Laurier professor helps refugee youth with language education

CBC News Kitchener Waterloo - With school just a few weeks away, many Syrian refugees in the Region of Waterloo will be getting ready to start their first-ever school year in Canada.

Because of the war, many adolescent refugees have large gaps their formal education resulting in limited literacy skills both in their mother tongue and in English.

To address this, Kristiina Montero, an associate professor in the faculty of education at Wilfrid Laurier University, helped develop an English Literacy Development (ELD) program at Eastwood Collegiate High School in Kitchener.

Now with six classes, Eastwood has become the magnet site for refugee students to access the program.

Not ESL, ELD

Unlike the English as a Second Language (ESL), Montero says the ELD can be looked as a first step to learning English literacy because it uses the same method of guided reading that is used when young children are learning how to read. But with a twist that recognizes the age and maturity of the students.