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Spring 2022 Community News

Welcome to CCI-LEX Community News!

It has been a busy few months!  Both our LEX and CCI Programs have started new terms and we are seeing more students returning to our in-person classes.  It has been wonderful to see classes a bit busier, and the hallways starting to buzz with positive energy and laughter once again.

We have begun to register some Ukrainian refugees into our programs, and are doing our best to welcome them and introduce them to other community resources.  And, as travel becomes easier, we have been very pleased to welcome a number of new international students in our CCI Program – resulting in our highest student numbers since before the pandemic!

Aside from starting new terms, we’ve also been busy with student recognition and activities for International Women’s Day, Easter, Eid and Mother’s Day.  And of course, we can’t forget National Volunteer Week!  A huge shout out to all of our amazing volunteers.  You are so generous with your time, skills, and good will; you are what makes CCI-LEX such a truly special place, and we can’t thank you enough!

Happy Reading,

Anne-Marie Kallal, Executive Director


Meet our Student Ambassadors

Our Student Ambassador Program is an opportunity for our students and student alumni to represent CCI-LEX and help increase our presence in various communities around Edmonton! Through this program, students can gain meaningful volunteer experience, practice networking, and grow their connections! Students of all levels are encouraged to participate!


Currently we have a small group of students participating in our Ambassadors Program.  These amazing students come from different countries and cultural backgounds, and have different levels of English, but all are amazing representatives of our school!  Here is a short introduction written by two of our Ambassadors!

Chinara Teymurova

Hello there, I am Chinara from Azerbaijan, currently settled in Edmonton along with my own family. As a veteran CCI student, I’m a happy person wandering around and trying to help people around me as much as I can. I have a passion for volunteering and helping others was the reason I chose to become a volunteer student ambassador here in CCI-LEX. 

I’ve always been an active student in school, college and here at CCI-LEX. I have participated in many workshops and events in the past, met wonderful people from all around the world and have won many awards.

In my leisure time, I relish going out with friends and exploring new museums and galleries. I also enjoy watching movies, theater, reading and traveling.

Natalie Chung

My name is Natalie, and I came from Hong Kong. I’ve been living in Edmonton for 2 years now. I know English is very important in Canada, so I need to overcome the language barrier which is why I found CCI-LEX. I have taken several English classes at CCI-LEX including Communication Skills, Workplace English, and Fun with idioms. These lessons improved my English and communication skills.  Now, I work as a volunteer in the CCI-LEX office, as an assistant in the English Conversation Club, and as a Student Ambassador. 

I can now connect with people and gain work experience in Canada. I think I am very fortunate to study at CCI-LEX, the teachers and the staff are helpful and supportive. I appreciated the opportunities to work with them, and I enjoy every moment in CCI-LEX!


What have our Student Ambassadors done so far? 

Since the start of 2022, our Student Ambassadors have:

  • Participated in biweekly online meetings over Zoom
  • Set personal goals for themselves
  • Learned about CCI-LEX history and our different programs
  • Researched different organizations to promote CCI-LEX to

Our Student Ambassadors will continue working on these tasks and hopefully much more in the coming months such as:

  • Community visits!
  • Attend public events!
  • Help at school workshops!

Are you a teacher at CCI-LEX and know a student you think would be an amazing Student Ambassador? 

Feel free to email our Student Events Organizer at to recommend them or ask your students to sign-up at the office! 

National Volunteer Week Celebrations

The celebration on Friday, May 6th marked a lot of “firsts” for our staff and volunteers.  Our Volunteer Appreciation party was the first opportunity for many of our staff and volunteer teachers to meet in-person! Some faces were hard to recognize because it was our first time seeing them without a mask! It was also our first time seeing familiar faces again after almost two years of being online!

Out of all the things we missed out on while being online…we certainly missed the food and drinks that come with these events! Connecting with everyone again was a wonderful time filled with happy conversations, fun-filled games and tasty treats! It was a lot of fun for many teachers with consecutive games of pool going on and some teachers even playing with their feet?!

