Posted on

Enrolment and graduation rates continue rising in Canada

Stats Canada recently revealed that the school year of 2017/2018 was the third consecutive year of increases in enrolment and graduation from postsecondary institutions. Our readers will not be surprised to also learn that this growth was largely attributable to international students, whose numbers increased 15.6%. The increase in domestic students was much more modest at 0.2%.

Read more from StatsCan.

Posted on

The higher a student’s level, the more they blame their teacher

We remember once teaching a beginning level class at a Toronto college. At the end of the course, the students startled us with a $200 gift certificate and a lovely card signed by everone. We were amazed at this and didn’t feel truly deserving; the students had made a lot of progress, but seeing as they had almost no English, it would have been difficult for them not to.

The following month, we taught an advanced level class. There was no gift certificate that time; rather there were some complaints that we hadn’t done a good enough job. We were annoyed. Certainly, advanced students did not make as quick progress as beginners. Furthermore, advanced students have such wildly different individual needs that it is difficult to address them while still following a curriculum.

And so we read with great interest an article in the EL Gazette that summarizes recent research that shows that, indeed, as students become more proficient, they tend to blame their teacher for their slow progress (beginners tend more to blame themselves when they do not make sufficient progress).


Read the article here.

Posted on

Something else to feel bad about: the carbon footprint of international students

It is probably a good bet that a larger than average percentage of ELT professionals are concerned about climate change. Well, a recent article in Inside Higher Ed puts the spotlight on international education and the large carbon footprint that it has. Possible solutions are suggested – including students staying home – but that leaves ELT professionals between a rock and a hard place.

Read more on IHE.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.