As the number of newcomers to Brandon only continues to rise, so too does the need for English language programs. With the recent retirement of the previous and long-serving Language Program Manager, Westman Immigrant Services (WIS) is pleased to welcome Brandy Robertson into the position. Previously the Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Centre, Robertson comes to WIS with fifteen years of experience volunteering and working in the not-for-profit sector, a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of New Brunswick, and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification.
WIS Executive Director Lois MacDonald states, “Brandy has a perfect combination of education and experience to contribute to this position. We look forward to strengthening the current classes that we offer and forging new partnerships within the community to assist our organization to grow into the future. Brandy will play a key role in
moving many of these initiatives forward.”
“I’m incredibly happy to be here,” said Robertson on being asked how she was settling in. “The staff are very welcoming, and I’m really looking forward to working with folks from all over the world who have the most amazing stories to tell. This position allows me to combine two of my life’s passions: immigrant and refugee rights and English language and literature study.”
Robertson started in the position early in August and will also be responsible for managing the Language Centre where interpretation and language assistance are provided on a fee for service basis to community agencies and organizations. Robertson will also oversee another unique language program, Welcome Here, which partners WIS with Elspeth Reid
Family Resource Centre to provide a learning opportunity for parents with young children. The 30 week program, running for two hours twice weekly, provides childcare for the children while the parents participate in language learning. The latter part of each class encourages participation in bonding activities between parents and children.
WIS provides English classes to approximately 400 individuals each year. Skills needed for speaking, listening, reading, and writing English are taught at the Canadian Language Benchmark Levels 1-4. A thriving aspect of Westman Immigrant Services, English language classes are offered free of charge to permanent residents. Class registration opens on Monday, August 20th , and classes begin on September 10th, running until June 2019. A wide variety of class times are available to meet the needs of all students, including day, evening and weekend time slots. For more information on English language programming and all that WIS offers, visit 1001 Pacific Avenue, call 204-727-6031, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.