Unfortunately, even the most amazing events have their flaws…as technology seemed to fail us even though this was an in-person event! The buzzer system to let people into the building wasn’t working for us, and some volunteers had to wait a long time to get in. Our sincerest apologies to those who had to wait!  Hopefully, our technological issues end here and this will never happen again in future parties!

Including our staff members, we had 37 attendees at this special event.  A special thanks to the 4-5 volunteers that stayed longer to help us with clean-up.  And, since we are on the topic of numbers, we would also like to recognize that, in the past year, our volunteers participated in about 160 hours of training workshops, Board and Committee Members spent 370 hours in  meetings, and LEX Volunteers spent 3357 hours teaching! We thank you all who came out to celebrate with us!

Thank you for sharing your time and skills with our newcomer learners! We are very grateful to work with such a passionate and dedicated team!


Mustafa’s Story

Mustafa Kuyuk recently completed his studies in our CCI Program.  He wrote about a scary encounter he had with a grizzly bear in the Rocky Mountains!  We hope you enjoy reading his story! Thank you Mustafa for sharing this interesting story!

My best success in Canada was spending a scary night in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. My family and I were driving to Vancouver that is about 1250 km away from Edmonton. It was our first road trip in Canada, and I was the only driver in my family. Before the sun set, we arrived at a campground by the river in a valley. There were two big mountains beside the valley. The sky was getting dark, and I was very tired. We decided to set up the tents in this campground. When my wife was setting up our small tents, I went to pick up some woods for the campfire. While I was walking through the woods, I saw a big grizzly bear.

He was too busy with feeding on blueberries that he didn’t notice me. I slowly backed away and returned to the campground. There was an eerie silence in the campsite. We could only hear the voices of the wild animals. There was nobody else in the campground. I didn’t tell my family about the grizzly bear as I feared that they would get scared. After eating a small diner, I started a big campfire to keep us warm. I stayed up all night in front of the campfire as my wife and my kids went to sleep. I felt safe sitting beside the fire. Whenever I felt a bit fear, I comforted myself by adding more wood to the fire. I can’t even remember how many firewood’s I used till the morning.

Eventually, the sun rose. After packing our things with my wife and kids, we set out to continue our journey. In the car I told my kids about last night and they were very surprised. I was still restless, however I kept driving until we reached our next destination.

I will never forget this night I spent in the Rockies and this memory will always stay with me.


By Mustafa Kuyuk, Intermediate C student, from Turkey


Please mark your calendars for the CCI-LEX Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on June 20, 2022 at 6pm.  All are welcome!

This is our annual business meeting hosted by the CCI-LEX Board of Directors.  The AGM will highlight the successes and challenges from the past year, review financial statements, elect Board members, and take a look at what lies ahead.   We are also thrilled to have some of our students share their stories from the  ‘My Success in Canada’ writing contest, so you won’t want to miss it!

After two years of virtual meetings, we are planning to hold the AGM in-person once again, hooray!  We have confirmed a venue: the AGM will be held at the Stanley Milner Library in downtown Edmonton.

Check your emails for the official invitation with all the details.  You can also contact for more information or to RSVP for the event!

Student and Teacher Stories

See the Student and Teacher Stories on the Our Stories Page of our website.

 Justin came to CCI-LEX with little prior teaching experience. For him, CCI-LEX was the perfect place to explore his interest in education, providing all the how‑tos in a supportive environment. Here, Justin realized his passion for teaching ESL and developed a confidence that has positively affected other areas of his life.

Read More

Angeline considers herself a lucky newcomer. Although she didn’t speak the same dialect as her local Sudanese community upon emigrating to Canada some two decades ago, she was fortunate enough to befriend someone at her church who became her guide and companion—and who lead her to CCI-LEX.

Read More

What’s Happening at CCI-LEX

Upcoming Dates

  • June 20: CCI-LEX Annual General Meeting
  • July 15: Summer Celebration
  • October 22-23: Casino Fundraiser

From June 1st to 30th, every $1 donated to CCI-LEX gives us a chance to win $20,000 – and ensures that over 500 learners from more than 80 countries have a welcoming place to learn English and build their confidence!

Great Canadian Giving Challenge


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