Maria, Literacy for English Language Learners Student

Hello, good evening. My name is Maria. I´m from Mexico.

I would like to tell you about my journey learning English. I started two and a half years ago when I came to Canada.

First of all, the English language has always been important in my life. Since I was a child I have been trying to learn it every day. Sometimes at school, and sometimes using the internet on my own.

The first time, I heard people talking on the bus here in Edmonton, I couldn´t understand anything. I just listened to the sounds and could catch some words. Of course I attended English class in the LINC program. Last year my teacher in that program told me that it was the last course for me because I got level 6 and there were many refugees waiting for a place. So, I started to look for other options. I went to Catholic Social Services looking for a place to study ESL. They gave me a test and I failed the listening part. They told me that in 6 months I could try again. After that, I finished the last course in the LINC program.

I heard about PALS from one of my classmates in the last school. It was last summer and immediately I went there looking for a place. I needed to learn more English because the level of knowledge I had wasn’t enough. It was difficult for me to express my ideas.

One of my goals was to study ESL at NorQuest but I couldn’t afford it. Then, I had an appointment with Marie at P.A.L.S. She was in charge of the ESL program. She gave me a test to know my English level. After that, she told me that there was a place for me with one of the tutors. Since then, I have had the opportunity to learn more using all the skills I need, writing, listening, speaking, and reading. Now I feel more confident speaking English.

With my tutors I am reading poems, books about Canada’s history and important Canadians people like the doctor Frederick Grant Banting and Charles Best who discovered insulin. I´m also, writing about many subjects without fear of making mistakes because my teachers show me how to do it correctly.

I´m using grammar properly by doing many exercises with the teachers and classmates every time. Now, I know I´m studying ESL in the best place.

Finally, I found in PALS everything I was looking for and more, to help me get involved in the community, make friends, and work as a volunteer.

I appreciate every class and I have to say thank you to all my teachers: Nafeesa, Jean, Dave, and of course Marie for their work with all of us who attend PALS.

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