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Learning More Than English

Step inside a classroom at Oakridge Community Centre or Dawes Library in Toronto, and you are met with welcoming faces from all over the world.

Photo of adultstudents sitting together at a table doing their work and laughing
Photo of adult students sitting in class, writing down their work and listening to the teacher
Photo of two students sitting with their studying materials and smiling

They are the immigrants in the adult ESL classes offered in partnership with the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) Adult Education Program.

They are learning English as a second language on their journey to successful settlement in Canada. They come from every corner of the globe: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Burundi, China, Afghanistan, Syria, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mexico, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Hungary, Costa Rica, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Rwanda, and Kyrgyzstan!

Photo of four students sitting together and smiling for the camera, with their work on the table between them
Photo of three students sitting at a desk and busy checking over their work handsheets
Photo of a table of adult students with their work in front of them, smiling for the camera, with their teacher standing behind them

Many are from homogeneous countries, and this is their first experience learning with others from distant places and cultures. While learning English, they are also learning about one another, and about living in a multicultural society. These classes offer more than English language learning; they offer civic engagement, and an introduction to multiculturalism and the open, welcoming society we all want to build and live in.

What a great place to be!