement specifically suitable for seniors, including other programming offered at Century House.

Project Cost

We will use the ONE Prize to partially fund our project. We have generous in-kind support from our partner at Century House and from our committed volunteers.

Direct Salaries (including outreach) $ 2,000
Rent (Waived by Century House) $ 600
Coffee and Snacks (by participants on a volunteer basis) $ 200
Total $ 2,800

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