How adult English as a Second Language classes at the Toronto District School Board are helping to change lives
When Flaubert Tshidimu moved from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Toronto, he spoke no English. After just one year in the Toronto District School Board’s Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) program, he now has the language skills to attend college in English.
“I didn’t speak English at all,” Tishidimu says. “I started taking ESL classes to help me learn the language and learn how to speak, communicate and understand basic sentences. I applied for college and started to attend on a part-time basis.”
More than 20,000 adults join the Board’s ESL programs every year. As Canada’s largest provider of ESL programs, it offers courses from basic literacy through to specialized classes in areas like business, computers, medical terminology and prep courses for academic tests.
For Rahima Akbari, who moved to Toronto from Afghanistan 20 years ago, basic literacy enabled her to be more involved in her children’s education.
“When I attended my first ESL class I was a true beginner. I didn’t even know how to spell my own name. My children would bring home letters from school and I could not read or understand them.”
Find out more at www.ESLtoronto.ca