At about 21 000 strong, Montreal has the largest Syrian community in Canada. The city has taken in a large part of the 3 555 Syrian refugees who have arrived in Quebec since the beginning of 2015, and will play a large role in welcoming another 5 310 refugees in the months to come.
However, upon arrival these refugees struggle to find work. For over 15 years, Montreal has had the highest unemployment rate for refugees in Canada. 14% of refugees in Montreal are unemployed, compared to 7% in Calgary. 32% of these immigrants failed to find employment due to language problems. Due to their difficulties with English and French, these refugees are not being given work involving speaking with clients or working with others.
In Quebec there is no government sponsored English language program. Our project, will provide language classes supervised by certified language professors to 15 Syrian refugees here in Montreal. We will provide each of them with textbooks, in addition to having 2 to 3 student volunteers meet with them a few times a week. They will take a ACTFL certified language test both at the beginning and the end of the program in order to measure their progress, with the projected outcome being that they reach a “Effective operational proficiency” level.
Learn more about how this project got started by watching this Youtube Video.
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