Newcomer Stories

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!