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International students allowed back into Canada

As of October 20th, international students are again allowed into Canada provided that they are studying with an institution that has an approved covid-19 readiness plan. It will be interesting to see how quickly students return.

We should take this opportunity to give a shout-out to Languages Canada. They have been working hard since the outset of the pandemic to work with the government to advance the interests of this industry which, as we all know, has been hit particularly hard by this pandemic. They have pointed out that over 75% of English and French programs are at risk of permanently closing and that with international students contributing $22 billion to the economy every year, Canada needs international students as well. They developed the Study Safe Corridor, a well-thought out plan, that would ensure that students could get to Canada for their studies, ensuring that they depart safe, arrive safe and study safe.

Read more about the new regulations.

Read more about Languages Canada’s efforts.

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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.

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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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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.