English in the Workplace and MISA have a history of working collaboratively in order to provide a variety of workplace related language training opportunities to newcomers. IEOP requested an EWP instructor to pre-teach content and vocabulary related to training before and after their business information seminars. It is within this context, that the action research project was situated.
Finding a Starting Point
IEOP Business information seminars are provided by an array of experts in the field who generously volunteer their services. Topics which are delivered lecture style for one and a half to three hours include:
Written materials are also provided for participants to keep in a business resource binder. The IEOP seminars are scheduled from 9 am- 12 am twice a week for a total of 36 hours for the entire program. Former IEOP participants indicated a need for a complementary language component prior to the information seminars to assist with understanding content, vocabulary and the formulation of questions.
During the IEOP registration process 23 out of 25 IEOP seminar participants indicated an interest in attending the Business English class. Participants come from diverse backgrounds-culturally, educationally, and economically. Some come from a business background whereas others are looking at self-employment for the first time. The registration forms revealed that the average student had a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLBA) ranging from Level 3 to Level 5.
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