Page 1

Summer 2014

Victoria BC

The ION T A C U D E Issue P or t r a i t o f a n i n t e r n a t i on a l s t u d e n t C u l t u r a l c om p e t e n c y i n h i g h e r e d L a n g u a g e + c u l t u r e + t e c h n ol o g y S t u d e n t f o o d f a vor i t e s ESL t r i u m p h s a n d c h a l l e n g e s Th e c u l t u r e s h o c k c u r v e Student tech teams


a l a n g u a g e & c u l t u r e m a g a z i n e for newcomers to Canada

suggested answers to activities on pages 22 and 23 page 22 Hey, girl, hey. = Hi, [friend’s name]. Hey there, what’s up? = Hi, what are

Your federal and provincial representatives

Here to Help

you doing? Oh, you know, just shopping with Georgette, buying some kicks you know. = I’m shopping for shoes with Georgette. Oh sick; so jelly. = That sounds fun; I am so jealous. Yeah, well, what about you? = What are you doing? Oh, just chillin’ at home with my bro. = I’m just spending time with my

Randall Garrison MP

Maurine Karagianis MLA





brother (or friend) at home. Nice, girl. Wishing you were here —it’d be hella rad. = That’s great, [friend’s name], Wishing you were here —it’d be awesome. Yah, totes, girl. = Yes, it would be totally awesome.

page 23 Hey, man, how’s school going? = Hi, [friend’s name], how’s school going?



Carole James MLA

Rob Fleming MLA





Ugh, I’m over it. I can’t wait until summer. = I am tired of school. I can’t wait until summer.

MP+MLAs-Here!Mag-1402.indd 1

14-02-17 12:16 PM

I totally understand; the struggle is real. = I totally understand; school can be difficult. Deffs. Hey, I was thinking about going to get some froyo on Saturday

Let’s find your new home!

afternoon if you’d like to come along. = Definitely. Hey, I was thinking about going to get some frozen yogurt on Saturday afternoon if you’d like to come along. Absolutely, YOLO, right? But is it all right if we meet in the evening instead? I’m hanging out with the bae in the afternoon. = Absolutely,

We are Victoria’s Premier Property Management Company & proud sponsors of Here! Magazine

you only live once, right? But is it all right if we meet in the evening instead? I’m spending time with my boyfriend in the afternoon. Deffs. = Sure, that would fine. swag: NOUN hella rad: ADJECTIVE bro: NOUN totes: ADVERB jelly: ADJECTIVE kicks: NOUN ship: VERB I’m over it: SENTENCE

We have a large selection of clean, superior, well-maintained rental units that give our tenants peace of mind and a comfortable place to call home.

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O U R M U LT I C U LT U R A L C O M M U N I T Y Vic toria has a vibrant and growing multicultural communit y! These organizations celebrate culture and d i v e r s i t y w i t h a n n u a l e v e n t s l i ke t h e D r a g o n P a r a d e, F l a m e n c o F e s t i v a l , G r e e k f e s t , F e s t i v a l M e x i c a n o, a n d t h e Highland Games and Celtic Festival. They also of fer suppor t and ser vices to their member s and newcomer s, including language suppor t, health and wellness ac tivities, net working oppor tunities, and w o r k- r e l a t e d s k i l l d e v e l o p m e n t .

Victoria and Vancouver Island Greek Community Society Victoria Canada-China Friendship Association White Eagle Polish Association

Settlement Services

Institute for Canadian Citizenship (Victoria Chapter)

Ukrainian Canadian Cultural Society of Vancouver Island Victoria Highland Games Association Sons of Scotland The Royal Commonwealth Society Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association Victoria Native Friendship Centre Victoria Korean-Canadian Women’s Association Victoria Filipino-Canadian Association Victoria Filipino-Canadian Caregivers Association Victoria Filipino-Canadian Seniors Association La Société francophone de Victoria Victorian Croatian Community Leonardo Da Vinci Centre India Canada Cultural Association Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island Victoria African Caribbean Cultural Society Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society Vancouver Island Thai Association Mexican Canadian Community Association of Victoria Newcomers Connect

ICA’s Settlement Services program connects

individuals and organizations across cultures. To help immigrants

and refugees reach their goals, ICA provides information, support, and tools to assist with housing, healthcare, education, human rights, Canadian law, family concerns, citizenship, and more.

Immigrant Welcome Centre

Since 1978, ICA has helped more than 20,000 newcomers.

For more information or to register: Tel: 250-388-4728 Email:

please contact us at if you would like to highlight your organization or event in here! magazine

Making banking easier. Publisher | Functionall Books Editor | Fiona Bramble Associate Editor | Christy Sebelius Contributing Writers | Erin Renwick, Kedsanee Broome, Ken Royal, Alex Creighton, Kieran Wilson, Katrina Wong, Christine Wood, RenĂŠe Layberry, Li-Shih Huang, Xiaoqian Guo, Hyeyoung Jeon, Iryna Zderka, Paige Hart, Haley Kruse, Michele Wilson, Leat Ahrony Infographic Designer | Josephine Aucoin Design and Layout | Fiona Bramble Production | Black Press get Here! Magazine for your home or organization: advertise in Here! Magazine: Here Magazine 160 Eberts St. Victoria BC Canada V8S 3H7

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All contents copyrighted. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint, or copy any material from here! magazine. Ideas and opinions expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or advertisers. The publisher neither endorses nor assumes any liability for the contents of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. $4.95

ISSN: 2291-8582

letter from the editor Education?! But, it’s almost summer! Yes, it might seem strange to launch our first Education Issue on the brink of summer vacation when many people are thinking of escaping to our glorious Vancouver Island beaches, waterways, and campgrounds. I can already smell barbecues and salty sea air and hear our neighbours talking and laughing outdoors late into the warm evenings. However, as we all know, learning is not confined to desks and classrooms or Septembers to Junes; it’s a year-round, all-round activity that may involve a textbook, a tool, or a Tai Chi class. Now, more than ever, and thanks to technology, you can access educational opportunities on your own terms and on your own schedule. The world is your oyster. This issue has been a steep learning curve for our team as we waded into the murky waters of data with the hopes of bringing numbers and statistics to life—for the purpose of understanding each other better and forming a picture of the greater cultural and educational context in which we live, here on the Island. Numbers aren’t perfect, so we added voices—real, live voices to almost every story, via QR audio code (see page 9 for instructions!). It is a pleasure and a thrill to hear our community’s many voices literally come off the page. Please take the time to learn and engage with this technology; I promise you won’t be disappointed! In addition to our regular features, this special issue celebrates the people and programs in Victoria’s many learning environments and explores the importance of cultural competency in education, cultural programs and opportunities for Victoria’s Kindergarten to Grade 12 students, a glimpse at English-as-a-second-language learning from both the bottom up and the top down, and reflections on the path ahead for education and technology. We are also relieved to have local students bring us up-to-date on slang in “learn here” (pages 22-24) —totes gnarly—and let us in on where to eat great food (page 38). We are honoured to showcase Derek Shapton’s portraits of iconic Canadians (and some lucky Americans) as well as to have Chris Hadfield’s (Commander of the International Space Station in 2013) special recording of I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) embedded here in our pages. From the International Space Station, Commander Hadfield reflects that “you can’t make out borders from out here” and that the Station itself “was once fuelled by fear” and “now has 50 nations orbiting out here”. Technology, innovation, and community moving forward together. Here! Magazine is your oyster. Open it up!

Fiona Bramble, Editor 2nd-generation Irish-Scottish Canadian

If you could see our nation from the International Space Station, you’d know why I want to get back soon. -Chris Hadfield (listen to the song on page 37)


Education Features

Volume 1, Issue 3



Using a QR reader and listening up. by Fiona Bramble

The School Of Life


5 unique programs around Victoria. by Erin Renwick

Broadening Horizons


Special programs in Victoria’s public schools. by Erin Renwick

Student Tech Teams


Why student-led tech teams are a win-win. by Ken Royal

Scholarships, Grants, and Bursaries


Culture and language scholarships for high-school students. by Kieran Wilson

Portrait of an International Student | a visualization


An introduction to B.C.’s International Student body. by Josephine Aucoin

Looking Both Ways | The Need for Cultural Competency in Higher Education


A discussion of the successes and shortcomings in cross-cultural understanding in education. by Katrina Wong

Education + Technology | 3 Questions with Christine Wood


A reflection on the intersection of education, technology, and culture, along with interviews with B.C.’s Minister of Education and UVic’s Dr. Valerie Irvine. by Christine Wood

Three Immigrant Women: inspiring stories of English-language learning


The language triumphs and challenges of three Victoria immigrant women. by Li-Shih Huang and Xiaoqian Guo

The High Cost of Cuts | Public funding and domestic language training


The impact of the loss of federal funding for Camosun College’s domestic English as a second language training programs. by Renée Layberry

Wellness and International Students | Coping with the Culture Shock Curve


Why it can be difficult for international students to adapt in Canada and suggestions for making the transition easier. by Hyeyoung Jeon

Community Micro Lending | Education to Employment


An interview with Lisa Helps and Vu Ndlovu about Community Micro Lending’s innovative program for newcomers to Victoria. by Fiona Bramble

Special Photo Feature Canadian Treasures

with Derek Shapton

36 6

Regular Columns newhere page 12 Welcome Iryna Zderka from Ternopil, Ukraine. Iryna arrived in Victoria B.C. in January 2013 with her husband and son. She is a student at Camosun College and works full-time as a Regional Department Head at a local financial institution.


any of us came from somewhere else. Some of us arrived 100 years ago, some of us 100 days ago. Now we are here, working, living, and learning together. We may have arrived in

different ways and may have come for different reasons. We may be going down different paths but one thing is the same: here is home.

learnhere page 22 Learn the latest slang! High school student, Paige Hart, and UBC student, Haley Kruse, help us decode the language of youth.

homehere page 29 Laugh with Kedsanee Broome as she shares stories of hiding out with her favorite foods hoping not to offend her friends and family.

readhere page 10

Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience excerpt by Monique Gray Smith

moneyhere page 11

Transferring money overseas by Michele Wilson

renthere page 28 Viewing rental units by Alex Creighton

eathere page 38

Starving students find authentic eats by Leat Ahrony

herein Canada page 39 Citizenship Quiz #3 Tweeting Canada


s m a r t y

p a n t s

Victorians are getting schooled!



Since 2008, students have enrolled in Esquimalt’s and Mt. Doug’s Challenge Program for gifted students

The University of Victoria has produced 7 out of the 12 Rhodes Scholars from B.C. in the last 12 y e a r s , i n c l u d i n g 2 01 3 & 2 014

3,046: Saanich School District has the highest # of Distributed Learning students in B.C.

Claremont High School: highest public school graduation rate

Kindergarten children in Victoria are

2.9% less vulnerable

for language and cognitive development compared to the average rate for the rest of B.C.


Over francophone students are enrolled at L’école Brodeur

Oak Bay High School:

84.5% Victorian High Schools’ Dogwood Completion Rate

1.1% higher than the B.C. average. 13.7% increase since 2008.

highest public school average exam mark

92% of adults aged

25 to 54 have a high school certificate or equivalent


Over domestic adult ESL students are enrolled in Camosun College’s ELD programs each year

A s o f Ju n e 2 01 3 , UVic had awarded over

100, 000 awards & certificates


CONTINUING ED Over 10,000 students are registered in non-credit courses at Camoson College

sources:,,, Fraser Institute,


get out your phone, ipad, or t ablet & listen up!

