Friday, May 12, 2017
It would be wide of the mark to suggest Ali Kharsa is perhaps the typical English as an additional language student enrolled at Walter Murray Collegiate. After all, trying to affix a norm to these students is a non-starter.
Certainly though, Kharsa, 19, represents one of those compelling, uplifting stories that should give everyone hope when you listen to the young man who has been in Saskatoon now for the past 18 months.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
It’s not just teachers who are part of the English as an additional language mosaic. Consider, for example, Hossiendad Alizadeh, who in his native Afghanistan is educated as an engineer. But because those credentials aren’t recognized in Canada, he has wound up as an educational assistant at Walter Murray Collegiate.
Able to speak six languages, he has been an invaluable support for the teaching team, because he has an affinity in many ways for what these students have experienced to relocating in a heretofore unknown continent.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
As one who has been involved in teaching English as an additional language to students for the past decade in the Saskatoon Public Schools system, Pat Barry has seen the pattern first-hand.
As he noted, it’s often no coincidence that some of the world’s hot spots in terms of tension tend to be where the students who ultimately wind up in Saskatoon schools hail from. He recalls in earlier days it was more Sudan and Afghanistan, for example, and now more recently Syria has been the country of origin for many who are trying to embark on a new life here.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Although the Saskatchewan School Boards Association has stated that some of the amendments added by the Ministry of Education to the contentious Bill 63 indicate that government is listening, SSBA President Shawn Davidson acknowledged there is still some concern about the relative lack of checks and balances when it comes to the envisioned powers of the Minister.
Davidson though has a much more ambitious agenda in mind by calling for a full review, and ideally a rewritten version of The Education Act, 1995.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Trying to get a word in edgewise can sometimes be elusive if you’re talking to Laura Jorgenson during her English as an additional language class.
If it’s not the phone ringing or students coming and going, there’s probably something else that will crop up. Unflustered by any of this, the visitor can’t help but be struck by her calm demeanour and her ability to seamlessly conduct the class as if it’s no big deal.