Newcomer Stories

Newcomer Story: E. H.

It was the beginning of February. We just arrived from the airport to our rental apartment. It was empty. It had no beds, no table, and no chairs. My son asked me, “Why don’t we have a TV?” and “where we are going to sleep?” A friend of ours brought us a couple of mattresses and a little food. We ate, and then we lay down and fell asleep.

The first month was full of action: lots of shopping, paperwork, and visiting different places, such as the bank and health clinic. We met lots of new people, and of course, we continued studying English all the time with English Online. At the end of the month, we already had a TV, beds, and a table. We had everything we needed in our apartment. Our son was going to school just like any “normal” Canadian kid.

The second month I started looking for a job. My profession is not in high demand in Winnipeg, but I tried very hard and used everything I learnt during my English Online classes. I sent my resume to all the companies that related to my job, even if they didn’t post any vacancies. I called related companies and asked them for an informational interview. After a few weeks I started working at my first job in Canada. A little while later, I decided that I didn’t want to pay for a lease anymore, so I started looking for a house for my family. We saw more than 20 houses before we found one that we really liked. We signed an offer and bought that house.

I want to thank English Online, all its teachers and volunteers for their incredible work. I would have never had this success without their help and support before and after my arrival in Canada. It’s not only English that they teach, it’s way more than that. It’s preparation for a new life!

Newcomer Story: Gemmarose Claveria

Gemmarose ClaveriaI am Gemmarose, I’ve been in Winnipeg for more than a year. As an immigrant, speaking and listening English is the first challenge to overcome. This is the reason why I enrolled in English online. I want to know the strategies in catching up to the fast-Canadian speech and to speak fluently in English. Learning English online is a great opportunity for me as a stay home mom. It gives silver lining in achieving my aims while being tied down with my sons.

At first, I found Learning English online to be very difficult. In this sort of study, I need to accomplish lessons differently from the traditional classroom learning. I need to set time aside to attend classes and study every detail. That’s my real experience in learning English online. I find lessons and exercises interesting and truly helpful. I love the way they value individuals. I am happy being one of the English Online community.

Newcomer Story: Kerstin Dinkheller

Kerstin DinkhellerI’m Kerstin from Germany and we have settled in Portage la Prairie. I came to Canada with my son on May 2nd, 2012. My husband has been here since 2009 so he was able to help us when we first arrived. In my first week here, I went to the Learning and Immigration Centre and they told me about the English classes that I still attend today. It is a place where I can meet people from different countries and speak with them.

During the summer, there are no classes so that was when I had the opportunity to register with English Online (EO). When I first started using EO, I took the courses and went to the recommended websites for English tests and quizzes. I enjoyed that but I didn’t know how to use the Learning Journal and I hadn’t tried to call my instructor because I didn’t feel that my speaking skills were very good. I finally attended a virtual class. I learned how I can use the Learning Journal so I wrote some sentences in that ‘book’. The virtual class gave me the courage to contact the e-Facilitator. I sent my first email to Ianthe at the end of August. I know the date because I wrote in my Learning Journal.

Around that time, I thought about applying for a job so I prepare my résumé with help from the people at the Learning and Immigration Centre. At home, I wrote a cover letter. I searched relevant websites. By the middle of September, I was ready to send my application by email to a company. Only a few days later, I was invited to come in for an interview. I was so happy!

At the same time, I attended virtual classes with Stephanie where I got good information about writing emails and thank‑you cards. Then I attended the EO four-week course called Workplace Communications. It was the perfect course for me because I got the job I applied for and I learned many things that I could and can use in my workplace. Now I have to speak with other people every day.

My goal for 2013 is to be able to dream in English!