What is this thing?

I am a QR code. QR stands for “quick response”. SECRET: I am not your average QR code that takes you to boring websites: I TALK!

What do I do with you?

You scan me with your phone or tablet QR app and I give you an audio link to tap or sometimes I just start talking automatically!

Why are you in Here! Magazine?

How do I scan a QR code on my phone or tablet? Windows Phone or tablet: the Windows operating system has a built-in QR scanner. Tap the eye icon found on the Bing Search page. iPhone and iPad: QR scanner apps for iPhone and iPad can be found in the iTunes App Store. Search “QR reader” or “QR scanner”. Download any one of the free apps.

Depending on your device, you might need to tap the link that appears above the scanned QR code (Windows/Android) or just wait for your device to start talking automatically (iPhone/iPad). Make sure your iDevice ringer is turned on! Listen and enjoy hearing the stories of these amazing people in your community!

C O N T E S T Find the match to the speaker in this QR code to another QR code somewhere in the pages of this magazine! Send us an email to:

I let you listen to the articles and stories in Here! by just scanning me. And because I’m fun!

Android phone or tablet: QR scanner apps for Android can be found in your phone or tablet’s own app store or in the Google Play app store. Search “QR reader” or “QR scanner”. Download any one of the free apps.

with the subject heading “QR code” and tell us which page # the matching code is on. First 5 correct entries will win an education grab-bag from Monk Office!

QR Codes are fun but they are also helpful. Here! Magazine believes content should be accessible to everyone. QR audio codes allow people with visual or literacy challenges or other barriers to access our content in this special Education Issue. Try something new!



Canadian Literature books & stories by Canadian authors

During her visits, Grandma Tilly taught me about being generous, telling the truth and always treating other people with dignity and respect. Every night after dinner, she and I would sit outside, and she would pull out her pipe bag and load her pipe for her evening smoke. “C’mere, li’l Tilly, gather under my wing and let’s talk about the day.” With me tucked up close to her, we’d review our escapades. She’d ask me, “What’d you learn today? What was the best part?” I missed her so much once she’d gone home, but Grandma Tilly made a point of staying in touch by phone. She was on a party line in her farm community, and it was common to be on a phone call with her and have someone cut in. “Who’s on the line?” The person would ask. “It’s Tilly. I’m on with li’l Tilly, and it’s gonna be a while.”

Monique Gray Smith is a mixedheritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry. She is a consultant, writer and international speaker living on Coast Salish territory in Victoria BC. Author Christy Jordan-Fenton writes: Ms. Gray Smith “breaks her own trails as she explores what it means to be Indigenous in a modern world.”

Once, when I called her to talk about some things I was upset about at school, she told me, “What you gotta remember, Tilly, is everyone’s born with love in their hearts. Sometimes life takes that away, but we all born with it. So whenever you enter a room, in your imagination, f ill it with love. And make enough room for everyone else to f ill that room with love, too. That, my girl, is when good things happen.” I always felt better after my talks with Grandma Tilly. Her teachings, words and sayings were like medicine to me. I carried them in my heart to help me feel strong, and they reminded me of the powerful woman I was named after. excerpt from Tilly: A Stor y of Hope and Resilience

Listen to Monique Gray Smith tell the story of Tilly.

thinking about the story How do Grandma Tilly’s words help Tilly with her problems at school?

What is the role that Grandma Tilly plays in li’l Tilly’s life?


author Monique Gray Smith

What role do you think elders fulfill in modern society? Do you think that words can be ‘like medicine?’ Have you experienced this yourself?



of Canadian adults between the ages of 16 and 65 have low literacy skills.


of immigrants have low literacy skills.


of working age adults in Canada are estimated to have less than adequate health literacy skills.


of impoverished adults often do not have the literacy skills required to get into job training programs.

< 20%

of people with the lowest literacy skills are employed.




Many people in Canada send money overseas to family and friends. There are a number of ways to transfer your money—and finding the cheapest option depends on how much you’re sending, where in the world it’s going, and how quickly you need it to get there. ONLINE TRANSFERS Most financial institutions let you transfer money overseas through your online banking service if you’re sending $2,500 or less at a time. You’ll need to know the recipient’s full name, address, account number and, in most cases, his or her financial institution’s routing number. Online transfers will usually be the cheapest and quickest option if you aren’t sending large amounts of money. BANK-TO-BANK TRANSFERS Most banks and credit unions offer wire transfer services in several different foreign currencies. Depending on the country, some financial institutions will put the money you’re sending directly into the recipient’s bank account but you need to provide the recipient’s full name, address and banking details. Processing time can take up to five business days.


BANK DRAFTS Called money orders in Canada, you can draw a secure bank draft in the recipient’s name for a fee and then either mail or courier it to them. The draft can take up to 15 days to get to your family member, so this option works best if you’re not sending money for an emergency. Bank drafts are widely accepted around the world and can be drawn in any amount in any major currency, depending on your bank or credit union.

Major currencies (including US, Canadian, Australian and Hong Kong dollars; euros; Japanese yen; British pounds and Swiss francs) are very easy to send overseas quickly. Rarer and smaller currencies—like Brazilian real—can take up to two weeks to arrive. When in doubt, send money in US dollars—almost every country easily accepts this currency and will exchange it for their own currency after it arrives.


return on investment would result from literacy programming.

WIRE TRANSFERS Wire payments are direct transfers of money between bank accounts anywhere in the world. Consider using a wire transfer company if you need to send a large sum of money securely—Island Savings members work with Payline by ICE, for example. If the money is not urgently required, schedule your transfer to take a few days as the fee for slower service is usually much cheaper.

OTHER OPTIONS You can also use web-based services like PayPal to send money overseas for free but your family member will be charged a fee to cash out your payment.

increase in the literacy rate would generate $18 billion in economic growth every year.


Transferring money overseas

Michele Wilson

Branch Manager Island Savings, Mayfair Branch


newhere 472 days

Ir yna Zderka

Regional Depar tment Head Financial Institution

If you want to try - do it! It is better to try than regret a missed chance your whole life. Immigration to Canada is an adventure worth having!

Most of all I miss

We did it! And we are very happy about being here. Canada is a friendly, hospitable, relaxed and childrenadoring country.

We stay

my family and friends, especially on holidays. I am the kind of person who likes to have my home and here I lack close people Luckily, I have here my two best friends - my husband and son.

The hardest thing


our culture by continuing to speak in our native language

a lot of guests in

to spend time with.

reason for coming here: looking for new possibilities to try something new in our lives. My husband and I like travelling, and moving to Canada was a great adventure for us. getting here: the longest trip in our life. Although all 3 flights we took were late and our journey was exhausting, we were very excited to finally see another side of the planet. favorite thing to do here: spending time outside with my family and enjoying the beautiful nature. most helpful person here: no relatives or friends here so we counted only on ourselves. However, Canadian people we met always tended to help us somehow, and it was really nice and surprising. For the first couple months everyone always greeted us with a “Welcome to Canada”!

connected to

and want to pass this language on to our son. We cook Ukrainian dishes, like borsch, pirogies, kutya and others. We

is to successfully

also celebrate

assimilate in the


Canadian society


without losing my


original cultural roots.


Ternopil, Ukraine mother tongue


strange(rs) here

Canadians like to say “See you later” to almost every stranger they meet even knowing they may never see him or her again.

The School of Life by Erin Renwick


tells us about her journey here and her first impressions of Canada and Canadians.

Iryna is also

a student in Camosun College’s English Language Development self-paced “097” program, currently facilitated by Leigh

Sunderland. Leigh tells

us about the program.

The culture here in Victoria has a reputation for being very accepting of alternative ways of thinking about and experiencing our lives. At Here! Magazine we thought it would be fun to highlight a few unique courses that have been offered in the Victoria area.

Here are our top 5 picks: Mindfulness and Horses, in which participants spend time with a herd of horses ‘in order to experience the fluidity of our own mind states, emotions, body sensations and energy.’ (

Dolphins and Whales: Healers and Teachers, in which, ‘through the sharing of personal experiences, dolphin and whale sounds and images, and a variety of activities, you'll be touched by the magic of these oceanic healers.’ (

A Field Guide to The Wild Side: Exploring Human and More than Human Nature Through Ecopsychology, in which

participants will ‘linger at the confluence of whole systems thinking, depth, archetypal, and transpersonal psychology, and deep ecology to restore our human-nature connection and rekindle an intrinsic compassion for all living beings.’ (

Dream Archaeology in the Multiverse, with Nance Thacker, in which students will learn how to become dream archaeologists. A dream archeologist is described as a person who ‘embarks consciously into dreams and related states of consciousness with intention; blends the skills of shamanic dreaming, investigative reporting and scholarship; and brings the dream wisdom into action turning it into useful effects in our daily life and our world.’ ( Way of Shambhala - Meditation in Everyday Life, in which

participants are provided with ‘introductory tools and teachings for working with meditation in daily life. The course includes guided meditation, talks, and open discussion of the challenges that meditators face in their practice.’ (


Broadening Horizons by Erin Renwick

Many kids in the Victoria, Sooke and Saanich school districts benefit from unique programs such as Artsreach, Story Studio, and the First People’s Box of Treasure. The folks that run these programs are independent of the school boards, and they work tirelessly in their efforts to help children explore their artistic side, to try their hand at creating their own stories, to come up with and run their own businesses, and to learn about First Nations culture and history. Marilyn Sing created Artsreach in 2005 with the goal of “providing the highest quality visual and performing arts training to young children, regardless of their financial Artsreach students means.” The program offers drawing and share their stories! painting, printmaking, dance and theatre classes and workshops. The classes are always delivered in the school gym so that the kids are not physically restricted to small art and little room to move— the kids are given lots of space to create big art, and to engage with their whole bodies. ( Paisley Aiken created the Story Studio Writing Society in 2011 in order to “advance children’s relationship with literacy through self expression and the publication of their own books, and to build their confidence in doing so.” During the workshops, children are coached through writing their own works of fiction. The workshops culminate with each child creating their own story, often with illustrations, which the Story Studio then publishes into lovely bound books for each child to take home. Since Story Studio’s inception, kids have been thrilled with the process of creating their very own book— something that many kids would never otherwise get the chance to do. ( Early Entrepreneurs is a new start-up created Grade 6 student by Kim Cope that encourages children to Lucas tells us become ‘kidpreneurs,’ and agents of social about the thrill of change. Each class is given a loan of $100 being published and what he to plan, operate, and manage their own loved about Story business, with the goal of earning $500, Studio. which they are then encouraged to donate to help build schools in underprivileged countries. What Ms. Cope loves most about the program is ‘the idea of empowering students with real world experience and letting them learn by actually doing it. It's showing students that they can make a difference in someone's life and it doesn't matter how old they are.’ ( For ten years now, Leslie McGarry has worked to bring First Nations culture and history to kids in Greater Victoria with the First People’s Box of Treasure program. The program is tailored to suit both the age of the children and the curriculum that the classroom teacher is working on. In each case, the program includes three sessions: the first is an introduction to First Nations people and culture, the second is a tour at the Royal BC Museum, and the third is a cultural activity in the classroom. Ms. McGarry says that the best part of her job is ‘triggering interest in young kids,’ and encouraging further investigation in First Nations Culture. ( Leslie McGarry explains the First People’s Box of Treasure program and its far-reaching impact on the community.

