ESL Rural Routes Newsletter

Community Profile


Tips and Hints

Current News


Have you developed resources or discovered unique ways to meet your community’s needs? Would you like to be in our Community Snapshot feature? Contact us to share your knowledge and ideas. Email

Regions Map


R1: Northern Region
R2: NorQuest Stewardship & Eastern Region
R3: Central, Calgary & Red Deer Region
R4: Southern Region

Check out our ESL Rural Routes website!

The Rural Routes website has launched successfully. We’re excited to see the increase in users and hope you will share the site with tutors and other ESL providers in your community. We are especially hoping you are able to connect to a variety of resources and begin conversations on the discussion board. The consultants will be checking the forums regularly to answer any questions you may have.

Spring 2016

Rural Routes Annual Survey

It's time again for our annual survey, and we want to hear from you! Please take time to answer our survey questions. Your contribution will provide us with valuable information, and help us continue to offer quality services.

The survey takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete, and contains questions regarding your experiences accessing Rural Routes services.


You have a chance to win one of two prizes! A copy of the Roots and Connections resource, and one $25 VISA cards.

Click here to complete the survey today!

Community Profile: Consort, Alberta

Community name: Consort, Alberta

Organization name: Neutral Hills Community Adult Learning

Contact person: Barb Kulyk, Managing Director,


Community Profile

Neutral Hills Community Adult Learning is the Community Adult Literacy Council for the area, which serves Consort and six surrounding communities. Currently we offer a variety of literacy programs, including GED, Adult Basic Literacy, ESL, and Family Literacy programs in partnership with the local Parent Link. Although our area is small, we have a thriving immigrant and newcomer population, with learners from Brazil, Hungary, Ukraine, Philippines, and South Africa.

English Language Learner Support Services

English Language Learning (ELL) classes are offered in Manning and Dixonville during the day, with the potential to add evening and weekend classes if needed. Our classes include how to obtain a learner’s licence to drive, how to build a resume, and other essential skills. 

Community Challenges

Our geographic area is vast, with small pockets of people living in isolated communities. We serve a total of about 7,000 people in an area of approximately 15,000 square kilometers. 

Community Support

Our agency has a wide range of support from community groups and service providers:

  • Manning and District FCSS
  • County of Northern Lights

[Read more]


For students:

  • ESL podcasts: These help students learn pronunciation and word usage in a conversational context. The podcasts use current events, pop culture, and typical social situations to illustrate concepts.
  • Many things: This site includes a variety of exercises and interactive activities for ESL students. The “listen and repeat” and “listen and read along” sections may be helpful for ESL students working on basic skills.

For instructors:

  • Passages to Canada: This site features listening videos of people recounting their stories of coming to Canada. It is helpful for listening activities!

  • ESL Library: ESL Library has over 800 ready-made, student-centred lessons and over 2000 vocabulary images for professional English teachers. Our resources are designed specifically for teaching English to older teens and adults.

  • Eye on Literacy: Provides quality visuals as instructional resources that capitalize on the oral language skills of adult second language literacy learners with limited schooling. The emphasis on oral language becomes a stepping stone to the reading and writing process.

Tips & Hints

I’m not a teacher, but an awakener.
~ Robert Frost

Three Terrific Teaching Tips (4T)

These Three Terrific Teaching Tips (4T) have been selected from over 120 Tuesday’s Terrific Teaching Tips (4T). These resources come from NorQuest faculty sharing and celebrating best practices and tips with each other on teaching, facilitating, assessing, and working one-to-one with learners.

1. DO NOW – When do we do this? Please DO NOW!

Learners enter the classroom, check their Facebook, chat, look around, wait, take out books, look for a pencil, etc.

OR . . .

Learners enter the classroom, pull out their DO NOW sheet and complete a 4 to 5 minute, individual, pencil-to-paper activity.

[Read more]

2. How do I learn this? – Three-sided index cards for learning and remembering

Has a learner ever asked you, ‘How do I learn this?” Learners look to us to not only for delivering the course content, but also for advice and strategies on how to learn that content. A number of instructors suggest to their learners that index cards are an excellent choice for learning terms, vocabulary, and processes.

[Read more]

3. Fast Feedback: How are we doing?

A learner yawns, another smiles, yet another is doodling. How is your class, workshop, or presentation going? Are you going too slowly or too fast? Are learners feeling confused, or is all going well? Do all your learners feel the same way?

[Read more]

Rural Routes Tip Sheets are created by Sara Gnida, ESL Rural Routes Regional Consultant. Tip sheet topics include, but are not limited to Learning Assessment, ESL Literacy, Needs Assessment, and How to Become an ESL Teacher. To find these tip sheets and others, visit:

Current News

Volunteer Engagement workshops

Rural Routes is hosting three different webinars that are designed to targets ESL programs and providers who engage volunteers. These webinars are in partnership with Volunteer Alberta.

Webinar 1- Skilled Volunteerism: Rethink how you work with people, May 12, 2016 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.

Click here to register

Webinar 2- Screening Volunteers In. Not Out. June 3, 2016 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.

Click here to register

Webinar 3- Serving Communities Internship Program – An overview

June 7, 2016 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.

Click here to register

Training Institute

The focus of the Training Institute is to provide certificate training for Community Adult Learning Program (CALP) staff. They offer both standard models and advanced training in a one-stop shop. Practitioners can fill their schedules during the week with a combination of required training sessions.

Dates: Monday May 2 to Friday May 6, 2016

Location: Deerfoot Inn, 1000, 11500 – 35 Street SE, Calgary, AB

For details see

Welcome to Canada Videos

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently had one of our Welcome to Canada videos, Your First Two Weeks in Canada, dubbed into Arabic. The video is intended to help newcomers prepare for their life in Canada and explain some of the initial steps they should take upon arrival. You can find it on YouTube:

[Read more]

ATESL – Central Alberta Local meeting

Presentation from Leila Ranta on Grammar in PBLA

Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Time: 3:15

Location: CARE, 5000 Gaetz Ave., 3rd Floor, Red Deer, AB.

Join us at CARE for a presentation from Leila Ranta on Grammar in PBLA.

All Central Alberta Local workshops have the following format:

3:15–3:45 Networking and refreshments

3:45–4:45 Presentation by speaker

4:45–5:15 Networking and cleanup

[Learn more]

ATESL – Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching (PSLLT) Conference

Teaching Tips and Strategies Session – Free to ATESL Members!

Date: Saturday, August 13, 2016

Time: 3:30 – 5:00

Location: University of Calgary, Calgary, AB

Did you know that there is an international conference devoted to pronunciation learning and instruction? The conference will be held at the University of Calgary this August.

[Read more]

NorQuest College is pleased to offer face to face and online LINC programming in rural communities. To be admitted to LINC, applicants must be permanent residents. This program is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and tuition is free to those who qualify. For more information, to set up a class, or to register, please contact us at or 780.644.6700.

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