In 2016, we found that 0% of the refugees we served were fluent in English and 1% were fluent in French. Improving English language skills is a path to social integration and a brighter future, but many women, due to a variety of factors, experience barriers to accessing language classes in the community. English Outreach for Women is a weekly commitment to provide English language lessons for newcomer women in their homes. The program runs for 3 months and is an opportunity to strengthen newcomer integration by strengthening language competency. The program serves primarily women, although sometimes men who experience barriers to language classes are also included.
Class size varies, but we aim for a one-to-one tutoring ratio when possible. Classes are held in women’s homes or accessible places in their neighborhoods. Most of the women have very limited English so teachers are able to develop their own curriculum and activities to support different types of learning styles.