ARCHIVED – Enhanced Language Training Initiative: Formative Evaluation

5.0 Conclusions

Findings from this formative evaluation, which are largely qualitative in nature, indicate that ELT is a successful initiative that meets the immediate needs of the target audience. These immediate needs include:

  • Improvement of language skills;
  • Increased knowledge/experience of the Canadian work environment;
  • Increased job finding skills;
  • Preparation for licensure exams and;
  • Establishment of mentors/contacts and networks.

These results were reflected in the feedback from both the SPOs and the program participants. Other features also appear to contribute to the success of the program:

  • The extent to which the program can accommodate both generic and occupation-specific language training;
  • The quality of the curricula and tools and the quality of the instructors; and
  • The bridge-to-work component – and specifically, the work placements.

5.1 Program Delivery

Need to address the eligibility requirements

Findings from the evaluation indicated that a number of ELT clients were not eligible to participate in the program because of their immigration status (Canadian citizens and Refugee claimants). Limited information was available to clarify this issue.

Need for Dissemination of Tools

As indicated in the findings, the quality of tools and curricula developed by the ELT program is a strength of the initiative. Further, the expert review indicated that many of these tools are generalizable to other occupations or settings. The evaluation found there is a need for more sharing of these tools and more knowledge transfer within the initiative.

Work Placement as a Key Component

The flexibility of the program, which is viewed by stakeholders as one of its strengths, has resulted in a variety of delivery approaches. However, the evaluation found that some are more successful than others: the use of work placements, in particular, was considered a key success factor by program participants. The work placements appear to be more effective when specific resources are dedicated to finding and managing them.

Proactive Marketing of ELT Program

Some of the ELT-funded projects are “niche” projects, in that they focus on specific occupations – for example, financial service representatives for the credit union movement. Such projects, in a specific geographic area, are only able to take in a limited number of participants each year, as the number of participants who can be absorbed into the labour market in that area is limited. Thus, where these types of projects appear to be very successful, consideration should be given to actively marketing these approaches in other geographic areas.

5.2 Data Collection

The information provided by the projects and/or provinces for inclusion in the ELT database is inadequate for a quantitative assessment of the initiative outcomes. At the same time, SPOs have indicated that the data collection requirements are onerous and some have concerns about providing personal information about participants to CIC. Given those findings, an approach needs to be developed to ensure that adequate information is collected to support a more quantitative assessment of participant’s outcomes for the summative evaluation.

This approach could focus on reducing the number of data elements required from the SPOs; and perhaps obtain core demographic information about participants from existing CIC databases, providing this meets all privacy requirements for data sharing. Another possibility would be to collect longer-term outcome information directly from participants through longitudinal surveys conducted on a periodic basis. In this case, SPOs would be required to ask all participants for their agreement to be contacted to participate in a longitudinal survey of ELT participants.

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