The college’s English For Academic Purposes (EAP) program (an altered version of the previous English As A Second Language program) will be adding a “very preliminary” stage to its current eight-phase curriculum.
During the November 26th meeting of the college’s Board of Governors (BofG), a report was tabled by President Patti France and Vice-President of International Relations Ron Seguin.
It provided this background information about the existing program: “The Board of Governors’ EAP Certificate (launched in 2017) is currently comprised of Levels 1 through 8, delivered in intensive, seven-week modules (two per semester in the Fall, Winter and Spring). The EAP program is designed as an entry point to the college for international students who require English reading, writing, listening and speaking skills with an academic focus. These students ultimately register in postsecondary courses upon completing the EAP requirements.”
Now, the report continued, “It is proposed that the EAP program be expanded to include Level 0, in order to accommodate those students who have been tested for English aptitude, and the resulting skill level is below Level 1 placement, requiring foundational level English training.
“The proposal will require no additional full-time staffing complement, as Level 0 will be instructed by part-time instructors, and will be offered based on demand/need.”
This does not involve the huge influx of international students, chiefly from India, that has boosted enrolment during the past half-decade. They must demonstrate English-proficiency through specialized testing in their homelands before they are even accepted at St. Clair.
Instead, EAP chiefly serves recent immigrants whose primary purpose in coming to Canada was not (necessarily) education-related. A good example is the substantial number of people who came to Windsor-Essex from war-ravaged Syria when the federal government encouraged their emigration to Canada. They may want to develop their English skills in order to, one day, pursue educational opportunities ... or maybe not – maybe they just want to seek employment, or assimilate into their new lives here.
The English As A Second Language/now-EAP program has also been used extensively in the past by foreign contractees. For instance, the Panamanian federal government had a decade-long contract with St. Clair to provide English instruction to a variety of public employees (teachers, tourism officials), as the Central American nation set out to become more comprehensively fluent in English.
Seguin and Academic Vice-President Waseem Habash estimated that approximately ten percent of the students enrolling in the EAP program will now probably enter at the new “0” level. “There are immigrants who we’ve encountered during the past few years who aren’t familiar with a single English word,” Seguin said. “Even Level 1 of the program is incomprehensible for them. They’ll benefit tremendously from this new foundational level.”
The BofG endorsed the administration’s recommendation to add the new, very fundamental training level to the existing EAP program.
See, also, the story about the college’s mid-year budget update, at http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/some-different-numbers-same-year-end-result
See, also, the story about the college’s annual review of its Sexual Violence Policy, at http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/bofg-updated-sexual-violence-stats-and-programs
See, also, the "BofG Briefs" story, at http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/bofg-briefs-ocmc-ece-and-walking-safely