Literacy for Newcomers

Literacy in one of Canada's two official languages is essential for the social and economic integration and success of immigrants to Canada. With more than 250,000 new immigrants arriving every year, many from countries where English and French are not spoken, there is clearly an ongoing need for literacy and second-language training.

The presentations below explore this issue in the Canadian context, looking at the challenges facing immigrants whose first language is not French or English.

  • New Canadians, Community, and Literacy — Deb Zehr and Tung Chan
    The presenters review compelling data regarding immigrants and English as a foreign language, and discuss issues as they relate to literacy-based community development.
    Webcast: Deb Zehr
    Webcast: Tung Chan
    Presentation (Zehr) (PDF)
  • A Snapshot of ESL Literacy in Ontario — Sarah Bukhari
    This session presents the findings of a two-year research study that examined the literacy issues and challenges facing adult immigrant Canadians in Ontario, newcomers or settled, whose first language is not French or English, and who have limited or no literacy skills in their first language. The study focused on the Ontario ESL-training community in relation to this particular group, and sought to explore the needs and service gaps in Ontario.