VANCOUVER, June 5, 2014 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of the
Association of BC Teachers of English as an Additional Language (BC
TEAL) is deeply concerned and disappointed about the sudden closure of
English as a Second Language (ESL) programming at Vancouver Community
College (VCC) as announced on May 29, 2014. Nearly half of British
Columbia's immigrants study ESL at Vancouver Community College.
The discontinued funding for quality instruction and programming at VCC
and other BC public post-secondary ESL programs will have serious
repercussions for BC's economic and social health. Language training is
a critical pathway for newcomers and citizens because it allows them to
upgrade their English language skills and transition seamlessly into a
wide range of academic, career, vocational, and trades programs.
Cutting quality language instruction lacks foresight and will hinder
newcomers' full social and economic participation in British Columbia.
Without this pathway, thousands of students, employees, employers, the
overall economy and the community at large will bear the consequences
of these ill-advised cuts. Furthermore, these cuts undermine efforts to
enable our students and neighbours to engage, integrate, and contribute
to our communities. Hossam Rezk, a Mechanical Engineer originally from
Egypt and now studying ESL at Camosun College in Victoria, comments,
"Cutting the funds from those courses - it does mean that you cut the
support for me as a new immigrant, because without proper English,
without the support you give, I cannot survive, I cannot find a proper
job, I cannot be of added value to the new society or new community to
which I belong."
BC TEAL is calling for full consultation with stakeholder groups to
ensure continued investment in high quality, recognized English
language training and equal access for immigrants and citizens to
skills training and higher education. BC TEAL is committed to advocacy
on behalf of ESL students and teachers, in the private, public and not
for profit sectors in the province of British Columbia.
SOURCE: Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC
For further information:
Contact: Shawna Williams, President, Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Robertson, BC TEAL sub-committee chair, ESL Instructor, Camosun College
Phone - (250) 370 4952