You likely know that Grace Presbyterian Church offers an English Language Learners (ELL) program. The class – held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – offers conversational English for those looking to strengthen their English. It’s a fun space, where learning and building friendships go together.

What you may not know, though, is the difference that ELL is making in the lives of our neighbours. One of our wonderful volunteer teachers shared this story with us:

In September of 2016, a gentleman from Turkey joined the English Language Learner Program at Grace Church. He is a husband and a father of two teenage girls. In Turkey, he was a high school chemistry teacher.

Almost overnight they lost everything, and so the man left his home in hopes of starting a new life for his family in Canada.

Desperate to learn English he joined the Beginner class at the church. From the outset his focus and attention to detail were fierce. He listened carefully, asked for clarification and wanted homework. To practice his English skills more often he volunteered at a church on Centre Street making sandwiches for those less fortunate.

This kind, caring and determined man will not be joining the classes at Grace this fall. This past summer he took the entrance exam for Bow Valley College: he passed the exam, and Bow Valley accepted him into the program. At Bow Valley, he will be able to get his language certification and can then begin applying for jobs. He hopes to bring his family to Canada next year.

While the teachers and students will miss him, we are so pleased for him and his family.  His hard work is beginning to pay off. He is truly an ELL success story.

This is just one of the many stories of hard work and dedication we see at ELL. We’re so proud of all our students and humbled to be a part of their journey. If you’re unfamiliar with the ELL program at Grace and want to learn more, you can click to read about it here.