Submitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services
If you’ve ever tried learning a new language, you’d agree that it can be quite challenging. And, when you add the extra layer of living in a new country, new culture, new everything, it’s a whole other ballgame. Learning to speak the language in a new country becomes the key to your entire future. It opens up doors to job opportunities, friendships, and basic day-to-day social interactions, such as at the grocery store, at the bank, or giving street directions when asked by a passerby…
ICA is fortunate to have kind and committed volunteers who love to chat! Each week, Conversation Circle volunteers visit ICA English language classes and engage in small group discussions on various topics of interest. The program offers a wonderful opportunity for newcomers and established locals to meet, converse, and exchange experiences. ICA students improve their conversational English skills and learn about Canadian culture while volunteers are afforded the chance to participate in a cultural exchange and help make a difference in the lives of newcomers.
Here’s what some of the participants had to say:
“I really love being part of the Conversation Circle Program. I am constantly amazed and humbled by the courage and dedication that new immigrants bring to the sessions,” said Conversation Circle volunteer Shirley.
English language learner Kim, commented: “I like this Conversation Circle Program because it helps me to practice my speaking skills, and I also learn a lot of Canadian culture. It is really very helpful and useful for me. Awesome! Thank you!”
Conversation Circle volunteer Cathy, expressed: “I’ve enjoyed every minute so far of this opportunity to meet and converse with newcomers to Canada/Victoria, to learn about their backgrounds/cultures, share information and hone my own conversation skills”.
We are so proud of ICA volunteers and English language learners for participating in this endeavor to help build bridges between newcomer immigrants and the wider community.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers for making this opportunity possible!