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Lakehead University turns international students into ambassadors

In an effort to attract more international students, Lakehead University is turning to the international students it already has. With its Global Ambassador program, some students at Lakead will be recruited to help attract more students from their country. These students will be taught special speaking and presentation skills and will be featured on social media programs.

We are generally pretty cynical and jaded, but this sounds like a bright plan.

Read more on the CBC website.

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After you’ve gone big, you don’t need to go home… so diversify instead.

In 2014, the Canadian federal government set the objective to add 450,000 international students by 2022. In a rare example of a government succeeding in a plan, that number was actually reached by 2018!

A small problem with this great success story is that almost half of those students are from China and India. Given the tensions in relations with China lately (and historical lessons like those of ghost towns) and the comfortable position that Canada is sitting in at this moment, the feds have set some new objectives: diversifying the international student body, increasing the number of Canadian students who go to study abroad and improving the experience of international students. All sounds good.

Read more in Maclean’s.

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Paying it forward – refugee in Alberta now volunteers for organization that helped her when she came to Canada

We all need a good news day, so we would like to draw your attention to the heartwarming story of Siham Ahmed, a Somali refugee in Red Deer. She attended ESL classes and used the interpreting services offered by the Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE) when she came to Canada. Now, she volunteers there, working at reception and also helping with translation services (she speaks several languages).

Read more in Todayville.

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Pairing NESTs up with NNESTs for better outcomes (for students in China, at least)

The EL Gazette has an interesting article on a study that was recently published showing that student outcomes were better in Chinese classrooms when Native English Speaker Teachers (NESTs) and Non-Native English Speaker Teachers (NNESTs) collaborated and co-teach.

Read more in the EL Gazette. If you are a real nerd, read the actual study (paid).

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Group work makes local students unpaid tutors to international students

The EL Gazette reports on an Australian student, Meshal Laurie, who argues that with the group work projects they are required for their courses, the Australian students in her program are effectively required to tutor the international students in their groups in order to pass their courses. Similar stories have come out of the UK.

Read more in the EL Gazette.

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New International Masters in Teaching English at Saint Mary’s University

The Brtitish Council has estimated that by 2020, there will be over 2 billion people speaking or learning to speak English. It has also been noted that in non-English speaking countries, the majority of the English teachers will be non-native English speakers.

With these non-native English speaking teachers in mind, Sain Mary’s University in Halifax has jsut launched its new International Masters in Teaching English.

Find out more about the program and the first cohort.

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Post-secondary institutions in Sudbury dealing with racism against international students

International student numbers in this northern Ontario city have been growing as they have across the country. But as there has been little cultural or racial diversity, it is unfortunate if not surprising that international students are reporting threats and intolerance.

Find out more about some students’ experiences as well as the reactions of Laurentian University and Cambrian College on the CBC website.