The Impact of Language and Skills Training on Immigrants's Lives


  • Ping Wong
  • Patricia Duff
  • Margaret Early



This study is a qualitative exploration of the experiences of immigrants who completed a health care aide training program that combined occupational skills and ESL training. The focus was the employment barriers and personal benefits associated with program completion. Data were collected through structured interviews with nine participants, eight of whom were women, which were then transcribed and analyzed for central themes. The interview data were supplemented with document data consisting of information from application forms and intake assessment tests. The findings revealed that participation in the training program had a major impact on the employment, identities, and settlement of program participants. The skills and language training improved the employment prospects of the individuals, although many had to overcome such employment barriers as the need to work on call, conflicts between domestic responsibilities and work outside the home, and transportation limitations. Many participants also spoke of the importance of learning job-search skills and the personal significance of having an occupational identity. Finally, successful completion of the program increased the self-confidence and autonomy of the individuals, which in turn aided their settlement and integration into Canadian society. The article concludes with recommendations for future research in this area, as well as pedagogical interventions to assist participants with their ongoing language learning, job aspirations, and settlement.




How to Cite

Wong, P. . . . . . . . . . ., Duff, P. . . . . . . . . . ., & Early, M. . . . . . . . . . . (2009). The Impact of Language and Skills Training on Immigrants’s Lives. TESL Canada Journal, 18(2), 01–31.