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This blog is to share our resources, book reviews, tips and ideas as a community of language professionals.  If you would like to be a regular contributor, please send an email and an example of a blog post to


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Barriers to Citizenship
March 30, 2012
This month's highlight on the TESL Blog is CLEO  (Community Legal Education Ontario) which specializes in legal  education. They have a number of resources for newcomers that help them understand and exercise their legal rights. The following is an exerpt from a recent publication.

Many newcomers hope to one day become Canadian citizens. One of the great benefits of citizenship status is the absolute right to enter and remain in Canada. As a Canadian citizen, you cannot be forced to leave Canada, unless you said something that was not true or left out information when you applied for Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status. Permanent residents, however, can be deported for a variety of reasons no matter how long they have lived here.

A successful citizenship applicant must have “an adequate knowledge” of either English or French, and applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 must pass a test, which is supposed to demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities of citizenship and a knowledge of Canada, including its history and values. For some applicants, these requirements pose significant barriers.

Oscar is a refugee who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks, works 60 hours a week to support his family, and struggles to learn English in the evenings. He has been unable to attain the language standard needed to pass the citizenship test. 

Celia has lived in Canada for 15 years and raised three children alone. She was never
taught to read in her first language and has just discovered that she has a learning
disability. She has not been able to meet the knowledge requirements of the citizenship

With legal help, Oscar and Celia may be able to apply successfully for accommodations
that will enable them to pass the test, or for a waiver of requirements on compassionate
grounds.  Language teachers can help in the following ways.

Read Entire Article>>

CLEO's English as a Second Language Resources are  available, free of charge, to be downloaded, printed and used in Adult ESL and LINC classes, at <>. The activities cover topics  such as tenant and workers' rights.


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