Settlement News Across the Province/2008-2/1

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SNAP Vol. 4 / #2 - Spring 2008 - ELT- A Step Towards Employment

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ELT - A Step Towards Employment
ELT (Enhanced Language Training) Program Validating Professional Skills

The Ottawa Region is recognized for its bilingualism and cultural diversity, and its numerous employment opportunities in many fields. Since 2005, thanks to financial support from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, La Cité Collégiale has taken on the responsibility of helping newcomers trained abroad access the Canadian labour market.

By Valerie Tessier, Cité collégiale

Through Enhanced Language Training, immigrants and permanent residents familiarize themselves with our culture while adapting their knowledge to suitable employment. La Cité collégiale is the only Francophone college to offer this program in French with an English component in a bilingual environment, and is very proud to have helped over fifty people reach their full potential since it began. The success of the ELT project at la Cité collégiale is due to its flexibility and personalized services to newcomers from all employment and educational backgrounds.

To validate and build on professional skills acquired in Canada or abroad, the ELT program gives participants an opportunity to build contacts and find a job that is related to their prior work experience. Newcomers who participate in the ELT program leave ready to work in their field and confident in their skills. They can then more easily integrate and contribute to social, community, and professional life in the region.

ELT is a program based on a 16-week schedule, covering theory, practice, mentoring, and a work placement to consolidate the students’ essential skills. Through language training and the employability component, ELT helps participants improve their language skills in order to find a job in a francophone environment


Based on achieving Canadian language skill levels, the ELT program provides French language training to help newcomers improve their reading, writing, and verbal communication skills. These language skills are acquired through exposure to the language of the labour market, exploration of essential skills, and workplace integration.

Since the majority of businesses in the National Capital Region operate in both official languages, ELT also includes various English courses to increase participants’ employment opportunities. While the program adapted by La Cité collégiale is offered in French, the English courses are beneficial to help candidates integrate.


We live in a constantly evolving society. Looking for a job searching is a major challenge and you need to know the essential techniques to succeed. By helping newcomers acquire language skills, ELT prepares them to understand the Canadian labour market through the employability component of the program. This component helps Francophone newcomers to conduct a productive job search and be prepared to deal with workplace legislation. This in turn helps them develop employment strategies and job search tools while learning about Canadian professional values. Through the language course, ELT helps newcomers acquire and consolidate French-language computing skills so they can use various office automation programs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet and Windows.

For any new situation, a debriefing is the best way to do an evaluation and adjust to changes. The ELT program at la Cité collégiale does this by providing newcomers with opportunities to take stock of their knowledge by preparing a portfolio. In addition to being a “passport” to employment, this tool gives newcomers great pride because it concretely shows their professional skills and achievements so far.

In short, the ELT program at la Cité collégiale is a path to employability that is a considerable asset to French-speaking immigrants trained abroad who settle in the Ottawa area. It helps them integrate professionally and develop their language skills based on real-life context and labour market needs. ELT is an initiative that has proven itself and continues its mission to help newcomers to Canada in addition to helping increase the number of Francophone workers in the Ottawa area.


Published by TESL Ontario, SNAP aims to inform readers about new initiatives and resources in the field of settlement services. SNAP will also have notices of upcoming conferences, workshops or other professional development opportunities.