Each of these programs is unique in what it offers to children, but all of the programs have one thing in common, and that is their mission to enhance and enrich the lives of the children in this community, and beyond.


Student Tech Teams for Technology Success By Ken Royal

Today, we are certainly in a much better place technologically speaking in schools and in classrooms. More administrators, educators, and students are using technology solutions and devices each day. With that, there is a wonderful cultural change happening as well. Some of that change is happening because of student tech teams. One of the greatest things schools can do is to start a student tech squad. These have become more than a club offering, and an extremely vital part of a school or district technology plan. While this may work best with middle and high school students, starting students in a technology club can work with younger students, too. There are many reasons to have a student tech team. In many ways, students are practiced technology users, who naturally love to share “how to” with younger students, their peers, and with adults—teachers and parents. Many students also enjoy learning how things work and fixing things. When it comes to technology, fixing things can be a daily occurrence, with most problems easily solved. While there may be one adult assigned to technology troubleshooting in a school or district, it takes time away from other jobs that the specialist needs to do. Sometimes technology fixes are simple and repetitive—quickly answered. A student tech team can learn to handle small problems that arise, as well as normal, everyday upkeep, which could include storage and charging procedures. Simple how-to and show-and-tell are fun possibilities. Educators enjoy it when students explain technology to their peers—and to them as well. There is a social aspect to technology, and it is displayed best when students are involved. Offering certification or credits to high school tech squad members can be an incentive too. Sometimes technology companies will get involved and may donate and help encourage student tech team development and achievement. Most districts ask technology suppliers about customer care and professional development, but asking for student tech team development options also makes sense for a district and a tech provider. Educating students beyond their natural technology abilities can be a source of school and student pride. There is value for school administrators in saying, “We have a well-trained and capable student tech team.” Today, as a student, being a part of an elite school tech team is certainly worthy of a varsity letter jacket. Starting, supporting, and sustaining a student tech squad for school technology success is important, and more than worth the effort for everyone. Ken Royal is an educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology experience, as well as a blogger on all things education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is a Promethean storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter. Get a glimpse of the possibilities: A multi-lingual promotional video from Promethean

THE MONK OFFICE CHALLENGE Technology in education is a topic on many people’s minds these days. Thanks to the Internet and powerful tools, both children and adult learners have access to nearly unlimited amounts of information, and countless ways to interact with it. You can access information and learning materials on everything from your smartphone to a laptop to an interactive whiteboard in your classroom. The hard part is making the switch from old ways of learning, including desks in rows, notebooks, worksheets and lectures, to new ways. Using education technology is typically a very active style of learning, where groups of people work together to solve problems and come up with their own solutions. The Challenge: Tell us how you use technology for education. Perhaps you study on your own using an online language tool like DuoLingo. Maybe you are taking courses online. Or perhaps you like to watch YouTube videos to learn about all kinds of different topics, like the etiquette of different cultures when you are in a new place or making a tasty new food. Let us know how technology is helping you learn, whether it’s at home, at school or at work. You can write us, create a video, or send a picture – whatever is the best way for you to show your learning in action. A $100 gift card will be awarded for the story that demonstrates great innovation! Email Catherine at: The Deadline: August 31st 2014 The Prize: $100 gift card to use at Monk Office


scholarships, grants, & bursaries by Kieran Wilson

There are hundreds of scholarships, grants, and bursaries available to high school students in British Columbia planning on post-secondary education. Among them are special awards for students from specific cultural backgrounds and language and gender groups. Here is a sample list of these unique awards:

rich in culture tips for written applications •

Obtain several signed copies of reference letters or transcripts early in the application process.

Make sure all submitted materials are proofread and are free of grammatical mistakes, typos and formatting errors.

Make sure to find out all the relevant information for the application. For instance, address your application if possible to the person or group in charge of reviewing, instead of using the phrase ‘To Whom It May Concern’. Apply to scholarships only if you are entirely eligible. Review all eligibility criteria closely.

Aboriginal Health Careers Scholarship: $1,000 - requires academic achievement, involvement with Fir st Nations, Inuit or Metis communit y and suit abilit y and commitment to health career s.

T r i n i d a d & To b a g o C u l t u r a l S o c i e t y o f BC Po st - S e c o n d a r y S c h o l a r s h i p s: $75 0 & $3 0 0 - $75 0 r e q u i r e s e s s a y a n d f i n a n c i a l n e e d, Caribbean herit age. $30 0 to assist student s interested in learning to play the steel drum and r e q u i r e s e s s a y, f i n a n c i a l n e e d .

Inter-Cultural Association of Greater V i c t o r i a D i ve r s i t y S c h o l a r s h i p : 2 x $10 0 0 ( o n e u n d e r g r a d u a t e, o n e g r a d u a t e )

- r e q u i r e s a t t e n d i n g p o s t- s e c o n d a r y e d u c a t i o n i n the Victoria area. Career goals directly related to promoting diver sit y in Greater Vic toria and past experience in multicultural activities or education in the cit y required.

India-Canada Cultural Association S c h o l a r s h i p : $2 0 0 -for students from a BC high school or college studying at the Univer sit y of Vic toria. Preference given to Indian- Canadian students.

Ukrainian Studies Society Scholarship: R a n g i n g f r o m $10 0 - $5 0 0

tips for interviews •

Practice interview questions a few times before the interview with a friend, family member or teacher.

Arrive on time and be sure to be dressed neatly and professionally.

Shake the interviewer’s hand firmly when introducing yourself.

Relax and speak naturally during the interview.

- for students pursuing the Ukrainian Studies program at the Univer sit y of Vic toria. Communit y involvement and academic aptitude considered.

Armenian Cultural Association S c h o l a r s h i p : 3 x $10 0 0 - for students of Armenian descent studying at a B C u n i v e r s i t y. A c a d e m i c m e r i t a n d p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the BC Armenian communit y required.

C a t h e r i n e L o g a n E d d y S c h o l a r s h i p : $10 0 0



What’s the difference between a scholarship, a grant, and a bursary?


Bursaries are typically awarded on the basis of financial need, whereas scholarships are awarded primarily for academic achievement, though financial need may be a consideration. Awards may take many, not necessarily financial, forms and may be given on the basis of various criteria.

- for students enrolled in an ESL program at a BC

p o s t- s e c o n d a r y i n s t i t u t i o n . E s s a y, a c a d e m i c m e r i t and communit y ser vice required.

online resources: h t t p : // w w w. s t u d e n t a w a r d s .c o m h t t p : // w w w. s c h o l a r s h i p s c a n a d a .c o m ht t ps://mountdoug.public .sd61.bc .ca/wp content /uploads/sites/76/2013/04/Sc holarship Information - Handbook-2013 -2014.p d f

Portrait of an International Student (IS) in British Columbia Big Picture Countries of Origin


People’s Republic of China

Source countries of B.C.’s post-secondary students

25,376 Students

Republic of Korea






Cost of Living

Saudi Arabia







IS weekly expenses $630 Weekly expenses (for the short-term language students)

3.3 Million


Internationally mobile students worldwide

Of international students in Canada are in B.C.

What IS Study

Top 3 factors


Influencing IS Decision to Study in B.C. Were:

Top faculty of choice: Social Sciences


Quality of education



Safety and security

Top program of choice: University Transfer


Reputation of the institution



$129.5 Million



What are IS Doing? Short-term Language Training The Big Mystery. No reliable data here! Who are they?

IS contribution to the GDP on Vancouver Island and the Coast $184.8 Million Total spending by IS on Vancouver Island and the Coast


Post Secondary


Kindergarten - Grade 12


$1.48 Billion


IS Contribution to GDP B.C.


$1.7 Billion


Logging and Forestry Contribution in B.C.

In Trade or Training Institutions Almost a 50% Drop Of international students in trades Average Age



2012 5,415

Path to Canada 15,569



The # of foreign students in Canada, in 2012, who moved into immigrant classification, including economic, family, and permanent residency classes.

sources:;;;; http://; International%20Students%20-%20Statistics%20and%20Trends.pdf;; article/11386-eng.htm;;


speci al fe atur e: higher educ ation

Looking Both Ways t he ne e d f o r c ult ur a l c o mpet e nc y in hig he r e duc a tio n by K a t r i n a Wo n g

At the University of Victoria (UVic), as of November 1, 2013, the number of international undergraduate students has grown to approximately 1,700 (from about 100 countries) of approximately 21,000 students; and of the approximately 3,000 graduate students, about 700 of them are international students. The rising number of international students poses a need for cultural competency in education, but while UVic has made a promising start with planned programs designed to welcome international students and ease their transition into UVic, there is still work to be done.

Gieun may represent differences in character, but more importantly, they represent differences in needs, given that Leat’s first language is English, but Gieun’s is Korean. Muhammad has noticed international students in his classes struggling with the course “mainly due to having to keep up with the English being used.” In some cases, translation dictionaries are provided during exams, but there is more that can be done.

The real unsettlement for international students seems to arise in between events or after Orientation when independence comes knocking. Some, like Leat suggests the use of “real examples from diverse Muhammad Azam, a student from Pakistan pursuing a locations to support their class and textbook material degree in Electrical Engineering, sought to better include international students,” which is what out social clubs to “expand [his] circles Dr. Anna Patten, a Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Patten also and experience others.” While he used and teaching assistant at UVic hailing uses ice breakers the availability of these school clubs to from Whangarei, New Zealand, strives make friends, others like Leat Ahrony to do. Dr. Patten says that “in Biology to learn the names used them to make a difference. Leat is [she] often [tries] to provide real and origins of her half Israeli, originally from Taiwan, and world examples (from different places students so she can currently pursues a bachelor’s degree around the world) when explaining adapt her teaching in Business. In addition to campusdifferent concepts or ideas.” She style according to any based clubs, she actively participates in finds that it not only “increases emerging needs. advocacy groups like the Students of interest and helps with consolidating Colour Collective, which “work[s] hard to ideas, but it may also help to make promote elimination of racism and unequal treatment international students feel included.” Dr. Patten also to indigenous or minorities in Canada.” uses ice breakers to learn the names and origins of her students so she can adapt her teaching style according For Leat, cultural differences seem to be an obstacle to any emerging needs. In addition, she recommends to open communication with Canadian friends despite the Writing Centre on campus to students who need being an outspoken person. In class, she would always help proofreading their reports . raise her hand, unafraid of speaking her mind or participating in a discussion. However, having been raised in an environment where water is considered precious, she becomes “afraid sometimes to make comments on how wasteful we are here in Canada.” Given that water is distributed so freely here, it might be hard for her Canadian peers to comprehend the circumstances under which water would be deemed a privilege. Most students, like Gieun Kim, a student from South Korea pursuing entry to graduate school, are simply shy in their settling stage and lack the “confidence to speak up.” She would only participate in class or reach out to an educator for advice “if needed.” Leat and


Dr. Francis Choy, a professor from Hong Kong who came to UVic for the molecular biology program, understands that students with backgrounds similar to his are usually too shy to raise questions in class. However, he recognizes that a “two-way traffic” should exist between student and teacher. Teachers can learn from students just as students learn from their teachers. Therefore, he encourages his students to face their challenges because “scientific communication is essential, and it would be a hurdle not to speak if one is too shy.” He suggested that students “need to first learn how to relax,” which is why he cracks jokes that hinge on his quirky disposition during his classes so the subject matter would be more appealing and students would be less

inhibited to raise questions. Once relaxed, “if interested, they don’t mind pursuing it further,to ask questions and explore more,” says Dr. Choy. The two-way traffic concept that Dr. Choy mentions is key to cultural competency in education. International students that arrive in Canada are inarguably subject to change, but the academic institutions that accept them often neglect the fact that they too are liable to change. In 1971, multiculturalism became an official state policy in Canada as the number of those immigrating into the nation grew. Canada’s policy of multiculturalism was influenced by the metaphor of a mosaic, where people with various backgrounds would come together in harmony without losing their roots. However, while a mosaic appears picturesque, there’s no denying the gaps between the tiles. The tiles, or the communities of the mosaic, are isolated and they remain isolated unless the grout between them can function as a space of exchange and sharing.

