Bayan BasarBayan Basar says the English Language Improvement Program has helped her form relationships in her new home of Canada.

English proficiency a gateway to community for newcomer to Canada

Becoming proficient in English has opened up community life for her, says Bayan Basar.

A native of Saudi Arabia, she followed her husband to Canada when he began studies in engineering at the University of Windsor. On first arrival, she found language barriers hard to overcome. So she enrolled in the English Language Improvement Program.

She says that the program gave her skills and confidence.

“I couldn’t talk any place — restaurants, Shoppers, Tim Hortons,” says Basar. “Now I can order anything for myself. I have made a lot of relationships.”

She says she found the readings interesting and the teachers engaging.

“The instructors are very proficient and patient with us,” Basar says. “I learned a lot of things in ELIP.”

Now she hopes that when she completes her studies at the Centre for English Language Development, she can pursue a graduate degree, “maybe a master’s of nutrition.”

The Centre for English Language Development will celebrate international language students and their contributions to campus and community on World Student Day, Friday July 20. UWindsor faculty, staff, and students are invited to join in free activities, entertainment, and a lunch on Turtle Island Walk from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.