Thursday, December 18, 2014

Welcoming EAL students to Regina Public Schools

What is the Newcomer Welcome Centre?


The Regina Open Door Society (RODS) has a Newcomer Welcome Centre (NWC) that is a collaborative service Centre to welcome newcomers to our city.
The NWC works closely with: 

  • Regina Public Schools 
  • Regina Catholic Schools and
  • the Conseil des ├ęcoles fransaskoises

The following students must register at the NWC located at 2332-11th Avenue:

  • Students who do not have a Canadian Birth Certificate 
  • Students new to Regina and do not speak English as a first language 
  • Students new to Regina and have immigrated from an English speaking country like England or Australia

Newcomers include immigrants and refugees who come to Regina from outside Canada or from another Canadian province. They can be permanent or temporary residents or new Canadian citizens.  The centre helps guide and support newcomers to an easy integration to the community, by accessing information, available resources and services. The Newcomer Welcome Centre is well equipped with a knowledgeable team of Settlement Information Advisors, a variety of printed and online information, and a good referral network. The Newcomer Welcome Centre provides a variety of information on:
  • Immigration
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Youth
  • Health
  • Transportation
  • Social Supports
  • Budget and Finance



Who are your EAL learners?  

They come from a wide range of countries:
Afghanistan                      
Albania
Armenia
Bangladesh
Botswana
Brazil
Burundi
Chile
China
Colombia
Congo
Croatia
Cuba
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
England
Eritrea
Ethiopia

Ghana
Greece
Guatemala
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
India
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Kenya
Korea
Latvia
Lebanon            
Libya
Lithuania
Malaysia
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Morocco
Myanmar
Namibia
Nepal
Netherlands
Nigeria
Oman
Pakistan
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Russia
Saudi Arabia


Scotland
Serbia
Somalia
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Taiwan
Thailand
Trinidad
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
United Kingdom
USA
Uzbekistan
Viet Nam
Zambia




Newcomers over the past three years:

YearTotal Students
2011-12    686
2012-13    679
2013-14    725

What does the Newcomer Welcome Center do?

Students that register through the NWC will provide documentation for the school file and will complete an English language assessment. The assessment takes approximately an hour and a half.  It includes an oral interview with an emphasis on speaking and listening, a basic math test, a writing task and a Fountas and Pinnell reading/writing bench mark assessment.  When this is completed, the CFR level is determined and recorded on the Initial EAL Assessment Report sheet. Once the NWC completes the intake and assessment, they will contact the school to arrange a time for the family to visit. The staff at the NWC will send pertinent information (intake, assessment results, program recommendations, immigrant/refugee status, etc.) to the school in a coloured folder to be kept in the student’s cumulative folder.


A wealth of information can be gleaned from this folder for EAL and classroom teachers.  Tracy
Rempel, EAL teacher, and Andra Donbrook, Teacher Librarian/Language Arts teacher, are discussing a newcomer student and tailoring a program to meet his needs.   From this folder, they discovered that he is a newcomer with limited language skills in his first language, even though he speaks several other languages.  His English language level is beginning so he will require support.  As mentioned on the Initial EAL Assessment Report, he will receive instruction from the EAL teacher, as well as a differentiated program in the classroom setting. 

Tracy commented, “I feel that the information in the folder is very important and teaches me a lot about my students.  It is a gateway to the language and culture of the children.  Both EAL and classroom teachers can learn so much just by reading the information from the NWC.”



Posted by Luba Lubenko and Fiona Smith



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