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"When we came to the VLC five years ago, we were hoping my daughter would experience affirmation and encouragement that seemed lacking in her school experience. I am pleased to say we found it."
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Underachievement due to English as a Second Language

Children who begin English instruction having spent their early childhood years from birth to 5 years or older in a foreign language environment begin their lessons in English in a compromised situation. It should be noted that the same effect often occurs when early childhood caregivers speak a language other than English and do not read or share the early childhood culture of English language speakers with the children, even when parents do speak English to the child. The problem is often more than just understanding or using vocabulary. It means these children do not experience the kind of play-based learning, such as stories, games, videos, songs and nursery rhymes of English speaking children. While the experience they have had in the culture of the original language group are very valuable, it is often not applicable to the developmental experiences required for academic success in English. While in the early grades the problem may not emerge as clearly, it can be detected by a Neuropsychological and Educational Assessment.

At the Vancouver Learning Centre, using a neuropsychological lens, an intense program in language and early culture stories and games in English is individually designed for each child. In addition, it focuses on commonly needed English language core skills through our signature “week-ahead program”, and reaches back into the early childhood learning experiences in language to build a new and sturdy platform for academic success in English throughout school.

At the Vancouver Learning Centre we work in collaboration with the parents and the child’s classroom teacher to improve their long-term academic outcome.

If the child also has a learning disability, this, too, will be detected, and rehabilitation in the areas of weakness will be included in the program.

If the child is very bright, activities to nurture their strong skills will also be included to help them to develop at their challenge level.

Finally, the Vancouver Learning Centre’s best practice in learning and learning to learn will be integrated into each program to promote long term learning success.

At any age of entry or transfer from another language to English speaking schooling, the Vancouver Learning Centre stands ready to partner children, youth, and young adults and their parents to produce an enhanced overall academic outcome.

If your child, youth or young adult has begun English language instruction after beginning life and/or school in a foreign language environment and you are concerned about long term academic achievement, please see the next steps below.

Next Steps

  • If you would like to have answers as to what can be done, you can book a complimentary interview with Vancouver Learning Centre Director Andrew Taylor by telephone at 604-738-2277 or by e-mail.
  • If after you are fully informed through the interview and by reading this website you are interested in proceeding, Andrew will provide you with an assessment date to begin the process.
  • If you have further concerns or questions you can speak to VLC principal and senior psychologist, Dr. Geraldine Schwartz, either by telephone or by booking a further personal complimentary interview.
  • The assessment will provide a clear statement of the student’s cognitive and educational strengths and weaknesses along with a detailed program that is offered as a proposal. The program is delivered by the Vancouver Learning Centre’s highly qualified teaching faculty, one-to-one.


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