Newcomer Literacy Initiative Classroom Assistant


The NLI Classroom Assistant provides extra support to students as they complete classroom assignments. They assist the teacher in classroom management and program delivery, occasionally taking on leadership roles so the teacher can focus on assessment and other necessary tasks.


Position Summary

NLI Classroom Assistants work in IRCOM’s Newcomer Literacy Initiative (NLI) classrooms. These classes are designed to help newcomer adults improve their English skills. IRCOM has classes at the Canadian Language Benchmark level Foundations, 1/2, and 3/4.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Help students complete tasks
  • Follow directions as given by the teacher
  • Build relationships with the students
  • Take initiative to engage with students and assignments
  • Maintain good communication with IRCOM staff
  • Ask IRCOM staff for assistance as needed and appropriate
  • Demonstrate proper English grammar and vocabulary at all times
  • Minimize distractions (turn off cell phones)


Time Requirements

This position requires volunteers to come once a week for two and a half hours. The minimum time commitment is for three months, however volunteers who can commit to staying until the end of the school year are preferred.


Skills and Qualifications

  • Clear communication skills
  • Must be patient and kind
  • Must have an adequate grasp of the English language
  • Demonstrated experience working in an educational setting and/or with newcomers an asset, but not required
  • Willingness to learn and receive constructive feedback
  • Must be sensitive to cultural differences and the impact of previous experiences on students
  • Must complete required trainings provided by IRCOM (see below)
  • Must complete a satisfactory criminal record check and child abuse registry check
  • Must be 18 years or older


Orientation and Training

All NLI Classroom Assistants must participate in an introduction to the Canadian Language Benchmark system as well as training in working with adult EAL students.

All NLI Classroom Assistants are encouraged to participate in other trainings offered to IRCOM volunteers throughout the year.

Volunteers can also request IRCOM's support to attend other training that is relevant to their position with IRCOM.



NLI Classroom Assistants are under the direct supervision of the NLI teacher they are placed with, but can also expect to interact regularly with, and be held accountable by, Volunteer and Community Services Program (VCSP) staff. VCSP staff should be considered a supportive resource for volunteers.


Supporting Policies

Please refer to IRCOM’s Volunteer Handbook, which will be provided to you at your interview.


Working Conditions

Multiple sites available, classroom setting, some sites are wheelchair accessible (one site is not), indoors, some classes off-site in a nearby school, some standing and walking required, occasional field trips (transportation from classroom provided)



  • A chance to build relationships with students
  • Daily half hour coffee break provides great opportunities to socialize
  • A chance to learn about other cultures and share your own
  • The chance to support someone as they study and learn
  • Access to all trainings offered to IRCOM volunteers
  • The chance to develop your own communication and leadership skills
  • Participate in volunteer recognition events held throughout the year
  • Reference letter provided after 3 months of consistent volunteer service
  • Access to all of IRCOM’s internal job postings