UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

A pilot course for teaching English as an additional language to older people Buzan, Jean Mary


This case history covers the progress of a pilot course for teaching English as an additional language to older people from the original concept to its evaluation and final acceptance for future implementation. A serious problem was observed to exist among the large number of older immigrants living in Canada who cannot speak or understand the English language. Many of these people had lived here for many years imprisoned in a 'language ghetto’ which allowed them to communicate only with those of their own race. The difficulties experienced by these individuals, as well as the impoverishment of Canadian culture engendered by their inability to communicate, constituted sufficient reason to explore the feasibility of designing a course to offer English language training specifically for them. A thorough study of all the current English language training courses in Vancouver, British Columbia, revealed a gap in the services available for this particular population. A review of the literature regarding learning and the older person disclosed nothing which might suggest that such an undertaking might prove abortive. The geographical locations -of ethnic populations who might be expected to register in such a course were charted, and a suitable community centre in which to hold the classes was selected. Promotional material was prepared and disseminated through mass media and other suitable outlets. The class was successfully launched and throughout its course careful records were kept including attendance, characteristics of participants, and anecdotes reflecting the acceptance of the course by those attending. The project firmly established the need for such courses for this group, and found that the overall format of the program was satisfactory and feasible. Recommendations for future courses were outlined, and an expansion of the pilot course was subsequently effectively implemented in Vancouver.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.