Responding to the needs of English language learners
Over the decades, teaching English to newcomers has been a pillar of COSTI’s work. Our English language programs are offered at different learning levels to accommodate the varying needs of clients. Classes are also created to help individuals become job ready – and include sector-specific terminology to help participants better adapt to the Canadian job market.
Over the past year, overall client enrollment increased by 10%. While some in-person classes resumed, many classes continued successfully online with over 2,500 clients participating in language and skills training classes across the City of Toronto, the Region of Peel and York Region. Attendees have become more familiar and agile in accessing online learning – and we too have enhanced COSTI’s service delivery to include new streams. One example is our Women Specific Employment Training program. The program focuses on improving English language skills for individuals working in the childcare, retail and food services sectors. Many participants pursuing sector-specific language training were also helped with connections to employment. Over 130 participants found jobs or work placements and 65 engaged in advancing their studies and pursuing professional accreditation classes.
COSTI also expanded the Digital and Media Literacy program. The program focuses on digital skills training, and now includes a new Coding Course for Women to encourage employment opportunities within technical fields. 340 participants successfully completed courses in digital literacy with 97% of the participants sharing that their skills had significantly improved by the end of the course.
Additional programming included our child-minding support for newcomers taking language instruction, as well as lifeskills workshops. 270 women participated in these workshops aimed at breaking down barriers of social isolation, building self-confidence and exploring employment potential.