Editor’s note: The following letters are from the English as a Second Language program at the Assiniboine Community College. Less than two weeks ago, the Sun learned that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada proposed to slash funding for the ESL program offered at ACC, from $730,000 to $190,000. This funding cut would affect hundreds of students currently enrolled in ESL classes. The Sun received dozens of letters from affected students, in response to our coverage. The following are a selection of this correspondence, which have been corrected only for clarity.
This is a really bad new for many immigrants people that are looking a good and better future in Brandon.
We are attending to English clases hoping to achieve a better job opportunity, others expect to be able to continue their stadies.
Is very disapointed and frustrating, thinking that our plans to future will be destroyed by the government change decisions.
Francy Chona, Brandon
Many immigrant they successful by this taking english second language. But we heard bad news and we feel bad. I feel very disappointed, angry.
When I came (to) Canada at first time, (it was) difficult for me. But after when I taking english classes it becames bright my future.
I can change my life better. I can finish my needs at any office without translator. Also I help my children.
If this ESL cut, (I’m) worried, also with my children, how can I communicate. Because kids aready they lose their language. I don’t want ignorance.
If the classes reduce to minimize is not good I say. Because level or the ability is different and two days or one day a week is not enough. I hope to reconsideration of cutting ESL.
Hidries Hidries, Brandon
I am very depressed because of cuts to funding of ESL program.
This will be very bad because I can not get job as well as I can not study in ACC.
ESL program is ‘very’ important for new immigrants because it helps polise (polish) their skills and if ESL funding is cut, people do not get a chance to improve their English and skill.
Please change this decision so that I can continue to improve in English and do the my field work job as well as study in ACC.
Hardi Patel, Brandon
I have been in Canada, particularly in Brandon, since last September. I came to Canada for a better (o)pportunies, safety and hope.
Now I am taking Level 7-8 class, because I need to improve my English benchmark, in order to apply for college. All student at the ESL class are taking this course because they have goals and dreams to achieve, (whether) its for a better job (o)pportunities or to meet the English benchmark level in order to apply for college.
We all need this class to improve our English skills and fit in with the society in order to have a better chance to help our selves. All what we are asking for is to help us help ourselves.
We owe Canada, for giving us a new life here and we need to be successful to contribute to the society that has done a lot for us.
Kirubel Shimelis, Brandon
After reading the news of federal funding being cut from Assiniboine Community College’s English language program in the newspaper last Wednesday, I am so upset. I was shocked when first I heard (about the funding cuts). This is not good for all of us.
I work so hard to get this higher level. I go to school morning and work night shift. this is not easy for me, but still I manage my time. I know that school is very important for me. That’s why I go back study.
I have to finish my CLB 8 so I can go college. I started from scratch to get my higher level. Even it’s not easy I did not give up.
This is (crucial) for all of us in this situation. I am very d(e)dicated to finish my studies. I decided to go back to school because I want a better job and a better future for my family. Now that is happening this tragic situation, what is gonna happen to our future?
This is cutting our dreams. We really need this program. If there is a chance, please give it back the money to the ACC program. Thank you for your kindness and consideration.
Rodemie Espigol, Brandon
I am very worried about the (funding) cuts. This will (be) bad because we are newcomers and low English levels so we need to continue the same because we have different dream to get high level of English because we are in English country. So we have to speaking and understand perfect.
Please give back money to our CLB level 5-8 program in Brandon, MB. Please. Worried our life because if we don’t have high level of English it’s not easy to find jobs so please try to help us.
Asmorom Woldai, Brandon
This is to talk about the funding cuts of ESL program. I am very shocked and quite surprised when I first heard about the news.
I have been living in Canada for about 3 years. Before I moved to Canada I was a college teacher and a Maintenance Electrician technician. 3 years ago, I quitted my jobs and immigranted to Canada with my family. When I arrived in Canada, I found it very difficult to get a good job. I have good working experience and good education that I have a Master degree in Business Administration and master courses in Engineering, but I couldn’t seek a dream job. I really got disheartened and even I deeply regreted that I moved to Canada.
