Itinerant Language Training Program for Women

The Itinerant Language Training Program for Women provides language training to refugee and immigrant women who are unable to access regular training due to issues related to waiting lists, priority seats, and child care. As part of the program, the itinerant teacher provides weekly tutoring sessions based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB).


For newcomer women with children who are unable to attend regular language training classes for a variety of reasons, the program makes language training accessible by bringing the teacher to them. The itinerant teacher visits each participating woman at home once a week to provide language training, social contact, and a sense of connection with the community.

Newcomer Involvement

The program provides one hour of personalized English language training to each woman per week. Beyond simply language training, the program provides the client with an opportunity to ask questions about Canadian culture and everyday living situations.

Stakeholder Collaboration

Offered by the Association for New Canadians’ Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) Training Centre, the program was designed by the instructor in collaboration with the Centre and in accordance with each client's personal language needs and the applicable CLB level.


The program compiles quarterly reports, satisfaction surveys, and client feedback. These data are used, not only for reporting to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (the funder), but also for ongoing improvement of the program.

Positive Outcome

Drawn from the itinerant teacher's report, anticipated benefits of the program are as follows:

  1. Refugee and immigrant women regain their voices.

    In a new country where they do not speak the language, and they do not have extended families to help them, their connection to the broader community is often non-existent. Through the ESL outreach program, the clients can begin to acquire, once again, the most important sign held by humanity, that of language, thus allowing them to connect to their new community. By bringing an ESL program to "at-home" immigrant women, the program not only recognizes the importance of timely language training, but also respects the right and entitlement of these women to have an opportunity to learn how to personally acquaint themselves with their new and unfamiliar environment.

  2. Newcomer women have an overall learning opportunity.

    For those who have not had an opportunity of formal schooling, the outreach program is their first introduction to basic schooling skills such as using pencils and paper and learning an alphabet. For those who have attended school, even for a very short time, and those who have advanced English language skills, this program helps them re-focus thoughts of personal ambitions and fulfilling future goals such as getting a paying job, learning English to obtain Canadian citizenship, or entering university. Those who make steady progress express hope that they will function again in a community outside their own cultural community, for example, in their child's school life, or their child's social life, or at the local community centre.

  3. Newcomer women get to know that expanded language training is also possible for them at the ESL Language Training Centre, as it is for other newcomers in the community.

    Many of the clients in this outreach program have started or re-started ESL school when circumstances changed and daycare is available to them. Many of the other participants in the program express an eagerness to do the same.

    Since its inception in December 2008, the ESL outreach program in St. John's/Mount Pearl has provided English language instruction to 49 immigrant women. On average, the program serves 12 to 14 women.

Client Testimony:

"She [the teacher] has good teaching skills and taught me not only English, but also about Canada."


This program is run as part of the outreach component of the Association for New Canadians’ Adult ESL Training Centre. It employs one part-time teacher with the ability to travel from home to home within the city. There is no major infrastructure involved. It should be easily transferable to another area or region.


Service Providers
Association for New Canadians (ANC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
St. John's and Mount Pearl, NL
Year of Launch
December 2008
Languages of Delivery
Newcomer Groups Served
Refugee and immigrant women with children
Expected Results
Language/Skills (Newcomers have language/skills needed to function in Canada)
Welcoming Communities (Newcomers receive help to establish social and professional networks so they are engaged and feel welcomed in their communities)

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