People’s House), and Residence Life and Education,” with a “focus on teambuilding and strategizing methods to intentionally bring the greater student body together from across these different domains.” The four professional units also meet to discuss postorientation connections.

The essential cog in these international introduction machines is a student-based think tank: the UVGC has a student advisory council and the Student RecruitmentEvents Office has an Orientation Leadership Committee (OLC) that is “comprised of current students from varying faculties and years, both international and While there is domestic.” As Kate says, these student-based committees present “a great way to learn promise of twoway traffic existing about gaps in programming and support, and between students to get creative and innovative ways to address these gaps, revitalize existing programs, and instructors, and co-develop student-driven, relevant the exchange and programming.”

connection between international and domestic students is still weak.

Although the idea of assimilation is usually met with shocked gasps, it is necessary for adjacent communities to seal the gaps. Most assume that assimilation is accompanied by conformity and possibly metamorphosis, but ideally (in the case of UVic) it would have both international and domestic students come together to form one student body. The key to it working is the two-way traffic concept, so that our cultural roots are not lost, but shared. When you go abroad as an international student, no one expects you to stay the same. Likewise, those that surround you – that contribute to your change as an individual – will inevitably learn something new from you. The current aim of UVic is to introduce international students to the campus and the Canadian community through Orientation and programs such as the Global Mentorship Program that is hosted by the University of Victoria Global Community (UVGC). Founded by Anne Cirillo, Program Coordinator at the UVic International Office, the UVGC encourages interaction between domestic or seasoned international students and new international students. The International Office also works in conjunction with the Student Recruitment-Events Office to plan International Student Welcome activities, which, according to Kate Hollefreund, Events Coordinator for Student Recruitment at UVic, “run prior to the centralized Orientation programs in order to allow international students to gain their footing and settle in.” Initiatives being taken to further bring international and domestic students together include an upcoming retreat, one of Kate’s favourite new methods. The retreat will involve “a group of leadership students from Orientation, the Global Community, Campus Cousins (part of the Office of Indigenous Affairs, and First

Voilà! Some gaps are detected, pinched, and sealed. However, while there is promise of a two-way traffic existing between students and instructors, the exchange and connection between international and domestic students is still weak. Perhaps if more aspects of foreign cultures were discussed openly or even simply acknowledged in the educational setting, domestic students would be more inclined to learn about what lies beyond the Canadian border. The stigma surrounding assimilation concerns those that fear becoming one and the same as others. However, in conjunction with a two-way traffic, where the learning process operates both ways, assimilation in society could be a collaborative and productive process. Multiple multifaceted cultures can be brought together, understood and celebrated on one island. Singapore, for example, is one tiny dot of an island that is inhabited by many different cultures. On some level, everyone is treated equally because they are all seen as Singaporeans in addition to belonging to their individual races. The result is like rojak, a delicacy consisting of fruits and vegetables, symbolizing the eclecticism of Singapore’s multiethnic, multicultural society. Our differences are what enable us to adapt and improve. We fear disrespecting other cultures; we fear asking questions to explore comparison, but we should be as curious about our differences lest we bury ourselves in a different kind of ignorance. Cultural competency in education matters not only because it can be a model for cultural understanding on a global scale, but also because without it, we may as well be washed up on a remote island, with no hope of connection or moving forward. Writer and Uvic student Katrina Wong tells us more about growing up in Singapore and about “rojak” and its powerful metaphor as a model of thriving multiculturalism.


special feature: education+technology Christine Wood shares her conversations with Peter Fassbender, B.C.’s Minister of Education, and Dr. Valerie Irvine of the University of Victoria, as well as her own unique insight on the ever-changing world of technology in education. Follow Christine on Twitter @chicken _ scratch.

You describe yourself as writer, mom, and digital immigrant interested in the intersection of education, culture and technology. Tell us about how those pieces fit together and what the term “digital immigrant” means to you. I have always called myself a writer. My first public acknowledgement came when my Grade Six teacher singled-out my short essay about walking to school in the fall. It was more of a poem about my enforced march to school each day—my feet crunching against the crisp crimson and pumpkin-coloured maple leaves. To get to my elementary school, I had to walk by an old brick-red Catholic church, a jumble of subsidized housing (though I wasn’t familiar I have come a long with the term back then) way from the young a ravine and rail-road tracks. In truth, this walk teenager unable to school lasted only to code. Much like my ability to speak, about eight minutes. But, in my childhood read and write in imagination, fueled by my both Greek and English, I am able to beloved Mama’s warning codify, translate and and my binge reading of Nancy Drew mysteries, my make sense of my observations about march to school was more of a trek across a strange technology. country. I am a first generation Greek-Canadian. And my childhood home was ruled by the church calendar. My first language at home, as my husband likes to remind me, wasn’t English, but Greek. Back in elementary school, especially in the primary grades, I was considered a linguistic interloper. By the time I got to Grade Four, I was fluent in both Greek and English, able to switch effortlessly between my two (m)other tongues. Today, I consider myself a digital immigrant. I have always been one. The MacBook Air I use to craft my articles, and manage my digital footprint online, are a far cry from the small-screened and monochrome Apple desktop I used in Grade 11 during Computer Studies. Then, in order to pass my high school class, I had to program an orange-hued butterfly, a very simple binary graphic, and make it flap its wings.


3 Questions with Christine Wood I have come a long way from the young teenager unable to code. And, much like my ability to speak, read and write in both Greek and English, I am able to codify, photo credit: Ma-Luxe Studios translate and make sense of my observations about technology. And, interestingly enough, there are others who want to read what I write. I contrast my childhood experiences against the world my nine-year old daughter is growing up in. It is with certainty that I confirm that she is a digital native. She has never experienced life without a mobile device or laptop. While I learned Greek, she’s learning MineCraft and iMovie.

What are some of the broad trends to the future of education in British Columbia? It’s mind-boggling when I think about all the changes that are taking place in education, from K-12 through to post-secondary. In preparation for this interview, I spoke with two key people who have a lot to say about modernizing our education sector. The first is the Minister of Education, Peter Fassbender. You can listen to some of his comments here: What the education minister emphasized during our talk is this: technology, while it’s such a big component in our day-to-day lives, it’s not the be and end all. Access to technology remains important, in terms of developing real-world skills. But it’s the personalized learning plan (or student-centered learning) that the B.C. education ministry is working to put in place that seems to be driving the change. How does personalization and student-centered learning translate in real-world classrooms? And what does access to technology mean? As parents we have a responsibility to ask those questions of our educators and policy-makers.

My daughter has computer lab once a week. Unlike my experience, she’s not being asked to make her drawings come to life through coding. But one of her projects this year involved creating a digital storybook. She had a female protagonist who was afraid of the water. She used the computer to assemble We clearly all the story elements. recognize that technology is a She learned how her tremendous tool. sentences support her images. She came to understand how all stories have a beginning, middle and end. This is one of the biggest shifts I see. We are moving from a text-based essay culture to a multimedia collage culture.

Her teachers use technology to communicate with parents through a classroom-specific blog. Another example: her Grade Three classroom is incorporating simple games to increase literacy and spelling accuracy through weekly modules using a website called (that has tons of free resources). Teachers, students and parents alike need to be comfortable communicating ideas using new media. Most importantly, educators need to be able to assess it.

across the province are leveraging technologies to put education within reach of many more individuals, not only across B.C. but across the globe. MOOCs, for example, belong to a growing international movement that uses online technologies to throw open locked doors that once hid knowledge. In the not so distant past, post-secondary institutions were seen as the gatekeepers. Open access projects embrace and encourage unrestricted access to research and information sharing.

Can you tell us a bit more about the real-world benefits of open access, connectedness and personalization? Clay Shirky, in his book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, tells us “our social tools are not an improvement to modern society, they are a challenge to it.” Much of firmly held beliefs about higher education are being disrupted. The very notion of what constitutes a textbook is changing. While it can be destabilizing for traditional institutions, it can also be very liberating. The Open Textbook project at BCcampus is one such example. BCcampus is working with instructors and educators across the province to produce 40 open textbooks for use in postsecondary institutions. These open textbooks are openly licensed and digital copies are free of charge to students. These open textbooks and associated educational materials (like learning plans, as one example) can be revised, remixed, reused and redistributed, time and again. In January 2014, BCcampus reported that close to 300 students saved over $50,000 in textbook costs. Imagine how the textbook industry would be upended if open textbooks became the norm, not only in B.C. but worldwide.

The second person I contacted in preparation for this interview was Dr. Valerie Irvine from the University of Victoria. Dr. Irvine specializes in Educational Technology in the Department of Curriculum Teachers, students and parents and Instruction Department and alike need to be comfortable the Department of Educational communicating ideas using new Psychology and Leadership media. Most importantly, educators Studies. In plain language, Dr. need to be able to assess it. Odyesseas Elytis, in his poetry Irvine researches and studies book, ‘The Little Mariner’, tells us: how technology is changing the way we learn, If you deconstruct Greece, you will in the but also impacts how we, as a society, think about higher education. It’s an understatement to say that end see an olive tree. a grapevine, and a technology has disrupted how our post-secondary boat remain. That is, with as much, you institutions teach. reconstruct her. According to Dr. Irvine, the 21st century university will be hallmarked by four movements: personalization, open principle, connectedness and access to higher education.

If you deconstruct me, you will in the end see a church, a maple leaf and a notebook remain. Daily, I watch my daughter navigate this new digital landscape. As for me, my trek continues—digital notebook in hand.

From MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses that are usually offered free) to distance learning, institutions



listen to word mentor and grade 10 student Paige Hart’s slang-filled dialogue by scanning the QR code below.

Slang is an important part of language change..., young people are the movers and shakers of language change and part of how they change the language is through slang but that is only part of the story. When people create new slang, they are playing with1 language—and some of that play will result in more lasting change. —Linguist Anne Curzan

G: Hey, girl, hey.

swag: used it to describe someone's attitude hella rad: another word for awesome

P: Hey there, what’s up?

bro/brah: other words to call your friends

G: Oh, you know, just shopping with Georgette, buying some new kicks, you know.

sick: another word for cool totes: totally jelly: jealous of someone kicks: shoes ship: wanting people or characters to be together in a romantic relationship

P: Oh sick; so jelly.

Paige included the words “swag” and “ship” in her slang list but she doesn’t use them in the conversation. How do you think those words might be used in a sentence? Ask around and write some ideas below:

G: Yeah? Well, what about you?

P: Oh, just chillin’ at home with my bro.

SWAG G: Nice, girl. Wishing you were here —it’d be hella rad.