After evaluating my performance and adjusting the state of mind, I started to study language. I keep studying and get to ESL Level 7 now. The class is so helpful for me. I improve mu language skills and also passed the exam of the Red Seal License in Electrician. I made a goal that I will run my own business in the future. In order to achieve my goal, I plan to take a program in Business Administration at ACC when my language skills meet the requirement of ACC. But the new, ESL program funding cuts, broke my dream that my dream for running my own business. There are not enough words to express how I feel now.
I fell into confusion about my future.
I would really appreciate that the federal government consider our feelings.
Chunyi Bao, Brandon
I am very frustrated and worried about the funding cuts to my ESL program level 5-8.
I’m studying in Level 5; ACC have been my home and also have opened the door for me. ACC gave me a new opportunity in my job.
But I feel (too) many necessity to keep going to learn English because I cannot study a program in the future. I need to complete more levels.
Please change this decision so that I can continue to improve in English and follow to give my son better quality of the life.
Maritza Uhia, Brandon
I hope the government remains all of the classes for us. We really need study and practice in ACC. The teachers will help us to improve any skills in the clas. If I want to go to high school or take some courses from ACC, they’ll need my Level 8 benchmark. Without certificate or diploma, how to reach my goal?
Please remain our classes!! Thank you!
Amy Zhang, Brandon
My name is Nataliya. I am an ESL student. I am very concerned about the funding cuts to my ESL program.
My dream (is) to be a nurse in Canada. I have experience in nursing in my back country of Ukraine, and I like to continue to help people here. But my English level is not enough. I should have Level 8 for registration for nursing program in ACC. After that, I must wait for getting seats in nursing class about two years. That all will take long time. I used to take English class two time a week. It was not enough for me. My progress was very slow. However, I saw progress my classmates who used English class four days a week, and it made a big difference.
I started to take English class four days a week. My English began to develop faster and faster. I was very happy. I better understood people. I found a better job. It encouraged me to study English harder.
I saw my dream indeed can come true. But if English classes will be very limited, for me will be hard to find time to take this class. It mean I will not be able to complete my CLB Level 8 and my dream will be extended for a long time.
Please could you change this decision. Let me continue to improve in English, get Canadian education and get a job I love because I am also one of emigrants.
Nataliya Kulyaba, Brandon
With a lot of sadness we have received the bad news about the cuts for ESL program at ACC.
When I say "we," I am speaking on behalf of all immigrants that have been working long shifts day after day, and ignoring tiredness, running faster after that to take our English classes. Then, attending our fmailies in the short free time that we have, sleeping between four to five hours per day and thrs, all this! with the only purpose to one day have a great job, that allows us to have quality of life, enough money, but also time for enjoy with our love ones.
Government is not just cutting funds, it is also cutting our dream. I tis cutting our possibilities to improve, to advance, to learn the most important skill that we must to have if we want to live here, if we want to be the people that the country needs.
Our future is in government’s hands. Please don’t let us alone with this. How can we pay for this classes if we do not have a job to allows us to make enough money? How, if we don’t have the language skills that employers are looking for?
All of us have been working hard with a hope that one day all our sacrifice will be for something. We are almost there, and we trust in Canada, because it opened its doors for us when we needed, and in response, we just want to be better persons to help Canada to grow.
Thank you for all your help.
Leidy Gomez, Brandon
I am writing this because (I) am really worried about the funding cut to ACC’s ESL program.
I immigrated to Candaa last year and I need ESL program to settle down. All of my friends from different countries need this program for their future. This program is really important for us, not only for me, (but) for our job opportunities and education in Canada.
I am really appreciated about government of Canada has been welcoming lots of immigrant people to Canada. I really hope ESL program is not going to (be) taken away from us. Thank you for your time.
Maiko Sakaguchi, Brandon
My name is Karol Recarte. I have been lived in Brandon since June 2008. I working hard and my English skills I have to do many sacrifices because, I have my family and I have to divide my time for study, family and work, but it’s ok.
I really want a best future for me and my family and every day this is my focus. When I heard about the funding cuts I was shocked because I am so close to make my dreams came true. I was angry because I can’t understand why? I don’t know what will happened. The class it’s very helpful for me every day I learn something new. But now I just feel like I stuck. This is a big problem not just for me. It’s for every person who wants to be successful and try to have a better future, support our famil(ies).
We need this program ACC. It’s the only place for get our benchmarks. Please can you do something to help us. We need back the (funding) and program.
