Fall Training Day Report

Our 2019 Fall Training Day this past Saturday, October 5th, kicked off with a continental breakfast to get people connected with each other and with time to check out resources from our exhibitors: Canadian Bible Society, Love New Canadians, CIWA, I-Am ESL, and of course CESLM.

With 47 people attending (including exhibitors, speakers, and CESLM board, staff and volunteers) and 14 organizations represented, our opening session speaker, Majd AlAjji, Prairies & NWT Regional Manager for the Canadian Bible Society, shared immigration statistics of refugees arriving in Canada, comparing churches who sponsor refugees to those the government sponsored, citing the differences between how churches are not just giving them supplies, but developing relationships with these newcomers helping them to adjust and integrate into Canadian society within a community that cares about not only their physical needs, but their spiritual needs as well. He also talked about the 4 stages of culture shock that each immigrant goes through with some staying in Stage 3: Frustration a bit longer than others, depending on their attitude, their new connections in Canada and their motivation to learn to adjust to their new life in Canada.

The day continued with an interview with two newcomers sharing their experiences adjusting to the Canadian society. Then, following a short coffee break, attendees chose between two break-out sessions: Teaching Grammar (Roswita Dressler, or Improving Listening (Doreen Spurgeon). Later reconvening to finish the day off, Marlene Nelson of InterAct Ministries shared an inspirational message encouraging attendees and churches to continue to build relationships with newcomers, showing them the love of Jesus.

Allan Pole, CESLM president, closed off with a blessing to send out attendees—encouraging them to keep on keeping on, citing Revelations 7:9-10 to remind us that when we stand before God in heaven, “a vast crowd…from every nation and tribe and people and language” will be “standing in front of the throne…before the Lamb.”

Thanks to all who participated in making this event happen—Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd for the venue, speakers, volunteers, and exhibitors. And to CESLM board and staff. Also, a big thank you to our Events Coordinator, Roxy Meyers, who pulled together an excellent team for her last event with us as she will be handing over the baton to our new Events Coordinator, Ashley Brochu. And thank you to all the attendees who came out to learn to better reach out to newcomers in their churches and communities. And our biggest thanks goes to our Lord for speaking to us, and through us, as we help His Church reach out to new Canadians!

Great comments from our attendees!

  • Majd’s presentation, Panel discussion, Grammar session.
  • Encouraging ESL teachers!  Introducing them to where to find more training resources. Giving the right ideas about immigrants.
  • Provide people in need the hope for their better future by means of English.
  • Majd’s overview of how immigrants adjust as refugees. It provides insight into how we can use ESL to help them.
  • Sharing on refugee’s experience in Canada. Technical Grammar.
  • Book tables. Learning about Syrian refugee experiences.
  • Syrian Refugee Experience in Canada.  Listening workshop.Grammar training and learning about culture transitions.
  • It’s always good to connect and meet with other ESL teachers/volunteers. 

To book an event at your church or community organization, contact events@eslcooperative.ca.

Spring Training Day Report

What a great opportunity for inspiration and networking at our Spring Training Day on Saturday, April 13th where 42 people attended with at least 18 congregations represented. In our opening session, Noral Woodburn, Cross-Cultural Pastor with BP Church and Director of Agape Language Centre, spoke about “Every Neighbour, Every Nation.” He pointed out that Statistics Canada projects, by 2036, 25 to 30 percent of the population will be foreign-born and 30 to 35 percent will belong to a visible minority group. Noral added, “I think the church can do something that nobody else can do. And that shows the love of Jesus by providing accompaniment, a sense of community, and friendship—which community agencies have a very difficult time doing.”

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Attendees enjoyed the following breakout sessions:

  • “The Sounds
    of English” with Pat Dyck
  • “English Language: Empowerment for Mission” with Amber Wylie-Moerman
  • “Spiritual Foundations for Intercultural Ministry” with Allan Pole
  • “It Just Makes Sense: Using the Neurolinguistics Approach and Literacy Loop to Empower and Fast Track Beginner ELLs” with Roswita Dressler and Anja Dressler
  • “I-AM ESL Curriculum Sampler” with Jade Parayil
  • “Growing an ESL Ministry: Learning from Experience” with Katherine Milum
  • “Screen Time in the ELL Classroom” with Nada Ramsden
  • “Developing Pathways to Jesus for Immigrants in Your Neighbourhood” with Rick and Patti Love
  • “Understanding and Celebrating Cultural Identity” with Warsha Stephen and Anshu Stephen

Thanks to all who participated in making this day come together: Hawkwood Baptist Church for hosting; all the amazing presenters; North Hill Auto Service for sponsoring; and many volunteers who served behind the scenes with set-up, registration, serving good food and drinks, and clean-up. And to CESLM board and staff. Also, special thanks to our Events Coordinator, Roxy Meyers, who pulled together an excellent team! Our biggest thank you goes to our Lord for speaking to us, and through us, as we help His Church reach out to new Canadians!

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Thank you for partnering with us as we train and equip churches and volunteers to better reach newcomers in their communities. Your investment equips volunteers to invite immigrants out of isolation, serve them in a tangible way, and welcome them to connect with a Christ-centered community.

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