Cultural Connections Institute - The Learning Exchange
We believe all newcomers have skills and gifts that will build a stronger community. Our Mission is to promote personal growth for adult learners through English Language instruction and the exchange of cultural knowledge. Our Vision is to build the confidence and skills of our students to enable them to contribute and participate in their communities in a way that is meaningful to them. Please read the student quotes below to see the impact CCI-LEX has made!
Since 2003, CCI-LEX has been providing affordable, quality English as a Second Language Classes to both permanent and temporary residents in Edmonton, Alberta. The school has grown to supporting just a few hundred students a year to over 1000 students for each of the past five years, representing nearly 90 different countries, and students range from 18 years of age to 80!
What makes us unique? In addition to running classes for both permanent and temporary residents, we are the largest continuous enrollment school in Edmonton. That means learners don't have to wait for a semester to start, they can join whenever they need to learn English! We have basic classes for those with zero English and specialized classes for those that want to improve their communication, pronunciation, or writing skills, and classes run mornings, afternoons and evenings. There is truly something for everyone.
Another distinction, as our name suggests, is that we foster cross-cultural learning exchanges. Students and instructors are encouraged to share their experiences and learn from others. CCI-LEX wants to facilitate students' language learning as well as their understanding of Canadian culture and their local community. Our students have the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of extra activities every month. They can participate in informative workshops, school contests, and field trips to festivals, events or other local attractions.
The Learning Exchange, the largest of our programs hosting over 750 students each year, is a government-funded ESL program for permanent residents, citizens and refugees. This program relies on volunteers to lead its classes. The use of volunteer instructors is key in the exchange of cultural knowledge. We encourage volunteer instructors to share their knowledge of Canadian culture and Edmonton society with their students and to make learning materials relevant to their everyday life. Each year more than 100 volunteers contribute over 5000 teaching hours!
Cultural Connections Institute is a non-government funded program that provides ESL instruction through professional instructors. Although many students have temporary status in Canada the number of learners who have the goal of immigrating to Canada increases every year. Temporary Foreign Workers who are unable to access many government-funded ESL programs make up a third of students in this program. Improving their English skills and cultural understanding is essential for their success in the workplace and will help them in their transition to Canadian life.
We believe in encouraging and facilitating programs that enable people to achieve their full potential. We advocate for and maintain affordable quality programs and services. We believe in working in partnerships and collaboration when developing ESL programs. We strive for CCI-LEX to reflect the diversity of the community, and to draw strength from that diversity. We believe all newcomers have skills and gifts that will build a stronger community.
What People Are Saying
"I really enjoyed the advance class and the wonderful teachers. I chose to live in Canada because it's the land of freedom. I achieved improvement in my English and the courage of learning more. I am so happy that I discovered this school and I appreciate the opportunity that they have given me."
— Murayo from Somalia, Student
"Here I learn my first words in English, here I began to talk with people from all over the world. It was amazing!"
— Jose from Colombia, Student
"A student once said that this school is the only place she laughs. This is reflective of the school’s environment, and a reminder that my role is to not only help students learn English, but as importantly, to help make the make their transition to an unfamiliar country and culture a little easier. "
— John, LEX Volunteer
"I studied in English in Hungary many years ago, but that was enough for silence in Canada. I always thought I was late for the class, I would never be young again. Now, it’s a miracle! I can dare to open my mouth because of the helpful, patient, close teachers. "
— Tunde from Hungary , LEX Student
"CCI-LEX has such a warm atmosphere that it's like a second home for many of us. One student told me our class is like therapy and she always leaves feeling much better. I realized it's the same for me. I find my class rewarding and rejuvenating. I consider myself lucky to be part of this family!"
— Cydney, CCI Instructor
"I never went out alone because of my English. Now I'm confident, I can go wherever I want. I'm very glad I"m taking my English class in CCI-LEX. I feel amazing. I am successful now. The teachers are wonderful. For newcomers, this is the best place to learn English. "
— Ferehiwot from Ethiopia, Student
"I appreciate the opportunity to participate as a volunteer instructor because LEX contributes to students' English learning and to their well-being as new-comers to Canada. I like being a part of this positive Edmonton community effort to help immigrants integrate well into our city and country."
— Janice, Volunteer Instructor
"You are a great thing to us. You help us to make our dreams come true, from the bottom of my heart, thank you very much."
— Eduardo from Guatemala, Student