Karol Recarte, Brandon
My name is Yexing Luo, a student of ACC ESL Level 7-8 class. I, with my family (wife and son) emigrated to Canada last year in (February). I graduated from university in 2007 and got a bachelor degree of computer network engineering.
Last year, as a new comer in Brandon. It was prity hard to find a job. So I started learning English skills at ACC. When I was in Level Class, I learned how to write my resume, how to read job ad, how to perform in interview, where to find job informations ect. I thought those were very useful. I have sent my resume to morn that 10 companies and had some interviews. But all failed because of my English was not good enough. One interview gave me deep impression. In Sept. 2016 I was replied by email that I would have an interview with Net-set Communications (a company meets my interested and major). I couldn’t pass because my bad speaking English. The manager said he could not easily understand what I said and was not sure if I could understand his instructions. I was failed not because of my job skills but my language skills. So I need to study at ESL class. It’s so important for me.
I am going to take the Network Administration Technology program at ACC after my CLB levels reach Level 8 and get CLNA certificate so that I can make by best contribution to Canada and make my life meaningful. I’m so shock that when I heard the bad news that I’m possibly stop my English study. I’m now only can get a job in a Chinese restaurant. That’s not I want. I think it’s a waste of my bachelor degree and 10 years work experience.
I trust that you will look into this matter.
Yexing Luo, Brandon
My name is Kyu Kim. I am a student of Assiniboine Community College English program. I am taking Canadian Language Benchmark Level 7 and I want to complete Level 8 to study ACC’s accounting program.
When I first came to Canada, I was not a permanent resident. So I couldn’t learn English because costs for ESL was too expensive. Now I’m a permanent resident and study hard to achieve my goal. And I really thank Canada for learning for free.
I wanted to live in Canada, will live in Canada and one day, I hope to be a Canadian citizen. To be a good citizen, I need to learn English because your language is English. I want to talk with neighbours, clerks and other people. I want to melt into Canada.
I had a fear to speak with people in English. ACC instructors teached me how to speak with English speakers. I really want to continue my learning. If government cuts funding for ESL programs I will not able to continue my study and stay at some level for a long time. Please consider again for reducing the funds for ACC English programs. It is really a matter of life for me.
Kyu Kim, Brandon
I heard a frustrated news that ESL program faces funding cuts. I am a ESL student at ACC. Studying English is an important part of my life. Though learning English my relationship with my family has improved. Nowdays there aren’t much communication between the parents and the children. However, learning English has helped me have more conversations with, not only my family, also people in this community. Also learning English can not only set an example for my kids but also have conversations with. Though that, I can see the development of my child’s life. By learning English it boosts my confidence and achievement, it will also help me get a good job. Getting a good job it great for economy and community of Brandon, when I do get a job I plan to volunteer at the community centre, in a way of giving back. This will aid immigrants become a functioning member of the society. In conclusion, immigrants learning English will help push the economy growth and societal growth, so cutting the funding for the ESL program will have a negative effect on the community and economy.
Kyeonga Park, Brandon
I am writing this letter because I read in today’s Brandon Sun, the ESL funding cut bad news for immigrants. I need CLB Levels 5-8 because on the future I want to study at university. But now that news ruined all my plans.
It hit me like a ton of bricks because I do know time and tide wait for none. I don’t know what should I do now, I feel. I’m getting into a maze. I feel very disappointed and frustrated.
ACC offers something called English for specific purposes, meaning students were learning now to interact sosially (socially) with other English speakers, rather than merely being taught academic English. This would set them up well for jobs in health and business as well as other professional careers.
Please consider this situation. I know you can discuss this situation with the Trudeau Liberal Party and help immigrant people. They will always remember your great job.
I am very concerned, (worried), depressed, sad about the funding cuts to my ESL program CLB level 5-8. This will be bad because I cannot get another job. I cannot to class during the day. I cannot study healthcare aide in the future because of my English.
In my country, I’m a doctor but most important finished here after you take any course. And I’m newcomers so I do not have extra money to pay high tuition as it is very expensive.
Please change this decision so that I can continue to improve in English and have follow my dream in Canada. I (wish) is to please give back money to our CLB Level 5-8 program in Brandon, Manitoba.
Neeta Purohit, Brandon