Language training for the workplace

Instead of standard English as a Second Language programs, Enhanced Language Training seeks to meet business needs
By Kristan Wolfe
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/06/2005

If Canada is brimming with highly skilled immigrants who aren’t able to reach their potential in the labour market, it’s often because they lack the necessary language and social skills, even after completing English as a Second Language (ESL) training.

Newcomers might not be familiar with the North American jargon used in many trades and professions, making them more likely to be screened out at the very first phone call with a recruiter. But a new type of language training is being introduced across Canada to remedy that. Called Enhanced Language Training (ELT), it’s training that provides job-specific English instruction to help newcomers gain and retain work in their fields of expertise.

Since Ottawa’s recent announcement of $20 million in funding for such programs as part of the Internationally Trained Workers Initiative, a host of ELT-type projects have popped up across the country.