P: Yah, totes, girl.

suggested answers on the inside front cover

Paige Hart is a grade 10 student at Oak Bay High School. She is passionate about singing, music, and the arts. The introduction to high school has given her the opportunity to speak Spanish, learn dance, and make new friends. Paige also enjoys writing and submits short stories to Movellas.



From an interview with Lesley Lanir on, May 20, 2013

understanding slang...? Word mentor Haley Kruse attends the University of British Columbia and is spending her summer in Victoria doing the things she loves: adventuring around the city with family and friends, exercising, reading, writing, and playing golf. Listen to her use of slang by scanning the QR code on the left.

Task #1: In the boxes below each sentence, re-write the sentence using words that are not slang terms. For example:

H: Hey, man, how’s school going?

“Hey, girl, hey” = Hi, [friend’s name].

K: Ugh, I’m over it. I can’t wait until summer.

Task #2: Try to decide what word class each slang term belongs to. Is it an adjective? A noun? A verb? Some of them are sentences or other types of expressions. Write each slang term in the correct box.

H: I totally understand; the struggle is real.



K: Deffs. Hey, I was thinking about going to get some froyo on Saturday afternoon if you’d like to come along.



H: Absolutely! YOLO, right? But is it all right if we meet in the evening instead? I’m hanging out with the bae in the afternoon.


suggested answers on the inside front cover

I’m over it: I don’t want to do it anymore. The struggle is real: I empathize but also know your complaint isn’t serious. deffs: definitely froyo: frozen yogurt YOLO: You only live once. bae: boyfriend or girlfriend



gnarly: cool, maybe a bit gross or dangerous, rough around the edges bro: a friend, gender neutral baller: cool and new sweet: a good idea, agreeable chill: relax, hang out straight busta: Intensely fun, rowdy and a bit messy church: like “preach,” an indication of deep agreement aces: awesome!

Word mentor Karly Wilson is a sixth-generation Canadian and recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She can now be found peddling puns and swinging slang while giving bus tours of the city. is a popular wiki dictionary to which anyone can add a new word of their own creation, like the example above. Often they are a combination of two distinct words, the result of which is called a portmanteau. The word above combines “selfie” —a photo you have taken of yourself, usually using your mobile phone camera— and “sneeze”. As you can see, the words are often silly, sometimes funny, and occasionally rude. Remember, most of them are not considered real words but a few of them have become popular slang. Here are 5 of the Here! Magazine team’s favorite submissions. See if you can guess 1. the meaning and 2. the words combined to create the new word. Check your guesses on We’d love to hear your funniest guesses at too! example: harrassenger meaning: a passenger in your car who is constantly commenting on your driving skills in a negative way. combined words: harrass (verb) + passenger (noun)

1. wantrepreneur meaning: combined words:

2. technocamping meaning: combined words:

3. fappy meaning: combined words:

4. broatmeal meaning: combined words:

5. portmanbro meaning: combined words:

Have you applied to be a refugee?

You are invited to be a part of this important study. If you have applied for refugee status from within Canada in the last 10 years, I invite you to educate policy makers on the application process. It is completely anonymous, and approved by Royal Roads University. Please contact Danielle Blanchard if you would like to take part or if you would like to know more: daniellemybelle@ | 778-977-3448


special feature: applied linguistics

Three Immigrant Women:

Inspiring Stories of English-­L anguage Learning

In late January, we set out on a journey to talk with immigrant women who live on Vancouver Island. We wanted to hear their stories about language learning and celebrate their successes, with the hope that their stories would resonate with our readers. By Li-Shih Huang and Xiaoqian Guo

Their English-­language Experience 1

A Snapshot of Who They Are Mia is from the PRC (People’s

Republic of China) and has been in Canada since 2003. Mia is a restaurant owner. She is married with two children, a 3.5 and a 1.5 year-old.

Ashley arrived in 2004

from Taiwan. At the time of the interview, Ashley worked part-­time for a non-­profit organization.2 She is married with two children, a 3.5 and a 1 year-­old.

Iman is from Saudi Arabia

and landed in Canada in 2005. Iman is a full-­time graduate student. She is married with three children, an 11, an 8, and a 5 year-­old.

For Mia, operating a restaurant business and working at a hotel for banquets take up much of her time. The work is possible with the support of her parents, who look after the children. When Ashley is not at work, she tries to engage the children in activities, and thus she has plenty of opportunities to interact with other parents in English. In Iman’s life, her three children are her priority, as her stories accentuated. Both Mia and her husband work at the restaurant; Ashley’s husband works for the BC government; and Iman’s husband, who is a medical professional, returned to Saudi Arabia after three years of training in Canada. Iman stayed to pursue her graduate studies after receiving a Saudi government scholarship. Both Ashley and Iman also have the support of their in-­laws or parents who reside with them. A close family bond is a common thread in these three women’s lives. 1 These are pseudonyms.

All three women started learning English at school by age 10 or 11, as their schools required. Both Ashley and Iman love languages. Iman confessed that she has been fascinated by languages since age 11, while Ashley shared a strong parental influence in early language learning and considered learning English as “always fun and exciting.” After moving to Canada, all took various English courses offered for immigrants and/or at English language centres or community colleges in cities like Toronto, Saskatoon, and Victoria. All three said that free courses for immigrants and activities like discussions at conversation cafés were not challenging enough, but courses that prepared them for academic or employment-­related tasks, such as making presentations, were useful. For Ashley and Iman especially, the process of learning English through attendance at formal courses offered by colleges and universities had clear instrumental purposes for specific reasons, such as the need to prepare for academic pursuits, to adjust to different thinking and rhetorical styles, to become familiar with technical terms, and so on.

Their English-­language Use at Work and Home

All three women expressed a similar distinction between language use at work vs. language use at home. At the time of the interview, Ashley’s work required her to interact with people from different language and cultural backgrounds, and she mostly used English at work. At home, she prefers to use her mother tongue, because she “[wants] to reinforce the rule [of speaking Mandarin] just to keep the language with [her] children,” as she put it. Similarly, Iman mostly uses English except at home with her children, because she also wishes “to maintain their mother tongue.” So does Mia, who prefers to use Mandarin at home, but whose work requires her to speak English. In these mothers’ eyes, the fact that all children have daily interactions with their grandparents, who speak almost exclusively in their mother tongue, helps children learn their heritage languages.

Their Language-­learning Goals

We asked each woman to self-­ assess her ability to communicate in English. The assessments ranged from “not bad” (Mia) to “not bad…not perfect” (Iman) and to “I am really confident” (Ashley). When the three were asked about their goals in learning English, Mia expressed a desire to achieve mutual understanding in work-­related communication, specifically in hospitality management. For Iman, what matters is being able to listen and speak in specific settings that require different registers, or levels of formality and usage. Iman hopes to broaden her perspective and learn new things through different languages. Ashley aspires to improve work-­related communication, but her goals have changed from an aim to communicate in a teaching capacity, with a “Canadian-­like accent,” to achieve the fluency required for professional purposes. Within the professional sphere, Ashley still considers attaining a native-­like accent a desirable goal, but she also expressed that, outside of work, she no longer feels strongly or cares so much about having a “non-Canadian-like” accent.

Their Language-­learning Strategies

What strategies have all three women used to reach their advanced level of ability in English? Ashley and Mia have been able to work professionally, while Iman has achieved the high level of English communication skills needed to pursue a graduate degree. We asked them to share the strategies they have used. Strategies mentioned by all three included watching TV and movies and taking formal courses. They also discussed socializing with other parents through children’s activities (Ashley), reading and listening to music (Iman), using the language without fear of making mistakes or of asking — as Mia puts it: “ ” (Translation: “Fear not what you can’t say, fear what you don’t ask.”), and developing a higher tolerance of ambiguity by focusing on the gist of messages rather than on unfamiliar words (Ashley).

2 Ashley was recently offered a full-­time administrative position at a post-­s econdary institution.


Their Challenges and Our Suggestions After nearly a decade or so of experience living in Canada, what are some of the language challenges that Ashley, Iman, and Mia still face? We will focus on some of their English communication and language-learning challenges according to a theme.3 Each theme will be followed by some suggestions that readers with the same or similar concerns may find useful.

Challenge: “No

matter how hard I try, I still get the accent.” (Ashley)


The idea of “accentedness” relates to how different your speech seems from the variety of English commonly spoken in the community. Many second-­language learners aspire to reach the goal of a near-­native accent, but researchers have questioned the realistic possibility of attaining that goal. The complex motivational factors underlying the goal can be personal (for example, the desire to integrate into the target language community) and/or professional (for example, to open up more employment opportunities, as in Ashley's case). While achieving a native-­like accent seems to be a straightforward, commonsensical goal, it is perhaps useful to think about whether the goal is more about “comprehensibility” (that is, your A high level of comprehensibility or listeners’ intelligibility certainly perceptions is not the same thing of how easy or as low accentedness; in difficult it is to other words, a person comprehend your with an accent can still message) or about potentially be clearly “intelligibility” (that understood. is, an objective measure of the extent to which your listeners understand what you say). A high level of comprehensibility or intelligibility certainly is not the same thing as low accentedness; in other words, a person with an accent can still potentially be clearly understood. Therefore, perhaps the goal needs to be reevaluated. This suggestion to reevaluate the goal is not meant to diminish the importance of individuals’ language-­learning aspirations or the possible personal frustration, sense of lost educational and professional opportunities, potential negative social evaluation, and feeling of isolation from the target community that non-­English-­as-­a -­first-­language immigrants might experience because they perceive that they lack a native-­like accent. Still, setting a clear and realistic goal is important to the process of thinking about how the goal can be tackled.


There are plenty of accessible tools that may be used to aid pronunciation improvement (see box). It’s also important to keep in mind, however, that “comprehensibility,” for example, has to do with your listeners’ perceptions, and, as such, it is subjective, depending on the person, with all his/her personal filters shaped by previous experiences with whom you are Research by linguist Murray interacting in Munro has shown that it’s a particular much more difficult to context and understand second-­language situation.

speakers in noisy conditions.

Research by linguist Murray Munro has shown that it’s much more difficult to understand second-­language speakers in noisy conditions. Unlike a classroom situation, where the speaking and listening conditions are typically arranged, daily communication situations can be less than ideal, with the level of noise as an example. Try to experience a wider range of speaking and listening conditions, and see how your speech is perceived, by tuning into your listeners’ verbal (what they say in response to your talk) and nonverbal (their Tools and references body language and facial that readers might like to explore to expressions) feedback. Then aid in pronunciation experiment with different improvement ways of getting your References: message across when your Clear Speech message is not received by Judy Gilbert as intended. Extend permission for assistance Well said: Pronunciation and interruptions. By for Clear Communication saying, for example, “If my by Linda Grant pronunciation is off or if I am not being clear in my Websites: explanation, please let me know,” you let your listeners BBC Learning English’s Pronunciation Tips: know that you are open to their help and corrections. worldservice/learningenglish/ As Iman told us, she enjoys grammar/pron/ receiving corrections from Forvo, the her listeners, because she Pronunciation Guide: sees such interactions as learning opportunities. The Sounds of Spoken Being explicit about Language: http://www. extending permission helps you create those phonetics/ opportunities. For Ashley, even though she still feels Apps: that achieving a native-­like The Pronunciation accent is important in the App: http://www. professional sphere, her beliefs have changed, as she revealed when she said that “[my accent] shows where I come from. That’s my heritage.” 3 Over a dozen challenges were mentioned in the interviews, including understanding

slang, colloquial expressions, humour, and cultural references; communicating on the telephone; comprehending fast talk; and speaking in interpersonal and professional settings. In this issue, we selected three themes on the basis of their frequency, and as we continue to interview immigrant women, we note all the challenges they share with us.

