Hear from our English Students!

GGP’s warm and social atmosphere extends from the Main Office to our English Language Centre. Our teachers go the extra mile, engaging with students on a social level and providing personal support. Rather than delivering long lectures, many of our teachers use a mixed media approach in their classes. From dissections of local news stories to instructional field trips to the local pharmacy, they make an effort to pack their lessons with real-life applicability and local context.
 
When GGP student Iram arrived from Pakistan, she felt very out of place in her new home. When she began learning English with GGP, she was pleased to discover that her classes also served as an introduction to life in Saskatoon. She recalls her teachers sharing their local knowledge and using recent news to illustrate language lessons. “We know about Canada, what happens in Canada and Saskatchewan. It’s very educating,” Iram said.
 
Providing real-world context and examples makes it easier for students to bring their newly acquired knowledge into their daily life. Iram remembers her first few weeks in Saskatoon and how little she felt she was able to communicate with any locals: “I was really very shy and afraid at that time.” Years later, English classes have given her confidence. “Now I can do anything alone. Even talk to a doctor, talk to the city, every department, I can talk!” Iram said.
 
Another student, Sharhidah, came to Saskatoon less than a year ago with no prior English skills. She began English classes with GGP shortly after she arrived and immediately began to progress. A few months after she began her classes, she found work at a daycare and had to go to the police station on her own to request a Criminal Record Check. She was surprised at how easy the interaction was and how confident she felt without an interpreter. “All things are well. I don’t need someone there,” Sharhidah recalls.
 
When asked about her teacher, Sharhidah can’t stop smiling. “It’s very fun to study with Rachel, she is very excellent,” she said. Sharhidah likes that Rachel incorporates humour into the lessons and says she makes the students feel like her friends. Iram is similarly fond of her teachers, Silvia and Reid, who she calls “fabulous.”
 
Both Iram and Sharhidah are also very grateful to their teachers for being so generous with their time outside of class. “We have a WhatsApp group. If there is something I do not know, I talk with my teacher and she explains to me,” Sharhidah said. Iram has taken time off from classes in the past for work and family but she says her teachers remain in contact. “They are very helpful, they are very, very kind. If I need any type of help, they are ready to help me,” Iram said.
 
Iram said she has recommended GGP’s English classes to many newcomer friends. She is currently taking classes online, but she still feels very connected to her teachers and fellow students. She speaks with pride of a shy student who joined her class just a few months ago and has already come completely out of her shell. “I witness that [class is] really helpful. I’m really happy with Global Gathering,” Iram said.

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Sign up for Ride for Refuge!

Ride for Refuge is a fundraising bike ride or walk, held nationwide on October 1 to raise money for charities that support people seeking refuge from danger, hardship, and abuse. This year, funds raised through Saskatoon’s Ride for Refuge will support Global Gathering Place!