Welcome to ESL Voices from VCC, where you will read and hear personal stories by students from various ESL departments and levels at Vancouver Community College. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the project coordinator Mandana Rastan at mrastan@vcc.ca.
Chris Dong  Terence Hon
Wassem Walled Nassar  Negar Oveysi
Amy Wang  Sara Yang
Ming Moon Luo Yue  Information for Instructors

Negar OveysiNegar Oveysi  Listen to Negar's bio

My name is Negar and I was born in 1985 in northwest Iran. I lived in Bookan until I was four years old. Due to my fatherís business my family and I moved to Mahabad, which is one hour away from Bookan. I grew up in Mahabad and I began my studies there until I finished high school. I am able to communicate fluently in four other languages such as Kurdish, Farsi, Azeri and Turkish besides English. I was a university student and I studied Information Technology for two years in my hometown but unfortunately I couldnít continue my studies there, so I moved to Canada in 2008. I believe that nothing is impossible and everyone can achieve their dream by working hard and being positive. Some people told me that it is very boring to go to college and learn nothing except English. In a way I thought that they were right, but I looked at it positively. For instance, I told myself that it would be boring now, but someday it will be very useful and help me in several ways. Right now I am so glad that I can communicate, read and write in English fluently.

Negar's story is Nothing is Impossible if You Work HardRead Listen

Amy WangAmy Wang  Listen to Amy's bio

My name is Amy. I immigrated to Vancouver two and a half years ago, in March 2009. I have studied English at VCC for 14 months from level ELSA 4, and I'll register for 059 class in January 2012. However, everything didn't go well for me at the beginning. With the improvement of my English, I have gotten more confident to handle many things in my new life. At VCC, I have met dedicated teachers such as Mandana Rastan, Eugene Sayson, Carol Shelton, etc. Not only do they teach us English, but they also encourage us to have a positive attitude towards our life. In short, I get more than English in Vancouver.

Amy's story is More Than EnglishRead Listen

Chris DongChris Dong  Listen to Chris's bio

Nearly 15 months ago, my wife and I, as skilled workers, immigrated to Vancouver. We were very happy to reunite with our son, who had been learning English in Surrey since 2009. Although I had an admirable career in China, I came back to school to learn English at VCC and VSB (Vancouver School Board). Furthermore, we were turning a new leaf, like the morning sun in the new country. Now I have a new plan in Canada. I am going to apply for a PhD at university. I know it is not easy, but I hope, even believe deeply, my dream must come true through my persistence.

Chris's story is Dream it! Do it! Read Listen

Please visit YouTube for videos of former NASA astronaut John Herrington's presentation and interview at Vancouver Community College.

Presentation  Interview

Terence HonTerence Hon  Listen to Terence's bio

My name is Terence. I was born in Hong Kong. I moved to Vancouver in 2009. I am a Christian. I like to go to church and do volunteer work. When I have free time, I like to read. My personal traits are cheerful and caring. In 2008 I went to Fiji and volunteered for four months. I helped students to learn math. I also spent my birthday in Fiji and saw three rainbows in the sky on that day. It was an unforgettable experience. After that, I went to Szechwan in 2009. This city was destroyed by an earthquake in 2008. When some people told their experiences, they cried. From their experiences I realized how precious life is, so I want to live a meaningful and valuable life. Iím so happy that I have gained so much from the past few years of volunteering overseas. I hope I can go around the world to see different countries and help many people.

Terence's story is An Experience that Touched My HeartRead Listen

Sara YangSara Yang  Listen to Sara's bio

My name is Sara Yang. I came to Vancouver from China about five months ago. In July, I started learning English at VCC. I experienced the most difficult first month. Through this period of study, I can feel the progress. Although I have some difficulties in learning and have a long way to go, I believe if I persevere, eventually one day I can grow wings and fly in the sky.

Sara's story is The Crow and the SquirrelRead Listen

Wassem Walled NassarWassem Walled Nassar  Listen to Wassem's bio

My name is Wassem Walled Nassar. I am 29 years old. I was born in Iraq. I am Palestinian. I am studying English at VCC in the ELSA program. When I first arrived in Canada I didn't know any English, but now after only one year I can speak to and understand most people. I work part time at a convenience store. I also do some volunteer work with Red Cross. I enjoy helping new immigrants get settled in Canada. In my free time I like to go to the gym and meet new people.

Wassem's story is From a Dark Past to a Bright FutureRead Listen

Moon YueMoon Yue  Listen to Moon's bio

My name is Moon. Iím from China. I came to Canada two years ago. I started my ELSA class on November 1, 2011. I like exercising. I usually like to play badminton. I like Vancouver because the people are very nice. I hope I will enjoy my life.

Moon's story is My HalloweenRead Listen

Information for Instructors

This project is a collaborative effort by instructors, students, and support staff. Iíd like to thank the students for their contributions, Chris Joyce and Peter Leung for their technical suppport, and Richard Sim and Dale Hunter for approving this as a professional development project. Instructors throughout the ESL Division are welcome to contribute their students' stories. If you are interested and would like more information, please contact me at mrastan@vcc.ca.