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Spring 2022 Student News

Welcome to CCI-LEX Student 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 full of 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 thank you to all of our volunteers who help make CCI-LEX a very special place


Happy Reading,

Anne-Marie Kallal, Executive Director


Meet our Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors are students that love CCI-LEX and want to share their experiences with others! Our Student Ambassadors will represent CCI-LEX at different events around Edmonton! Through this program, students can learn new skills, gain volunteer experience, grow confident in their English, and meet new friends! Students of all levels  are encouraged to participate! Keep reading to find out how to become a Student Ambassador!


Right now, we have 3 students in our ambassadors program. These 3 lovely ladies are from different countries, cultures and English levels and are all amazing representatives of our school! Here is a short introduction written by two of them!


Chinara Teymurova

Hello there, I am Chinara from Azerbaijan. I am 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 are our Student Ambassadors doing? 


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


In the coming months, our Student Ambassadors will also:

  • Visit Communities!
  • Attend public events!
  • Help at school workshops!


Are you interested in becoming a Student Ambassador? 


Do you love CCI-LEX? 

Do you want Canadian volunteering experience? 

Do you want to learn new skills? 


Sign-up today! -> Email our Student Events Organizer at or sign-up at the office!

Happy Belated National Volunteer Week

CCI-LEX loves our volunteers!

Did you know that National Volunteer Week was from April 24th to April 30th this year? We have 98 amazing volunteers teaching in our LEX Program, supporting over 307 students from 65 different countries! We would also like to celebrate our 18 amazing volunteer Board and Committee Members! For the first time in 2 years, we celebrated our amazing volunteers at CCI-LEX with a Volunteer Appreciation Party! This year, we had 33 volunteers celebrate with us! We celebrated the anniversaries of two amazing teachers, Karen and Vinnie, who celebrated their 5th and 15th anniversaries teaching!

The event 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 and mingle 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!

We would like to extend a very big thank you to the 4-5 volunteers that stayed longer to help us with clean-up! Including our staff members, we had 37 participants in total! We would also like to recognize that in the past year we had around 150 hours of Committee Meetings, 160 hours of training workshops that our volunteers participated in, 220 hours of Board Meetings and 3357 hours of teaching!

Did you know that 68% of volunteers have been with us for over 3 years?

  • 32% joined our team in our last 2 years
  • 47% have been with us for 3-5 years!
  • 13% have been with us for 5+ years!
  • 8% have been with us for more than 10 years!

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

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

Resources for Learning English

Play this game to improve your English pronunciation!

Check out Edmonton Public Library’s ESL Resources!

More Speaking and Pronunciation Practice!

Test/Assess your own English level using this link!

Learn about Canadian Language Benchmarks!


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