ESL Rural Routes Newsletter

Winter 2021

News from Rural Routes

Looking back over the last year, I am amazed and impressed with how much professional development people in the Community Adult Learning Program (CALP) system have participated in, and I appreciate the confidence you placed in us to support your transition to online teaching and tutoring newcomers in English as a Second Language (ESL). I hope that once government restrictions ease and we move on to more in-person learning and a brighter spring, we can continue to support ESL teachers and tutors across the province with workshops, materials, mentorships, study groups, and our brand-new initiative: Anti-Racism Talking Circles.

If you find there are topics you are interested in and that we do not yet provide, please get in touch and let us know. If the workshop you want isn’t on the online schedule, please contact your advisors, either Alana Johnson, Jacky Rivas or Dorte Weber to arrange to have it presented to you and your groups.

Anti-Racism Talking Circles

Societal events over the past year have encouraged people and organizations to deeply consider that it is no longer enough to be quietly non-racist, but rather, now is the time to be vocally anti-racist. 

What needs to be discussed about anti-racism in your communities?

We want to provide you with space to better understand and/or respond to this question in a way that makes you feel safe, seen, and heard.

We invite you to join us in our Circle Series. Over the course of three circle discussions we are providing a space to listen and share as we aim to answer this question together as a community.

Our Circle Series consists of three, one-hour circle conversations. This conversation will be hosted by two facilitators using Blackboard Collaborate. Enrolment will be limited to nine participants.

As a participant when you sign up for this Circle Series we expect you to: 

  • commit to attending all three one-hour circle conversations
  • share your voice or simply be present to hear from others
  • be open to and follow the circle process
  • respect other circle participant’s privacy and voices

As your hosts in this Circle Series, you can expect us to:

  • offer you space to listen and share
  • respect your privacy and voice
  • compile the conversation using anonymous language


1st series - February 25, March 4, March 11 (1:00 to 2:30 pm)

2nd series - April 7, April 14, April 21 (10:00 to 11:30 am)

Numeracy Modules with Rural Routes Flexibility

Glen continues to provide outreach through the Rural Routes online schedule, through mentoring and, when we are able to travel again, through site visits. If you have not already participated in Glen’s webinar, look for it on the online schedule at The date is June 9. Glen is also available to help if you have learners interested in the Foundations for Learning courses. You can reach Glen at

Here is some more information about Foundations for Learning and the Numeracy Modules:

Foundations for Learning Program

This program is designed as a partnership between NorQuest College and Community Adult Learning Programs in Alberta to provide learning opportunities for people who are not able to attend a site or attend online at a regularly scheduled time. These 12-week, self-paced courses provide the flexibility for learners to work on their course at times that work best for them. These courses have an instructor attached who can meet online with learners who require additional support. Learners can also access 30 hours or free tutorial support through their local CALP.

For every learner in the program who registers with your CALP, you can invoice the College up to $900 to cover costs related to administrative support and tutor support for the learner.

For a list of courses and information, see this link Foundations for Learning
If you have any questions regarding this program, please email

Foundational Numeracy and Literacy Tutor Training and Support is Available

Tutors working with learners using the Foundational Numeracy or Literacy materials may feel alone; however, training and support is available to them. Online and in person training sessions can be arranged with your site or in areas where several tutors are working with learners.

If you are not aware of the materials you can find them through the links below

To arrange training sessions or to get support please email Glen McCalpin at

If you are interested in developing more online support for your learners, check this out:

Screencasting 101 with Alana

Screencasting is becoming a very popular way of teaching and reaching out to ESL learners, as well as supplementing class/tutoring session materials.

Screencasts are easy to make videos of a computer screen and usually include audio narration. For example, a screencast may be a video that Jessica makes of her computer screen, teaching her learner how to create a Gmail account. While Jessica is talking, she is also moving through her computer screen to show how to set up a Gmail account.

Another screencast may be of Jessica teaching the verb “to be”. After Jessica creates the video she shares a link with her learners to watch.

Would you like to learn more about what screencasts are? Would you like to learn how to make screencasts for use with your learners? Would you like to discuss how to use the screencasts you make with your learners? If so…

Date: Thursday, March 18th from 12:00 to 1:00 pm

To register:

Cost: Free

Online Tutors Job Board

Some CALPs have struggled to recruit online tutors for their ESL learners. Each community may not have enough people available who can work with learners in an online environment. But CALPs are not limited to their own community when recruiting tutors. Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL) has recently confirmed that CALPs are welcome to post tutoring jobs on their job board here:

You do not have to be a member of ATESL to use the job board – either to post or to read the job ads. Check it out and see if this is something you could use!

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