Monday, July 11, 2011

Douglas College student gets boost from ESL program

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

When Anastasia Romanova enrolled in the English as a Second Language program at Douglas College, she had no idea how well it would prepare her for academic courses. In fact, the Russian immigrant found that her ESL classes were actually harder than some of her regular classes.

“I thought the ESL program would be easier than academic programs, but it was a very good start for studying at Douglas because I obtained experience that let me succeed in English 1130 – Academic Writing,” she says. “Usually, people who’ve taken ESL, and even native speakers, are afraid of English 1130. But I got an A-.”

Now Anastasia, who describes her English as “so-so” when she came to Canada three years ago, is taking Biology courses and has been accepted to the Psychiatric Nursing program. Back in Russia she was a teacher with a background in psychology and sociology, but decided to change career paths once she came to Canada.

“I always liked to work with people, but when I was young I was afraid because I didn’t have the necessary experience,” says Anastasia, now 34. “Now I feel that I’m ready to work with people who have problems, because I have some experiences I can share with them.”

With the Psychiatric Nursing program, Anastasia’s got four more years of education ahead of her. But she feels well-prepared to carry on with her studies – thanks to a solid foundation in ESL.

“The ESL program is a very good start for any academic program at Douglas, and my experience will be very useful. It’s not only about English, but about study skills and Douglas College requirements.

“I am really thankful to my ESL teachers.”