The backbone of NMC-CESI is our Language & Cultural Exchange Workshop. This weekly program uses NMC’s unique linguistic & cultural resources to help newcomer youth improve their English, connect to Canadian society, and familiarize themselves with Canadian classroom culture—all while helping Canadian students improve their Arabic skills!
Every Saturday, a group of newcomers meet up with Arabic-speaking volunteers to improve their English skills, while also exploring strategies to achieve personal goals for resettlement and adjustment to life in Canada. Similarly, English speakers pair up with native Arabic speakers to improve their command of the Arabic language and learn more about Middle Eastern culture. Each week we have 40-50 participants, newcomers, and students attending our workshops, matched 1-1.
We prepare our own worksheets to guide and facilitate the workshop based on a selection of relevant and useful themes. We see this as an opportunity to engage in cultural, historical, and political topics that provide a basis for conservation & exchange between newcomers and our volunteers. Some examples of topics tackled so far include Canadian history, indigenous history, Canadian sports, geography, and many more!
Click here to see some examples of past worksheets. And stay tuned: this program is currently expanding to other language groups such as Turkish, Kurdish, and Farsi.