Posted on January 27, 2023

VCC’s LINC program helps Canadian newcomers gain confidence

LINC student Jinyi at the beachVCC LINC student, Jinyi (Katherine) Li

VCC is proud to welcome learners from a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and communities. Our students come from nearly 150 countries around the world and more than 50 languages are spoken in their households. For adult newcomers to Canada, the ability to communicate effectively in English is a key factor in their successful integration into Canadian society.

VCC’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) is a federal government supported program that provides English language training to help adult newcomers integrate into Canada and their communities. As part of the wider EAL programming offered at VCC, LINC offers beginner-to-intermediate levels of English learning and connects students with community resources that can enhance their Canadian experiences and goals.

Jinyi (Katherine) Li is a Level 5 LINC student who has seen the positive impacts of learning to speak English, including improved confidence and social connections. Read on to learn about Katherine’s LINC experience at VCC. 

VCC is a school with a long history and a good reputation. When I was ready to sign up for LINC, I checked several schools on the Internet and VCC’s reputation is the best. In addition to online and offline classes, VCC also has blended learning, which I think is very humane, so I chose to study LINC at VCC. 

Before I studied LINC, I had just come to Canada. I felt very insecure and afraid to communicate with strangers. I sent out a resume and got an interview. Because of my poor English, I was not admitted. During the interview, I could understand the interviewer’s questions, but I didn’t know how to answer them. Usually when I go out, I must have family to accompany me. The family is my [spokesperson] because I don’t know how to say [certain things]. 

When I joined VCC to study LINC, I met a wise and humourous VCC teacher and students from different countries. They are so kind and friendly. We have classes together three days a week. We study English together, divide into different groups and discuss problems. Not only that, but the school will also hold lectures from time to time, most of them about how to help new immigrants and refugees integrate into Canadian society as soon as possible. In addition to the content in the classroom, my teacher shared with us extracurricular knowledge (“Let’s learn more about Canadian culture!” My impression of my teacher is that he’s very knowledgeable and understanding. He is proficient in three languages: in addition to English, he also knows Spanish and French. He also knows some of the habits of our students from different countries, so in class, he can take into account the feelings of different students. He lets every student know that studying LINC at VCC is not only about learning English. At the same time, you can also learn about Canada’s human geography and history.

VCC not only provides English learning, but also has some supplementary courses on its website to help us improve our English (for example, grammar, pronunciation and writing courses). Students can also make appointments for face-to-face communication with English tutors. These are all important factors to help students improve their English.

Through three months of LINC study at VCC, I accumulated 1,000 new words and hundreds of phrases, and I learned how to write sentences with complex structures. At the end of each month, I make the next month’s learning goals. Even though not every month’s goal can be achieved, it really helped me to develop a good habit of learning English. I can now go to the supermarket alone, go to a restaurant for dinner, and drive to where I want to go. When I see my neighbours, I’m no longer afraid and will take the initiative to say hello to them.

This course is very helpful, not only to improve my English listening, speaking, reading, and writing, but also to let me have a little understanding of Canadian culture. When other people talk about related topics, I’m not ignorant. 

Facts have proved that my choice to learn English at VCC was correct. I think I will continue to learn English until the highest level. The advantages of studying at VCC is far more than these [examples]. 

Learn English while gaining knowledge about community resources for newcomers to Canada in VCC’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada program.

Katherine's story was edited for length and clarity.