I AM SYRIA

My mother is back home—in Syria. She has cancer. I can’t be with her; I can’t comfort her.

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I AM IRAQ

I was a tall man before I lost my legs. I cultivated the land. Every fruit you can imagine: Oranges, pears, grapes, cherries—and figs. Too many figs! But the vegetation is disappearing because of the war. No oxygen—no life.

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I AM ERITREA

I was smuggled across the border into Sudan, then travelled by foot through the desert to Egypt. Many people died on that desert-crossing. I don’t know why I lived. But I thank God for it.

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I AM IRAN

They came in the morning—early in the morning—and put me in prison for my Christian faith. My wife and children searched for me. After three months, they found me. We are free now, and grateful—and we want to give back to our new country.

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I AM NEPAL

We left our beautiful village and moved into camps. We couldn't work—it wasn't permitted. At night, we slipped out of the camps and found odd jobs to feed our families. Now, I am still trying to feed my family—I'm working three jobs.

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I AM SOUTH SUDAN

They came across the border, killed my family, left me for dead. I spent many months recovering in the hospital.

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I AM CANADA

I am safe. I am strong. I am hopeful.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

The I-AM ESL Program is uniquely designed to meet the needs of refugees:

We bring our courses into students’ homes.
Refugees often experience high levels of stress in adjusting to a new country, especially if they have disabilities or are caring for young children. We attempt to alleviate this stress by bringing our courses into homes; this creates a comfortable environment and gives students a level of control over their own learning.

We seek to augment LINC courses.
Students who are on the waiting list for LINC courses can begin learning immediately with the I-AM program, and they will have more confidence when they begin their LINC courses. Students who have completed the LINC courses can continue learning for free with I-AM in order to better prepare for education or employment in Canada.

Our program prepares students for education in Canada.
Our focus is less on basic functioning in English and more on a holistic approach to instruction that prepares students for education in Canada, whether it is high school, technical school, college, or university. However, all students are welcome to join us—whether or not they plan to attend school in Canada.

Our program meets the needs of learners who have encountered pain, stress, or trauma.
We offer a unique program rooted in music, movement, and story that stems from the latest research regarding how traumatized individuals learn. Music and story-telling are highly therapeutic and create exciting and enjoyable opportunities for learning.

We create a stimulating learning environment.
I-AM courses are designed to be spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally engaging through higher-order thinking, creative speech acts, classroom community—and in higher-level courses—in-depth discussion, analysis of texts, and academic writing.

We have a broad teaching scope.
We teach reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to beginner, intermediate, and advanced students, emphasizing accent modification in all courses. Indiscernible speech is the most significant factor preventing ESL learners from finding suitable employment; therefore, all of our courses focus on English pronunciation, intonation, and stress.

We use music to teach English.
Because we offer a music-based program, our students learn correct stress and intonation—which, since English moves to its own rhythms rather than to predictable stress patterns—are the most important factors in learning how to speak English.

Our program is free.



I-AM
Program Design


The I-AM program offers ESL courses in homes, shelters, community centres, and churches in Canada and overseas.

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I-AM
Courses


I-AM courses prepare students for education in Canada—whether it is high school, technical school, college, or university.

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I-AM Refugees
Teaching Refugees


In the classroom, we encourage students to help one another, and teacher assistants (TA’s) quickly rise to the surface.

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I-AM Teaching
and Learning


The I-AM team brings over 45 years of experience to the fields of teaching, teacher training, curriculum design and implementation, and student assessment.

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I-AM Values

I-AM is a faith-based organization.

We know what it means to cherish our faith.

We believe that God is love—that He offers hope and a future for every one of our students. We want to help them find that hope, find that future—and in the process, we will be transformed along with them.