“Language alludes to everything”: A pilot study on front-line worker experience with newcomer integration


  • Alesia Au University of Calgary
  • Halley Silversides University of Calgary
  • Cesar Suva The Immigrant Education Society
  • Katerina Palova The Immigrant Education Society
  • Suzanne Goopy University of Calgary




front-line workers, newcomers to Canada, language-learning agency, qualitative, sense of place, integration


There remains an ongoing need to address not only the post-migration experiences of newcomers settling in Calgary but also to understand how systems that serve them perceive, make sense of, and contribute to these experiences. By hearing from those who work with newcomers within the institutional settings that support newcomers, we can begin to understand some complexities of newcomer integration. The purpose of this qualitative pilot study was to explore the perceptions that front-line workers hold regarding needs and experiences of newcomers. This study involved a series of eleven semi-structured interviews with workers at an immigrant-serving language-learning agency which were analyzed using thematic coding. The findings highlight: front-line workers perception of their newcomer clients’ identity in correlation to language; the clients’ emotional burden and sense of belonging; and the challenges clients faced balancing everyday commitments. Moreover, this study explores the front-line worker’s role in cultural brokerage and promoting wellness.


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Author Biographies

Alesia Au, University of Calgary

Faculty of Nursing

Halley Silversides, University of Calgary

Faculty of Nursing

Cesar Suva, The Immigrant Education Society

Director, Research & Program Development

Katerina Palova, The Immigrant Education Society

Supervisor , Research & Program Development

Suzanne Goopy, University of Calgary

Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing



How to Cite

Au, A., Silversides, H. ., Suva, C., Palova, K., & Goopy, S. (2021). “Language alludes to everything”: A pilot study on front-line worker experience with newcomer integration. Journal of Student Research, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.47611/jsr.v10i1.1137



Research Articles