Library-based program helps immigrants learn language through art

A program at Regina Public Library is offering new immigrants a chance to learn through the language of art.

The ‘Art for Canadian Newcomers’ class allows immigrants to create art while brushing up on their English and meeting new people.

“It’s based on art because art is a universal language, so it makes them feel comfortable because if they don’t have strong English verbal skills, they are able to connect through art activities,” Regina Public Library Reference & Programming Assistant Leah Dahl said. Dahl was teaching a group at the Glen Elm branch on Saturday.

“You don’t need language to understand art, and that’s what kind of makes me passionate about it,” Dahl said. “And I really love helping people learn about our community and our language and our culture here, and I love learning about other cultures as well.”

Participants in the program find it’s a great opportunity for the entire family to learn.

“Especially (my daughter), she’s eight-years-old and she was a little afraid with communicating with people, especially with English,” Participant Rasha Mahmoud said. Mahmoud and her family moved to Canada from Egypt this year and regularly attend the ‘Art for Canadian Newcomers’ class.

“(My children) feel that they are part of this library and they want to do everything.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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