“Oh no, another project! What should I do?” I needed to conduct a leadership project in order to complete the nursing program. The NURS 5514 course coordinators had offered a number of projects for students to take part in. Although it might have been easier to pick up one of the existing projects, I chose instead to conduct a project related to the EAL program, because I wanted to give back what I have received from the EAL support program.
Since the inception of the EAL Nursing Student Support program, a key element of its success has been the vibrant mentoring portion of this innovative program. We felt it was important to purposely structure this activity so that all members allied with this group could receive high quality mentoring. It began with training a number of senior nursing students to act as mentors for EAL nursing students. This peer mentor program has been effective well beyond our expectations. EAL nursing students have found having a peer mentor invaluable in learning about Canadian culture, getting assistance on academics, and having a fellow student to listen to their challenges and successes. In many cases, friendships were forged, bridges crossed, and insights were shared. In addition, peer mentors seemed to gain on a personal and potentially professional level through their participation in this program. They learned about themselves and began to truly see that mentoring is a bi-directional activity in which both parties benefit. Due to the importance of mentoring, we have dedicated this month’s EAL newsletter to this crucial aspect of our wonderful support program. Thank you to all our mentors!!
L. Choi and The EAL Nursing Support Program Team
Are you bored with the snow yet? I know I am! Although it is still snowing, every so often, with all
these unexpected warm days, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel during these wonderful months of spring. With more and more warmth and sun, it shows that the season is slowly approaching. Spring brings buds on trees and flowers from seeds, which also means that the semester will end soon and summer break is coming! As another school year passes, this is a great time to look back and reflect on ourselves and how much we’ve grown within the school year.
As nursing students, one might think we do enough reflections, right? I have come to realize that reflection is a very helpful tool in life. Whether we are reflecting on our growth in knowledge from all those textbooks we read, or through the experience we encounter in our daily lives, we always end up with one conclusion: it shows us that we definitely grew and learned in different ways, and we have learned lessons that we can carry into the next phase of life.
Volunteering. This word is defined as something you freely offer to do. That’s what I thought I was getting into when I started with EAL Nursing Support Group. Truthfully, I joined because my friend mentioned this volunteering program and asked if I wanted to join with her. Little did I know what I had signed up for. I didn’t know anything about this support group, nor did I know what I had to do, but I did know I liked volunteering so I thought I would give it a shot.
EAL support group provides help for nursing students who have English as an Additional Language (EAL). There are many amazing programs offered to help students succeed, including: workshops that assist with writing, pronunciation, communication and group gatherings and the Peer Mentor program. Mentors are the peer tutors who are nursing students volunteering with the EAL group. Nursing faculty from the EAL group partner these mentors with students who require help to work together on subjects they find challenging. Peer mentoring could benefit students who receive this guidance, and even students who serve as Peer Mentors.