Parent Advocacy Brochure

Some time ago, with funding support from the BCTF, a brochure was produced,  a brochure to help parents of ESL students in BC understand the BC public school system.

This brochure explains the following to parents:

  • what ESL support might look like for their children,
  • what is involved in learning a new language,
  • how school in British Columbia may be different from what they experienced in their home countries,
  • ways they can know how their children are doing at school, and
  • what they can do to help their children learn.

The brochure had been translated into the fourteen most common languages spoken by students in B.C. public schools:

  • French
  • Chinese (simplified characters)
  • Chinese (traditional characters)
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Persian (Farsi)
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Punjabi
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnamese

Each translated brochure is labeled in English to help you identify them for easy distribution. We hope that this brochure will be useful to schools and community groups. Please feel free to print, photocopy and distribute as needed.

ESL Parent Advocacy Brochure

Parent Information Brochures

Trying to help parents and students understand our school system and how we ‘do school’ is always a challenge. Few districts are lucky enough to have cultural interpreters available to help with this cross-cultural understanding. With a grant from federal funders of the Settlement Workers in Schools program and the willing assistance of ESL teachers and cultural workers, a series of brochures has been created to address various information needs – in several languages. Many of these brochures are now online and accessible for downloading in English and in several languages. More will follow as the culturally accurate translations are completed.

A total of 38 brochures have been created but not all are yet available on the website as accurate and appropriate translation takes some time. To view the list of topics now available go to: Parent Information Brochures


Tell me about the British Columbia school system; Will my child be well educated here?

The Vancouver Board of Education has shared two videos, in English and several other languages, that help newcomer families understand how the school system works in BC. Aside from explaining some of the items mentioned in the Parent Information Brochures above, it also outlines how ‘doing school’ is both similar and different.

Going to Elementary School

10 Questions about the BC Secondary School System


Letter to Minister Abbott

The PSA continues to lobby on behalf of English Additional Language Learners at every opportunity. Sometimes it takes a while, but after much discussion at executive meetings and [on our behalf] at PSA presidents’ council meetings, a letter we drafted was approved, revised by BCTF and sent forward to the Minister of Education.

The letter focusses on two main issues: the five year funding cap and the need for some form of short term sheltered program to orient newcomers to our schools, especially if they arrive after the school year has begun. Read this excellent letter and do pass it on. Further, let everyone know your view of these and other issues or email us and let us know what else you think we ought to be working toward on behalf of our learners.

Ltr to Abbott Feb 13 2012


A Crisis in ESL Education 2006

This document first summarizes the core issues, makes some recommendations for action, then explores the underlying complexity that has helped to create what we are calling a “crisis in ESL education” – a crisis for the students and their teachers.


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