Friday, November 02, 2007

what does a language assistant coordinator do?

This has been a busy week for the MA Language Program . It has been registration week for the next 6 week session of French and English classes. This means that we have certain times when new student can come in. They complete paper work, take a written test and then spend 5-10 minutes chatting with a professor to determine which level they should be placed in (we have 4 levels). My job in all this was preparing and copying forms and tests, information to hand out, registering students in classes once their level was determined, taking their money. Once all registration was finished I’ve been entering all the data on students into our database and making attendance sheets and the like.
The MA program fills a special need in Montreal. Although there are lots of language schools around, many of them are targeted at business people and aren’t very affordable. Likewise, the adult education commission has some great programs, but these are not available to those without permanent residency. The MA program is fairly unique in that all of our teachers are volunteers. Therefore prices of classes kept low, at only $65-85 for a 6 week session of 8 hours of class a week. We also offer a substantial discount for refugees, only $25 a course with proof of status.
I really enjoyed work during registration this week seeing the broad demographic of students joining the program. There is such a diverse group of people both accessing the service and volunteering to make the service possible. A large majority of students enrolling are Mexican, but beyond that I registered Haitians, Chileans, Cubans, Sudanese, Algerians, Guineans, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Americans, Canadians, French, Columbians, Brazilians… such diversity must make for interesting classes, as most of the classes are conversations based. Furthermore, many of the teachers are immigrants as well.
Overall, I’m finding it to be a great job. I get the opportunity to work in primarily in French, interact a variety of people, see the inner workings of a non-profit and the hours are quite flexible. Definitely better than working at McDo’s!

1 comment:

MAWG said...

Sounds fascinating and rewarding!