At the Centre is an ongoing blog series that features Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement (CEIIA) faculty and staff.
Nadia Khan has been an ELL instructor at the CEIIA for five years. She is also an ACE TESOL practicum supervisor and is currently part of the CEIIA's Indigenous Peoples in Canada: Awareness for English Language Learners project.
What do you like most about your job?
The best thing is that I get to learn, volunteer, teach, and mentor while working at Bow Valley College, so professional growth occurs continuously. I love the diversity and inclusiveness that surrounds me, be it in the form of the amazing colleagues that I work with or my awesome learners. I find my learners inspiring. Their life stories and their dedication to doing better motivate me every day. Along with that I absolutely love our beautiful campus; it’s a great place to spend most of my day.
What’s one thing that you’ve learned since working here?
I’ve learned that things get done and problems are solved. It may take a while, but we get there eventually. At the CEIIA, we have the expertise and the knowledge to find solutions. All you need to do is ask.
What do you value most about your colleagues?
My colleagues are helpful, friendly, and creative. I value the collaboration and teamwork that exists in our department. I work with some wonderful and approachable teachers, coordinators, and administrative staff.
Who is an educator that has impacted your life?
Two of my university professors who have also been my mentors for most of my professional life have shaped many of my perspectives and views.
What are three traits that are important in your role?
- Strong organizational and planning skills: These are a must. It’s essential to plan, scaffold, and revisit your teaching by organizing activities and managing timelines.
- Empathy: It’s important to be sensitive to the learners’ needs and wants and provide proper supports to ensure learner success.
- Adaptability: It’s also important to stay up to date on your teaching practices.
What is your favourite go-to resource?
My colleagues, reliable websites on the internet, and nowadays ESL for ALL.
Can you describe an aha moment you have experienced in your role?
We once organized a skills fair where all the learners had to demonstrate their skills. This was such an empowering activity. The learners felt confident, happy, and enthusiastic while demonstrating and teaching their skills to their teachers and other learners in the program. Prior to this, many learners didn’t think that most of their skills were transferable or that they could be used effectively in their new life. Knowing that their skills and knowledge are valued here in Canada was encouraging and empowering for them.
What do you want to learn this year?
I want to research about and compare English, Amharic, and Tigrinya (languages spoken in Ethiopia and Eretria) language structures and sentence patterns to help learners organize their ideas while writing paragraphs in English.
What is your favourite book?
There are many, ranging from classical to mystery and post-colonial genres. At the moment the one that comes to mind is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This one resonates with me because if you are determined and adaptable you’ll eventually reach your goal. Things may not be as you might have envisioned, but if you are adaptable you’ll enjoy whatever comes your way.
Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know.
I used to be actively involved in dramatics and theatre at my previous workplaces- often heading and managing the marketing and production side of theatrical performances.