The Language SPO was created by the Settlement & Language Work Group to improve the English language delivery process for newcomers by initiating dialogue among LINC instructors. The group comprises of around 20 LINC service providers across Toronto. The group discusses issues and emerging trends that are most pressing in the language delivery sector. The Language SPO aims to discover how to reinforce newcomer language programs by incorporating elements of settlement needs into the LINC curriculum, providing ongoing professional training for LINC instructors emphasizing adult learning pedagogy, and empowering adult learners to be active community contributors. The Language SPO also works to identify and discover solutions for newcomers who are falling through the gaps of language service provision due to inclusion and exclusion criteria. The group is community led and meets on a quarterly basis. The ongoing intent for this group was to act as an opportunity to discuss advocacy and capacity building for LINC service providers. As settlement service providers, the group understands the vital role that learning English plays to successful integration and works to improve the effectiveness of this process.
During the pandemic, the Language SPO focused on sharing promising practices in their individual LINC programs, such to support each other by sharing resources and best practices. At those meetings, the group shared resources and best practices, discussed returning to in-person work policies, and LINC program-specific topics such as PBLA, CNC, IRCC monitor, and citizenship certification.
Most recently, the group successfully coordinated a Lunch and Learn session for LINC instructors across Toronto. The presenter was a LINC teacher working with traumatized students from the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. They discussed which words to avoid using to not trigger students’ previous trauma, best practices in LINC classrooms, competency guidelines, how to network, and other resources.
In 2023, Language SPO has been working with the InterLIP Social Issues and Systemic Change Table to integrate indigenous reconciliation efforts and knowledge into LINC curriculum. The table adapts its solution-oriented discussions to the needs of the newcomer community.