In Vancouver, free pilot English language class geared for Filipino caregivers

Filipino caregivers in Vancouver are now able to get help in reviewing for their English Language Test, thanks to a free class taught by a volunteer teacher.

This is the pilot English language class for caregivers who need to pass the English language test as part of Canada’s requirement when applying for permanent residency.

The Celpip test allows test takers to demonstrate their ability to function in English. The test clearly, accurately, and precisely assesses a test taker’s English abilities in a variety of everyday situations, such as communicating with co-workers and superiors in the workplace, interacting with friends, understanding newscasts, and interpreting and responding to written materials.”

The test assesses their functional listening, reading, writing and speaking skills.

But many kababayans fail the test and have to do re-takes.

They pay a steep fee for each re-take until they pass the required level.

To help kababayans, a committee on domestic workers’ and caregivers’ rights asked long-time supporter, Mary Rowles, if she can teach English to care workers.

“We try to encourage anyone who’s trying to get their permanent residency to attend and get a little bit more comfortable with the kinds of questions and tests that they’re going to face on their English language proficiency test,” said Rowles.

Rowles’ program includes 36-hours of English instruction plus homework, at one class per month for a year.

Sessions were held at the BCGEU offices.

If they have the money, each student may donate five dollars to the CDWCR for their three-hour session.

Rowles tailors the lessons to the needs of the students, and even offers one-on-one tutoring to those who are already scheduled to take the English test.

The pilot English language class which started this year already had their first graduates.

With a proven success, there is already a waiting list for the next English language class.

Plans are underway to conduct two sessions starting in February next year, but the slots are limited to only 12 students per session.

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