Challenge: The next theme is related to oral

and communication with each other. For example, speakers from cultures that tend to value large power communication in professional settings, including, differences may feel uncomfortable or hesitant for example, the ability to anticipate questions and about disagreeing with someone openly. to elaborate on responses in interviews, the ability to communicate with clarity and In situations that do not precision during professional require an immediate response, Practice exactly how you would encounters, and the ability to postpone your reply to give respond to the questions, in terms decline a request and express of both strategies and language. In yourself some time to prepare disagreement in workplace the process of trying to answer all and to feel prepared. Disagree communication. the points, not the person; the identified questions, you will with focus on the reasons, not Suggestions: Each of these gain knowledge and confidence the position. In the process challenges could be the topic in responding to both anticipated of expressing disagreement, for a column on its own, but and unanticipated questions. commit to being a good listener. let’s consider some field-­tested As Steven Covey once said: strategies that have worked in “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” the first author’s teaching of MBA and international This is applicable to all communication challenges students. You might like to try some of the strategies mentioned and shared in this section. the next time you encounter a situation that calls for any one of those skills. Challenge: “Maybe for me the problem that I don’t have, like, any [English-speaking] friends…, In interview situations, anticipating questions is a activities…social life, where I [can] use English [in] major part of the preparation process. There is no different settings” (Iman) shortage of websites that provide lists of the most commonly asked interview questions. Depending on Suggestions: The lack of time that all three the type of position you are seeking, go through the working immigrant women experience, the process list to identify questions that you or someone who of broadening one’s social network, as shared by is familiar with the type of position deem relevant. Iman and Mia, and not being aware of available Practice exactly how you would respond to the resources and support, as professed by all three questions, in terms of both strategies and language. women, can be challenging for all people, immigrant In the process of trying to answer all the identified or not. The trepidation and obstacles may be even questions, you will gain knowledge and confidence greater for immigrants because of language and in responding to both anticipated and unanticipated cultural barriers. Look into organizations such as the questions. The process of preparing answers will also Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria and the help you refine your responses to achieve greater Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society, Here! clarity and precision. Iman and Mia both mentioned Magazine’s up-­to-date Community Calendar, and that they find it difficult to speak with service local community centres near you for professional people and customers. The same principle applies development opportunities, as well as regular and to anticipating the dialogue and the questions that seasonal cultural events and social activities that may come up in these situations. In anticipating you can join and enjoy. Social activities offer added encounters, a certain amount of preparation will benefits of increasing exposure in real time to help you achieve your desired communication goals colloquial and idiomatic expressions. Mastering the in the process of developing fluency, automaticity, appropriate use of these expressions often takes and confidence in engaging in interpersonal time, exposure, and practice. These experiences may communication. offer much more than watching TV shows and films in English. When thinking about how to elaborate your responses, consider a few simple strategies. If you At the end of their interviews, each of the three find yourself running out of things to say, you can, women shared with us a “gem” that captures for example, relate to your personal experience, their experience in the process of learning a new pick up on something you didn’t get a chance to language and culture. Ashley reminded us about (fully) elaborate, build on points that you and/or the importance of “be[ing] open…not only to the your interlocutor had mentioned previously, or ask language, to any new things.” Iman’s aspiration questions to help you generate ideas. These strategies keeps her going — “Once you know a language, a can be easily applied beyond job interviews to any new language, it’s a window, an opening for a new form of interpersonal communication. culture… a window that opens the horizon for me, for view, for anybody to so many different new On another important matter, having difficulty things.” Finally, Mia reminded us that saying “no” to requests is not unique to immigrant women. Adam Grant, Wharton Professor and author of Give and Take, offers some sensible advice in his recent article “8 ways to say no without ruining your which means that “we reputation,” which is worth a read. As we all continue not only need to learn about them [Canadians —the to practice our ability to say “no,” it’s helpful to language and the culture], we should show them our keep in mind Grant’s words: “Saying no frees you up culture, help them understand our own culture.” to say yes when it matters most.” In a similar vein, expressing disagreement can put one outside of one’s comfort zone and potentially disrupt one's efforts to Li-­Shih Huang is an Associate Professor of Applied maintain a harmonious balance in social relationships. Linguistics and the Learning and Teaching Scholar-­in-­ It is helpful to be aware of factors such as power Residence at the University of Victoria, and Xiaoqian Guo distance (that is, how cultures distribute status, is a third-year doctoral student specializing in applied rank, and power among members) and the ways linguistics. Twitter: @AppLingProf and @XiaoqianGuo one’s preferences may affect people’s interaction


renthere The first thing to do when viewing a rental unit is to take a look at the outside of the building. Is it in good condition? Is the garden tidy and weeded, and is the parking area clean with no litter and no potholes, etc? These things will give you an idea of how the place is cared for in general.

viewing rental units


2. 3.

Once inside the unit itself- check the direction it faces, is it sunny and bright, or shady and cool and which do you prefer? Is there carpet or wood floors, and what kind of shape are they in. viewing a rental unit is more than just looking around - it is a time to ask important questions!

Ask the landlord if there will be any work done (ie. Painting, flooring replacement) before the suite is rented to a new tenant. Check out the kitchen and bathroom(s) to ensure everything seems to be in good working order. If there is no washer and dryer in the unit, ask the landlord if there is a laundry room in the building, or close by in the area.

Either before or after you view the apartment, take a walk around the neighbourhood to make sure you feel comfortable there. Check for bus service, shopping and other amenities you want close by.

Alex Creighton has over 30 years experience in property management with Devon Properties and her familyrun property management company.


Ask about storage. Are there separate storage lockers available somewhere in the building? Is there somewhere to store bikes? Make sure to ask about pet policies, smoking vs non-smoking and if barbequing is allowed, if any of these are important to you. Ask if the unit comes with appliances, and window coverings. Ask if utilities are included, and if not, what the approximate cost is of heat, hot water or any other utilities not paid for in the rent.

If you like the rental unit and the neighbourhood and want to live there, the landlord will usually want to take an application for tenancy from you.

Alex gives a special welcome message to Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newcomers and some good advice on choosing the right place to rent. If you have any questions about renting in Victoria, please email Alex at


What you need to apply for an apartment


minding the gap

by Kedsanee Broome

A conver s ation during lunc h with a group of mutual friends provoke s thought s around culture and food. Here is the stor y she shared with us. Husband: “Ew w w what’s that smell?” W if e: “Durian. I want to eat it” with a grin on her f ace w hile put ting Durian (a t ype of fruit from South Ea st A sia, with a strong and distinc tive odour) on a plate. Husband: “You’re not going to eat it here, are you?” W if e: “Fine! I’ll eat outside” then she put on her coat, mit tens, toque, and boot s. She gr abbed the plate of Durian, went out side and s at in the c ar por t . She happily gobbled dow n her delicious Durian. Husband: “???” “Wouldn’t it be easier to chuck that smelly fruit in the garbage and forget about it?” We all shared a laugh and t alked about the many t ype s of food we have mis sed since we have moved here. Then my husband r aised a que stion: “Why do you have to tr y so hard to eat something that is so smelly ?”. So another que stion c ame to mind: “Why do we have to go through so muc h trouble tr ying to find cer t ain foods that are so dif ficult to get here?”. Then another memor y fla shed bac k. Many year s ago bac k in Thailand, my husband and his C auc a sian friends drove mile s and mile s pushing of f their hunger, tr ying to find, according to them, a “proper breakf a st ”. Bec ause, in Thailand, we don’t do “proper breakf a st ”. He ha s done it too! If you have experience living in another countr y, I’m sure you have lot s of storie s similar to this. People without similar experience s may que stion the nece s sit y of the se seemingly silly c r aving s. To me the answer is that the e f for t is wor th the outcome. I rec alled having lunc h in my c ar just bec ause I didn’t w ant to fill the room in the of fice with the strong smell of curr y I brought . I heated it up in the st af f room, quic kly covered it and took it ac ros s the parking lot to eat it in the c ar. My Thai friends and I of ten find this kind of experience really amusing and wor th the e f for t . If you ever wonder w hat other s would think of you eating or cooking something that may look, smell, and/or t a ste dif f erent, I recommend you tr y to find w ay s to eat the food you w ant without being a nuis ance. You may not only fulfill your de sire for the food you love, but al so experience a genuine moment of silline s s w hic h is good for the soul. Food is culture. It repre sent s w ho we are and how we grew up. When we are not well, we of ten w ant to heal our selve s with our comfor t food bec ause it reminds us of how we were nur tured. There fore, it is impor t ant to t ake c are of our selve s by eating the food we love. If you are f eeling home sic k since set tling here, I recommend you to find w ay s to cook your comfor t food today to help your self f eel at home here. Find my “Mind the Gap” page at and share with me your favourite comfort food. I would love to hear from you!

Kedsanee Broome immigrated to Canada from Thailand in 2004 and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, specializing in cultural diversity. She is a mother of two and wife of a Caucasian Canadian in a mixed-cultural marriage, raising her children in two cultures.


speci al fe atur e: adult esl tr aining

The High Cost of Cuts Public funding and domestic language training by Renée Layberry

A vast number of newcomers immigrate to Canada and enrich our communities. In addition to the monumental task of moving from one country to another, these newcomers have courageously invested a substantial amount of effort in adopting a new language and culture. ESL education is the foundation on which this accomplishment is built, but in the next year, tuition-free education for postsecondary students will no longer be funded by the federal government.

her eyes and the smile on her face expresses the joy she has at what she has accomplished through her studies. “My husband says that the longer I’m here and the more I study, the more ‘Canadian’ I’m becoming in my sense of humour, choice of entertainment, and view.” Her desire is to continue to learn and to grow as she identifies with and participates in every aspect of life as a Canadian. She speaks of her fellow students and coworkers with genuine affection and shares how most of her relationships are with those who are of backgrounds that differ from her own. She credits the language and cultural literacy content of her ESL education as core to these successes. In 2012, the BC Liberals assured new Canadians that they would be supportive of their dreams of success in their new home; they did this by promising tuition-free access to ESL courses in public postsecondary institutions. As Naomi Yamamoto, former BC Liberal Advanced Education Minister, stated in a news release:

From all corners of the globe and from all walks of life, people share a fundamental need to be able to be understood and to understand. This need permeates every area of our existence, whether at work, at “This investment will help Canadian citizens play, or in the home. Canada has previously enjoyed and Canadian-born residents whose first a reputation as a friendly country that welcomes language is not English improve their English diversity and promotes education—a country that language skills in order to move on to has offered generous access to higher levels of education, those for whom English is a second skills and trades training and language. Access to ESL education for employment.”

newcomers is often the For those who do not speak English However, that assurance was deciding factor on whether as their first language, access to recently undermined with news or not they can maintain tuition-free programs that provide that, as of April 2014, the federal English as a second language (ESL) their lives in Canada; the education is of great importance. stakes are incredibly high as government would withdraw ESL funding that ultimately benefits Creating a resumé, going for a entire families are affected BC universities and colleges. Up job interview, and succeeding in by whether or not one or until recently, the BC Ministry of the workplace requires a strong more family members can Advanced Education received foundation in language skills; it is obtain education or secure federal funding via the Ministry the master key which can open viable employment upon of Citizenship and Immigration doors to careers that satisfy and arrival. Canada (CIC). It is through the sustain. Without that key, those Ministry of Advanced Education doors will surely remain closed. that post-secondary institutions Access to ESL education for newcomers is often the such as Camosun College received ESL funding. deciding factor in whether or not they can maintain their lives in Canada. The stakes are incredibly high as Similarly, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater entire families are affected by whether or not one or Victoria (ICA) had to adapt from being funded more family members can obtain education or secure primarily through the Province of BC to being viable employment upon arrival. funded by the CIC. Though the parameters of that Bugu Tian, a former office manager with a B.A. in French and Business, came to Victoria from Shanghai, China in 2010 with her Canadian husband. Excited about the quality of life and the academic opportunities that lay ahead of her, she enrolled in ESL classes at Camosun College. A hard-working student and mother to a toddler, she studies diligently, immerses herself in the language and culture of her community, and takes pride in her work as a shift supervisor at Starbucks. The light in


funding were limited to Canadian permanent residents, last-minute supplementary funding allowed them to continue to offer services to refugee claimants and naturalized citizens through programs such as Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), peer support groups, labour market mentoring and internship opportunities. While these programs are tremendously valuable, they’re not a replacement for the courses that will be lost at post-secondary institutions.

