English is the language most commonly used for business, education, and to access government and municipal services. English language skills are therefore essential to your professional success and to your involvement in your new community. Learning English is a necessity in order to settle in and make Huron your new home.
English and French are the two official languages of Canada; all Government of Canada services and documents are available in these two languages. In Huron County, you may hear different languages being spoken, but English is the language of schools, businesses, and municipal offices.
English language training
If you are thinking about learning English or improving your English language skills, you won’t need to look too far to find help. There are many resources in Huron County to help you enhance your English skills. Training in the English language is called ‘English as a Second Language’ or ESL. In Huron County, ESL learning opportunities and resources are available through a variety of providers:
- The Centres for Employment and Learning
- The Avon Maitland District School Board
- Huron County Library
- Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada home study program (LINC)
The Centres for Employment and Learning
The Centres for Employment and Learning offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The non-credit, adult ESL programs are conducted in a classroom setting and are specifically designed to offer assistance to adults in the community for whom English is not their first language but who would like to speak, read and write better in English.
The English as a Second Language program teaches skills in:
The classes are offered at 3 levels (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) during morning, afternoon, or evening class sessions.
Huron County ESL classes and locations
- The Centre in Goderich, 41 West Street, Goderich: 519.524.2515
- The Centre in Wingham, 152 Josephine Street, 2nd floor, Wingham: 519.357.4995
- The Centre in Exeter, 349 Main Street, Box 173, Exeter: 519.235.0471
- The Centre in Seaforth, 138 Main Street South, Seaforth: 519.271.4896
Perth County ESL classes and locations
- The Centre in Stratford, 220 Oakdale Avenue, Stratford: 519.271.4896
- The Centre in Listowel, 280 Wallace Avenue South, Listowel: 519.291.9453
- Trinity United Church, 230 Barber Avenue North, Listowel: 519.291.9453
- Elma Public School, 5972 Perth County Line 72, Atwood: call 519.291.9453
- Perth East Public Library, 19 Mill Street East, Milverton: 519.291.9453
- Poole Mennonite Church, County Rd 121, Poole: 519.291.9453
- Education and Employment Resource Centre, 26 Wellington Street South, St. Marys: 519.271.4896
- Marys Public Library, 15 Church Street North, St. Marys: 519.271.4896
The Avon Maitland District School Board
The Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) is a full service, public, English school district in southwestern Ontario that covers the counties of Huron and Perth. The AMDSB head office is located in Seaforth, Ontario at 62 Chalk Street North.
The AMDSB offers supported English language immersion to all school-aged children who may need assistance. English Language Learners have access to adapted daily programming and assessment, individual or small group tutoring, and computer assisted language learning. The ESL Resource Centre website offers access to the tools used to assess, program for, and to support each student as they move towards full Academic English proficiency.
Visit the AMDSB ESL Resources:
Huron County Library ESL Learning Resources
Huron County Library offers resources for learning English to people of all ages. To access the services, all that is required is a library card. Branches of the Huron County Library are located in Bayfield, Blyth, Brussels, Clinton, Exeter, Goderich, Hensall, Howick, Kirkton, Seaforth, Wingham, and Zurich. Phone the main library office on Hwy. #4 south, RR 5, Clinton at 519.482.5457 or visit any branch of the Huron County Library in person.
- The Newcomer Settlement Collection is a collection consisting of books and resources relating to the immigrant experience. The collection includes a variety of print books, audio books, and English as a Second Language (ESL) resources that will help ease a newcomer’s settlement in Huron and enhance their language skills if needed.
- Mango Languages: A variety of languages – basic to advanced levels – are available though this online learning tool. Over 30 languages, ESL included, are accessible through this learning tool. Learn English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian, Russian and more.
- Little Pim: Children ages 0-6 are introduced to foreign languages in ways they can understand and enjoy with Little Pim. A variety of courses, which combine animation and video plus memory-building exercises, are available.
- The library also provides access to the Interlibrary Loan system of Ontario public libraries and the Ontario Library Services for downloads of language learning materials.
Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada Program
Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program is an English-language study program for adult immigrants who are permanent residents and have not yet received Canadian Citizenship. The program aims to help immigrants who know little or no English to improve their English reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks. The course is free to eligible newcomers.
LINC Home Study
LINC Home Study allows you to improve your English language skills in your own home, either as a correspondence course (your course materials will be sent through the mail) or through your Internet connection. This program is for newcomers who live in an area where LINC classes are not available, for people who have young children at home, or for people who work and cannot attend class. The Home Study program also allows you to learn as quickly or as slowly as you need.
Before enrolling in LINC, for in-class or home study, you must take a test at a LINC Assessment Centre to find out your current English language skills. If you are interested in LINC program, contact the LINC Assessment Centre at the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre located at 505 Dundas Street, London, Ontario; phone: 519.432.1133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about LINC training, visit:
Online ESL Learning Resources
- Breaking News English: Provides free interactive and printable activities to improve English skills in 7 levels. http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/
- The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) are the national standards used throughout Canada for describing, measuring and recognizing second language proficiency for adult immigrants and prospective immigrants. language.ca
- Learning Chocolate: An interactive and fun way to improve English vocabulary. http://www.learningchocolate.com/
- Starfall: Parents and children from Kindergarten to grade 2 can learn English together. http://www.starfall.com/
- 5 Minute English has free online lessons. 5minuteenglish.com
- Language Guide provides a picture dictionary with simple graphics. Place your cursor over the image and hear it pronounced aloud. http://www.languageguide.org/english/vocabulary