Posted on August 25, 2022

New EAL partnership provides immigrants with better language learning options

Newcomers to Canada now have more English-learning resources available, thanks to a curriculum development partnership between the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) and Vancouver Community College (VCC). 

PICS runs Career Paths, a program that provides career coaching and occupation-specific language training to immigrants who are looking for work. Recently, PICS received funding for a new occupational language curriculum for management careers in retail/wholesale, corporate sales, restaurant and food services, insurance, real estate, and financial brokerage. As they had worked with VCC in the past, PICS approached VCC’s English as an Additional Language (EAL) department to develop this new curriculum. 

“It was a natural fit to partner with VCC to create this language curriculum so that our clients can more effectively find work and build a career in Canada,” says Raj Hundal, director of employment programs and planning at PICS.


Students in PICS' Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program

Currently, a VCC instructor is developing a new occupational language curriculum which will be delivered through coaching sessions led by PICS facilitators. This delivery model provides newcomers with an extremely flexible and convenient method of language learning – an attractive option for those who are unable to attend full-time, structured programs such as the ones offered through VCC’s EAL department.  

“We’re focused on helping students reach their goals at VCC and in the community. This curriculum gives PICS clients a flexible way to learn language that works with their commitments and schedules,” says Ken McMorris, department head of EAL at VCC.

Through VCC’s involvement, the curriculum developed for the Career Paths program will also align with standard Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB), making it easier for newcomers to have their language levels recognized if they want to pursue further language learning at VCC. 

“VCC has strong expertise in language learning. It’s great to see the college contribute its talent and resources in a meaningful way to meet community needs,” says Michael Yue, interim director of VCC’s Partnership Development Office, which coordinated this joint project.

Could your organization benefit from the many areas of expertise at VCC? VCC’s Partnership Development Office (PDO) may be able to help. Reach out to for more information.