Issues in Providing English as a Second Language Training to Refugees: Lessons from Newfoundland and Labrador


  • Tony Fang Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Kerri Neil Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • David R. Brake Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Halina Sapeha Memorial University of Newfoundland


English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction is a vital part of integrating refugees who do not speak the language into their new home in Newfoundland and Labrador. Given the importance of communicating in an official language in Canada, learning English is integral to finding a job, expanding social networks, and accessing social services.  Yet, learning English can be a challenge for this diverse group which includes people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. The Canadian government supports refugees through the one-year Refugee Assistance Program and within this timeframe, refugees are expected to learn English and be able to support themselves financially.