In 2013, when the federal government changed their funding model, schools such as Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver Community College, and Camosun College had to submit proposals for funding (along with other agencies) and wait anxiously to find out if they would be approved or denied. Ultimately, the proposal application submitted by Camosun college was denied. Since the federal government seeks to bypass the BC government and fund private agencies rather than public post-secondary institutions, Camosun was informed that it would, in fact, not receive funding from either the federal or provincial government. This meant that ESL programming would have to end as of April, 2014. Fortunately, to lessen the blow—at least temporarily— Camosun was able to receive a one-time funding amount that would see them through to transitioning their students out by April 2015. After that date—as it stands now—academic English language training will become unavailable to second language students As it stands now— at Camosun College who are landed immigrants, in April 2015— academic English permanent residents, and language training Canadian citizens,often referred to as “domestic ESL will become students”. These students unavailable to have been given no hint second language as to their fate or the CIC’s plans for their education students at come April 30, 2015. CIC has Camosun College yet to announce how it will who are landed deliver this vital service, immigrants, which “private agencies” will permanent get funding, and what it will residents, cost newcomers to gain the and Canadian necessary language skills required to integrate well in citizens... Canadian society. When word was leaked in December 2013 that funding would be cut in April 2014, Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk asserted to the media that, while he would cooperate with the federal government in creating a new transition model, the withdrawal of funds to public post-secondary institutions was never the preference of the provincial government: “As a province, we felt that the status quo and the way that we were delivering it was the best model.” However, during a CBC radio interview the following day, Federal Immigration and Citizenship Minister

Chris Alexander said otherwise: “We’ve actually done it with the agreement of the provincial government. I’ve been working very closely with Shirley Bond [Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training] on this transition. She supports it. The premier supports it. The government has endorsed it, and they’ve been working with us on the transition.” On the same day, David Eby, BC New Democrat Advanced Education critic, responded: “The BC Liberal government continues to demonstrate it can’t be trusted to stand up for the services that British Columbians rely on. Not only have they misled the public about their support for the federal plan to dismantle ESL programs at colleges and universities, they have failed to explain their plan to keep their promise to offer free ESL courses to domestic students.” The Camosun College Student Society took a proactive stance and organized two events to make the voices of ESL students heard loud and clear. On February 20, they hosted a town hall for students with provincial and federal politicians; while local MLAs Lana Popham and Rob Fleming attended, along with David Eby, neither Amrik Virk nor Premier Christy Clarke—both of whom were invited— attended. The next day, the CCSS held a rally at the Ministry of Advanced Education office with a group that was 150 strong. On April 28, a group of Camosun staff, students, and supporters gathered together to visit the BC Legislative Assembly in the gallery to hear David Eby speak on their behalf . But despite his argument and his sharing of moving testimonies from a variety of new Canadians—hailing from countries such as Ukraine, the Philippines, and China—there was no indication that the provincial government would be willing to advocate in Ottawa on behalf of these students. Despite the breakdown in communication, ESL students, staff, and supporters are not standing down. At press time, Camosun students were planning to come together on May 28th with their peers at Douglas College to meet MLA Jane Shin at the Legislature before she addresses the issue from her perspective. Residents who wish to make their voices heard can also do so by contacting Minister Amrik Virk by email or letter, and by expressing their thoughts to their local MLA or MP.


speci al fe atur e: coping with the culture shock curve Stepping out of the Comfort Zone “I really did not expect the grayness and dampness during the winter months and it was totally different from the dry and sunny winter in my home country. I also didn't consider myself a picky eater, but eating the foreign food was an issue for me. I still miss my mom’s cooking.” recalls a senior electrical engineering student in Korea, Subin Kim. Since December 2013, he has been in Victoria as an exchange student at the University of Victoria.

Host Country



You start to notice cultural differences that irritate you. Problems occur and frustration sets in.

You accept and embrace cultural differences. You see the host as your new home and don’t wish to depart or leave new friends.





You develop strategies to cope with difficulties and feelings, make new friends, and learn to adapt to the host culture.

You may feel homesick, depressed, angry, and helpless.

The Honeymoon Stage This stage is where the newly arrived individuals have a very positive attitude, feel excited and are curious about cultural differences. “I was impressed by

You gradually adjust to life at home. Things start to seem more normal and routine again, although not exactly the same.

You are excited about returning home.

8 4

The Canadian anthropologist Kalervo Oberg (19011973) who is the best known for applying the term culture shock identified four stages of culture shock.

the clean air, beautiful “I was impressed by the clean air, beautiful environment, slow paced life style in environment, slow Victoria.” paced life style in Victoria. When crossing roads, drivers stop for pedestrians. Drivers in Canada are generally more careful.” says Leat Ahrony, who came from Taiwan in 2011 to study for her Bachelors of Business at University of Victoria.


You feel positive. Everything is new, interesting, and exciting.

Every year, bright eyed and bushy-tailed students come to Canada with a passion for learning. Most people who move to a different country and a new culture go through a process called "culture shock". Culture shock is a normal reaction to a new environment and you are not the only one experiencing these feelings. The culture shock process, however, is highly individual. A range of intrapersonal factors such as age, previous travel, language skills, resourcefulness, independence, fortitude, and physical condition will make a difference, as will a support network.


by Hyeyoung Jeon


9 You incorporate what you learned and experienced abroad into your new life and career.

You may feel frustrated, angry, or lonely because friends and family don’t understand what you experienced and how you changed. You miss the host culture and friends and may look for ways to return. Based on Oberg(1960) and Gullahorn & Gullahorn (1963)

The Crisis or Cultural Shock Stage Many individuals become aware that the new culture is confusing or the systems are frustrating. Alice Chen recalls when she first came to Canada in 2011 for pursuing a Master’s degree in Business and Management at University of British Columbia: “I experienced the most difficult time ever. Many schools in China focus very much on the academic performance, such as class attendance, test scores, assignments, and the grade of final exams. If you can do well on those aspects, you are a good “English, as my second language, was not student. However, in the Business School my advantage at that in Canada, I had to time. I was totally deal with not only scared that I dared all the heavy study not to speak a single load, but also all kinds word in front of a of extracurricular native speaker. I was so activities, such as after-school exhausted.” volunteering, parties, group discussions, and peer connections. I had to socialize with people. If I did not do it, I would be left behind. English, as my second language, was not my advantage at that time. I was totally scared that I dared not to speak a single word in front of a native speaker. I was so exhausted,” Alice says. Subin also says “The most challenging task is expressing my thoughts in the classes. There always is a pause moment because my brain is not trained to interpretate my thoughts to English in a real situation. It is quite frustrating.”

Many international students find they have little opportunity to make friends and feel isolated. Some 58 per cent of international students in Canada report having very few or no Canadian friends, according to a survey of 1,509 such students in Canada, to be published by the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

“I think it is important for international students to explore their options, and it can be hard to adjust to a new environment, but you won’t lose anything by asking people, and building relationships with domestic students. University is overwhelming at times for everyone, so make sure you have a supportive social network!” Leat says.

Listen to Leat’s view of Leat, who moved past her honeymoon stage, says culture shock as a process “Every student has his or her own class schedule. of intercultural learning: It’s not like high school where you spend most of your day in classes with the same classmates. You have to make Dr. Honore France, a professor in more of an effort to meet new the Department of Educational friends in university.” International students may experience feeling depressed, homesickness, loneliness, feeling less competent than in their home country, and feeling angry for being in this situation. They may sleep a lot and feel tired easily. They may have various body pains and aches. In many cultures, it is not uncommon to somatize their psychological distress and to express their distress in the form of physical symptoms.

The Adjustment or Recovery Stage In this stage, individuals accept an objective view of their experience. They choose to become an ‘explorer’ in the new culture. They have an increased ability and a balanced perspective to see the bad and good elements in both the previous home and the new host cultures. Subin says, “Finally, I had to admit that I need to reevaluate my high expectation and that it was going to take more time than I anticipated. I also continually found ways to motivate myself and to participate in Canadian social life.’ I decided to spend more time hanging out with friends and volunteering at VIRCS and City Green Solution. It helped my spontaneous English speaking skills as well as building new friendships.”

Psychology at the University of Victoria, suggests some resources for international students who experience difficulty: ”There are Counselling services at all of the colleges and universities, Community counselling services such as Citizens Counselling centre, Salvation Army, VIHA, Immigrant and Refugee Services, and other organizations that offer counselling. Also, there are community groups for a variety of cultural associations (see inside front cover). Some churches also offer services in languages other than English. At the colleges and universities there are groups for specific cultural groups, thus you need to talk with International students who have been here for awhile if you want to get the best results. Those are wonderful resources in helping people cope with loneliness and other challenges.”

Camosun College International Student Counsellor 250–370–3585 Royal Roads University International Student Services 250-391-2514 University of Victoria Counselling Services 250-721-8341 Crisis Centre B.C offers a new online chat service for youth: and adults:

The Adaptation Stage As they become more confident in their ability to function in two different cultures, individuals develop a sense of belonging and feel part of the community.

Reverse Culture Shock Many individuals do not expect to have many of the same problems associated with culture shock when they come home. Gullahorn & Gullahorn (1963) explained that the individuals again experience a negative emotional dip (sometimes associated with physical problems) during the re-entry process, but regain a positive outlook as time passes. Culture shock is not necessarily negative. It may be a positive and creative force with an educational impact to motivate, and may enhance the individual’s selfawareness and personal growth. You can make the cultural transition easier if you ask for help when you need it. Asking for help shows your competence and strength. It is not a sign of weakness. You have a number of sources of help.

Hyeyoung Jeon immigrated to Victoria from South Korea in October 2010 to join her husband. She is a Registered Social Worker with the BC College of Social Workers.


speci al fe atur e: microlending


Fiona Bramble sat down with Vu Ndlovu and Lisa Helps of Community Micro Lending (CML) to get the details on their innovative program for newcomers to be launched June 2014.


Q: What is the program called? A: Micro Loans for Training Q: Why is the program necessary? greatest need we’ve identified in A: The the community is newcomers to Canada.

