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Information for Newcomers: Improving Your English/French and Skills Upgrade

Meet a Settlement Worker

MOSAIC settlement workers have supported thousands of newcomers in identifying their needs and making a plan for settling in the Lower Mainland. You can talk to your settlement worker about any of the topics on this page, or attend a workshop. Our services are free for permanent residents and live-in caregivers.
Our settlement workers speak English and one or more of the following languages:
Français فارسی Kinyarwa كوردى Kiswahili
عربي Filipino Kirundi Русский Türkçe
中文 日本語 한국어 Español Việt Ngữ

Improving English/French & Skills Upgrade

English/French classes

Canada has two official languages: English French. As a newcomer, you can access free English classes (LINC) or French classes for newcomer adults by visiting a language centre, where you will have to take a proficiency test before being placed in a suitable class for your skills/level. Some classes do field trips into the community while others focus on workplace English. Some schools offer free childcare for parents who want to improve their English/French.

Besides government-funded classes, private language schools can also help you improve your skills. Some community centres and libraries offer free chat circles or meet-ups where you can practice your English with others.

Adult education and skills upgrades

Continuing education is available for adults who wish to receive their high-school diploma. These programs are usually offered by local school boards/districts.

After high school, Canadians can pursue post-secondary education through colleges, universities and other post-secondary institutions, some of which have been authorized to grant degrees/certificates/diplomas (others are not government regulated). Most post-secondary institutions have two main terms or semesters: fall, which generally runs from September to December), and winter, from January until April. Courses are also available during the spring/summer, but many students take this time off to work.

Post-secondary students can obtain financial assistance in the form of bursaries, scholarships, student loans and RESPs.

Back to Information for Newcomers

MOSAIC believes in providing support to clients while receiving services. Please visit our dedicated client subsection that provides information on

  • Client Rights and Responsibilities,
  • Opportunity to tell your story,
  • Client satisfaction survey, and
  • Complaints procedures...by clicking here.