Newcomer Settlement Services

Newcomer Settlement Services | Portage Learning and Literacy Centre

Our Newcomer Settlement Services program provides various settlement services, language training, and community connection activities to help newcomers to Canada settle into their new community and begin to participate in all facets of Canadian life.

We offer formal English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and coordinate volunteers to offer informal language training (one-to-one, small group sessions or Conversation Circles) for anyone wanting to improve their English and make new friends.

We also offer a Summer Youth Engagement Program during July and August, with various fun, educational, and interactive activities planned for newcomer youth.

Our newest program is called SWIS – Settlement Workers in Schools and includes one full-time SWIS Worker who assists eligible newcomer students along with their families to better understand the Canadian Education System and smoothly transition to a new culture.

Our friendly and helpful staff look forward to meeting you and welcoming you into the community.

Please feel free to contact any of our Settlement staff at or 204-857-6304 ext. 268.

Cathy Dowd, Program Director

Miriam Turyamwijuka, Settlement Coordinator

Mostafa Skouta, Settlement Worker

Seyoum Legesse, Settlement Worker (for MB clients)

Joylen Gellamucho, SWIS Worker (Settlement Worker in Schools)

Maria Victor, Program Assistant

We offer a variety of settlement services for newcomers, including:

  • Providing needs assessments and referrals to other agencies, as well as settlement plans to be able to achieve goals
  • Conducting one-to-one meetings or group-based information sessions on key settlement topics and services available for newcomers (e.g. health & wellness, social services, housing, employment, government resources, etc.)
  • Assistance with filling out applications and important documents (e.g. MB Health Card, Social Insurance Number, Provincial Nominee Program, Citizenship, other government forms, etc.)
  • Commissioner of Oaths and Notary Services for documents
  • Connecting newcomers with volunteers who will assist in many areas of life in Canada, including practicing English (e.g. individual and group tutoring, conversation circles, etc.)
  • Providing ESL classes, assessment of your Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels, and access to other language training opportunities (e.g. online)
  • Assistance with finding quality and affordable housing in the region
  • Guidance with finding employment and assistance with job applications
  • Support with finding employment and working toward credential recognition in field of education or training
  • Helping newcomers learn more about immigration and citizenship
  • Providing opportunities for community integration (e.g. social functions, fun events, celebrations, gardening club, summer festival, and volunteer opportunities)
  • Specialized programs for youth and for women (e.g. Summer Youth Engagement Program, Portage la Prairie Regional Library Partnership, Women’s Empowerment Group)
  • Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) Program in partnership with the Portage la Prairie School Division
  • Helping newcomers meet new friends and making the community feel like home
  • Supporting and assisting newcomer immigrants and refugee students along with their families in their transition to a new culture, to better understand the education system and provide information and referrals to education and community resources.

Are you looking for additional support to work toward credential recognition for Nursing in Manitoba? Be sure to access the Manitoba Nurses’ Union’s IEN Nurse Navigator Service to help you achieve your goals:

All of our settlement services are available to:

Permanent Residents or Manitoba eligible clients, including temporary residents holding a valid work permit or study permit, refugee claimants, Canadian-born citizens raised outside Canada, naturalized Canadian citizens, and spouse and dependants of those listed above.

Please note, if you are not eligible, we can connect anyone requiring additional support with volunteers in the community to assist with meeting your needs.

Newcomer Settlement Services is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. We also receive funding from the Government of Manitoba (MB Education & Training) to provide services to Manitoba eligible clients.

Newcomer Settlement Services | Portage Learning and Literacy Centre

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)

English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes

We offer Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) for eligible adult learners. You do not have to pay to register and attend ESL classes offered through this program. These classes assist learners to attain proficiency in English required for basic social interaction and also help newcomers find employment and pursue educational goals.

Language Assessments and Registrations | Portage Learning and Literacy Centre
Language Assessment and Registration

Before you are placed in an English class, you will have your English level assessed. Assessments are conducted by professional staff from the Winnipeg English Language Assessment and Referral Centre (WELARC) and can be conducted by a remote assessment at the PLLC. The test measures your skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing English. The assessment will allow you to be referred to an appropriate class level within our language training program at the PLLC or through English Online.

You can register for a class at any time. We offer continuous intake. However, please bring your Permanent Resident card with you when registering for a class.

For more information, visit our office at 110 Saskatchewan Ave. West in Portage la Prairie.

Class Schedule for 2019-2020 (September 5, 2019 to June 25, 2020)

Portage la Prairie
Stage 1 (CLB 1 to 4) & Stage 2 (CLB 5 to 8) classes take place at the Portage Learning & Literacy Centre

Stage 1: Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Stage 2: Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Stage 1 & 2 Multi-level Class: Wednesday evenings, 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Transportation assistance and child-minding services are available for registered students upon request.

Notre Dame de Lourdes & St. Claude
We are currently looking for volunteers in these communities to facilitate Conversation Circles. Please contact us at

Upcoming Events

1:30 pm Presentation from MITT @ PLLC
Presentation from MITT @ PLLC
Nov 20 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Presentation from MITT @ PLLC
Join us for a presentation from Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology to learn more about their various programs and courses.
6:00 pm ESL Stage 1 & 2 Class @ Portage Learning and Literacy Centre
ESL Stage 1 & 2 Class @ Portage Learning and Literacy Centre
Nov 20 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
This is a formal English as a Second Language (ESL) class for any Permanent Resident assessed at CLB 1-8. We also offer support services such as transportation to and from classes. We offer continuous intake, so contact us today to register!
6:00 pm French Conversation Circle @ Portage Learning and Literacy Centre
French Conversation Circle @ Portage Learning and Literacy Centre
Nov 20 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
French Conversation Circle @ Portage Learning and Literacy Centre
6:30 pm Board of Directors Meeting @ Portage Learning & Literacy Centre
Board of Directors Meeting @ Portage Learning & Literacy Centre
Nov 20 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Regularly scheduled meeting of the PLLC Board of Directors.