Unemployment in the region is low but unemployment for immigrants, aboriginal people and youth is higher. We will work with immigrants in partnership with Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) and the Inter-Cultural Association (ICA). A key barrier to employment for each of these populations is skills and training. In particular through our work with VIRCS and ICA we have identified access to skills and training for immigrants in Greater Victoria as a key gap. While Employment Program of British Columbia and Skills Connect makes some funding available to immigrants for training, skills Last year at VIRCS acquisition and only three people certification, in the met the provincial case of EPBC, the government’s eligibility requirement eligibility test for of EI attachment the EPBC program excludes many though staff there newcomers. Also, identified demand the 3-day courses for as much higher. which people without EI attachment are eligible are often inadequate to upgrade or attain skills needed for meaningful employment. Last year at VIRCS only three people met the provincial government’s eligibility test for the EPBC program though staff there identified demand as much higher. Micro loans for training can be provided to people who don’t have an EI attachment. Skills Connect (administered locally through VIRCS) can provide up to $2200 for skills and training to cover a up to two-thirds of training/ course costs. The other third has to be provided by the person applying. Immigrants who come with savings dip into their savings to cover this last third, thus taking away from ability to cover living expenses while taking a course. Those


without the ability to supplement are ineligible. A micro loan for training could address this. Last year VIRCS had funding for 150 Skills Connect grants, gave out all of them and had to turn people away after their 150 quota was disbursed. A micro loan for training could address the excess demand.

Q: Lisa, how are you involved in the program? am working alongside my colleague Vu Ndlovu A: Ithe Director of Training and Entrepreneur Support to develop the training loan program. I will also help to find funding to keep the program going. I’m also responsible for filling the loans once they have been approved.

Q: Lisa, Why did you get involved in the program? believe that everyone in our community has A: Igifts and talents to contribute. Sometimes all

that’s needed is a bit more training to be able to put these gifts and talents to work in a way that helps individuals earn a good income and contributes to the community at the same time.

Vu tells us about the challenges facing young adults and newcomers trying to re-train for stable employment.

Q: Who is the program for, specifically? Training Loans are for people who A: The are un- or under-employed and who

kinds of local jobs are available and what kinds of skills or training are required. The application will be reviewed by CML’s Director of Training and Entrepreneur Support and referred to CML’s loan committee for approval.

don’t qualify for training dollars through one of the provincial governments training access programs (Employment Program of British Columbia - EPBC - & Skills Connect) or who do qualify but require supplemental training dollars to access a specific course. This is a twoyear pilot program.

Q: Who is the program not for? not for people who are eligible for a A: It’s student loan or who want to complete a four-year university degree.

Vu Ndlovu is Director of Training and Entrepreneur Support at Community Micro Lending

are some examples of how Q: What the program can and could be used? program could be used to borrow A: The money to take a Health Care Assistant

Course a Camosun College; this course has an almost 100% success rate in placing graduates. It could also be used to take Industrial First Aid, or an Interior Design course. Almost anything is possible, as long as the course that we lend someone money to take has a high chance of them getting a job or getting a better job than they already have.

does the program fit Q: inWhere a newcomer’s settlement

and integration process?

Micro Loans for Training will A: help newcomers to get or

refresh skills or training that will lead to employment.

Vu discusses the high employability rates of several local training programs.

do have a message Q: Vu, for newcomers? you look in the right A: Ifplaces, there are lots of

Q: How accessible is the program? program is very accessible. A: The Community Micro Lending will work

with the Vancouver Island Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society and the Inter-Cultural Association to ensure in particular that the Micro Loans for Training Program is easy for newcomers to Canada to access.

describe the steps of Q: Briefly accessing and using the program. to A: Go and click on the Training Loan page.

Once a loan is approved it will be posted to CML’s online lending website (www. and filled by members of the community. Once the loan is fully funded, it will be disbursed to the borrower who will then use it to pay for their training course. Repayment will begin once employment is secured at the end of the training period.

Lisa Helps is Director of Partnerships and Fund Development at Community Micro Lending

Read through the simple application form and learn more about what Community Micro Lending is looking for from Training Loan applicants. Make an appointment with Vu Ndlovu, CML's Director of Training and Entrepreneur Support (contact information to the right). Fill out and submit the application form. We’ll be looking specifically at training that will result in people getting jobs. We encourage people to do some research and find out what

programs that are going to lead you to a job that will help you get established in Canada and hopefully, keep you in Canada. Coming to an organization like Community Micro Lending or an organization like VIRCS (Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society), there are people who will help guide you in the right direction.

For more information, please contact Community Micro Lending at: Website: Director of Training and Entrepreneur Support: 250-590-4515

Community Micro Lending Office: 202-2610 Douglas St. Victoria B.C.



Sheila Heti

Derek Shapton timeline-to-date • Mother moved to Canada from the Philippines in 1966.

Sam Roberts

I am ver y much ins pired by documentar y and landscape photographer s, which may seem strange f or a commercial and por trait photographer but I f ind that those t ypes of photographer s tend to keep the ir work most natural and unaf f ected, which is something I always strive f or.

• Father was born in Thunder Bay and moved to Toronto to study art. • Parents married in 1968. • Derek was born in Toronto in 1971. • Derek attended the Peel School of the Arts at Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga. • Derek entered the applied photography program at Humber College and dropped out after one year to work at a Toronto photo studio and never looked back...


Stuart MacLean

derek shapton | photographer


talking with derek How can you relate to the “immigrant experience”? I feel very connected to it, I have a very large family and almost all of my mother's relatives have immigrated here over the years. My childhood was a happy blur of giant Filipino parties! You have photographed many iconic Canadians, including Alice Munro and Chris Hadfield (and Rob Ford?!); what connection do you feel to them? I try to stay very much in the moment and document only my direct experience of them. I don’t want their reputations or anything I might have heard about them to influence or intimidate or bias me if at all possible. I try to chat with them and connect on at least something approaching a personal level but sometimes it’s quite difficult, particularly with extremely famous people, where there often isn’t very much time, in which case I just try to be as quiet and professional as possible. Who or what is next for you? I’ve really been enjoying Instagram and will be doing a show with some of my images soon. Please check out my feed; my instagram name is “thunder _ pino” (because my father is from Thunder Bay and my mom is Filipino, of course).

Like a good Canadian, Derek Shapton will also happily take portraits of our American neighbours, like these wonderful images of Cormac McCarthy and Scarlett Johansson.

Chris Hadfield

The Singing Astronaut: During his tour as Commander of the International Space Station in 2013, Chris Hadfield wrote and recorded I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies. They recorded it together from Earth and space on February 8, 2013. It is the official song of Music Monday, an event that aims to unite Canada in song. Chris Hadfield sings I.S.S. here.



starving students find authentic eats by Leat Ahrony

Let’s face it, food is a huge part of our life and culture. One of the greatest challenges of newcomers to Canada is finding places to eat or purchasing fresh produce. I have tasted almost every hummus in town (Victoria B.C), and I still can’t find one that is the same as the traditional styled hummus you can buy in Israel or make at home. However, Seven Valleys came very close to it. The creaminess, and garlic and lemony flavours brought back great memories of eating authentic Mediterranean foods. Similarly, Shahrazad Restaurant serves traditional Arabic food. Sometimes the decor isn’t as important as the taste. It’s about quality after all!

Speaking of raw food, we all come from different cultures, and sometimes it doesn’t fit everyone’s taste. A lot of my friends from China tell me they still don’t understand or are not used to the idea of eating raw vegetables.

Ayo Eat. It is a small “hole in the wall” restaurant that serves authentic Indonesian food, and it definitely reminds me of the hawker stalls back home in Singapore!

Tatianna from Singapore describes Ayo Eat as a “hole in the wall” , but it is authentic, and brings back great memories of home. For something more casual, Cafe Bliss is a great place to dine, especially for vegans. They are raw and organic, and are known for their quality food. They even have avocado pizza!

Shahrazid Restaurant serves the most delicious and fabulous Arabic food.

For example, a vegetable dip platter was once served at an events, and my friends stared at the uncooked broccoli, button mushroom, bell peppers, and cauliflower like aliens. If you presented it to them in stir-fry form, they would gobble it up in no time.

Growing up in an Asian society, we like our leafy greens boiled, steamed, stir-fried or mixed into steamed meat buns and dumplings. So what do you do in a country where most menus have a section for salad, and not much of steamed or boiled bok choy? It becomes a challenge. But that is part of the adventure too! No matter where we come from, we are all accustomed to certain spices, flavours, eating habits, and presentations of food. I would encourage everyone to keep their traditional foods, and share it with others! Don’t feel forced to “fit it” with poutine and burgers. The gem restaurants are often in Alleys or little corners. They might not be the most fancy restaurants, but it’s about the authentic and traditional experience that counts. Food is necessary, and it’s important to embrace, and build relationships through sharing culture and food.

Ayo Eat Indonesian Food 560 Johnson St. Victoria BC | 250-590-4231 Cafe Bliss 556 Pandora Ave. Victoria BC | 250-590-5733 Seven Valleys Fine Food & Deli 2506 Douglas St. Victoria BC | 250-382-9998 Shahrazid Restaurant 1813 Douglas St. Victoria BC | 250-590-4044


hereinCanada a nad a C #

Newcomer or not , answering some of these questions is a challenge! Taken from the Richmond Public Library’s online Practice Citizenship Test, the questions are samples of what newcomers need to know before they take that all-important next step of becoming a Canadian Citizen. See how well YOU do!

answers below

SO YOU WANT TO BE A C NADIAN CITIZEN, EH? TEST 1. What does the word “Inuit” mean? a. “Eskimo” in Inuktitut language. b. “Home” in English. c. “The people” in the Inuktitut language. d. “The Arctic Land” in Inuktitut language.

2. What is a majority government? a. When the party in power holds about one third of the seats in the House of Commons b. When the party in power holds about one quarter of the seats in the House of Commons. c. When the part in power holds at least half of the seats in the Senate. d. When the party in power holds at least half of the seats in the House of Commons.

3. What is the largest religious affiliation in Canada? a. Roman Catholic. b. Muslim. c. Jewish. d. Hindu.

4. What three requirements must you meet in order to vote in a federal election? a. Canadian citizen, 18 years or older and on the list of electors. b. Canadian citizen, 21 years or older, and on the list of electors. c. Living outside of Canada for less than 5 years, Canadian and 21 years old. d. Working for the federal government, Canadian forces or other organization, 21 years, and Canadian.

5. Which province is the only officially bilingual province? a. New Brunswick. b. Quebec. c. Ontario. d. Prince Edward Island.

6. Who was the first leader of a responsible government in the Canadas in 1849? a. Sir John A. Macdonald. b. Robert Baldwin. c. Louis Riel. d. Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine. 1. c - “The people” in the Inuktitut language. 2. d - When the party in power holds at least half of the seats in the House of Commons. 3. a - Roman Catholic. 4. a - Canadian citizen, 18 years or older and on the list of electors. 5. a - New Brunswick. 6. d - Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine.


Read our curated Canada-themed tweets at our Storify page :

more practice at:


From ballpoint pens to ActivPens We have everything you need to learn

The Promethean ActivBoard 500: coming to schools near you

Ask about teacher discounts at our retail locations!

Fort Street l Broad Street l Oak Street l Sidney Tuscany Village l Royal Oak Shopping Centre Here Magazine Summer 2014.indd 1

5/20/2014 10:21:08 AM

Here! Magazine Summer 2014  

A language and culture quarterly for newcomers to Canada

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