ESL Rural Routes Newsletter

Community Profile


Tips and Hints

Current News

“New” Preparation for Online Learning

New Staff

Booking Services with Rural Routes


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


Region 1: North
Region 2: East-West
Region 3: Central
Region 4: South

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.

December 2016

Community Profile: Taber and Area, Alberta

Community name: Taber and Area, Alberta

Organization name: Taber & District Community Adult Learning Association

Contact person: Jane Brenner, Executive Director;
Office Phone: 403-223-1169


Community Profile

Taber & District Community Adult Learning Association (TDCALA) serves Taber and its municipal district. The Association’s mission is "To create a vibrant learning community that supports changing and improving one life at a time."

English Language Learner Support Services

ESL Drop-in Centre

The ESL Drop-in Centre is open four days a week from September to June. We host a variety of English language services, including the following:

  • Driver’s license prep
  • Filling in forms, letter writing, phone calls
  • Basic English classes, English conversation evenings
  • Computer/iPad/iPhone classes
  • CELPIP preparation, citizenship classes

Community Challenges

Southern Alberta has seen 10,000 to 12,000 Low German-speaking Mennonites (LGSM) migrate to our rural communities in the past ten years. The impact of this population and others moving in has enriched and changed the demographics of our rural landscape. It has also impacted the way that Taber & District Community Adult Learning Association provides learning opportunities.

Community Support

The Southern Alberta Kanadier Association (SAKA) was formed to address the needs of the Low German-speaking Mennonites. The association comprises over 30 agencies and groups, and meets regularly to address needs. TDCALA also partners with our public school division and other groups to assess the needs of all ELL learners.

[Read more]


For students:

  • This website contains quizzes, word games, word puzzles, slang expressions, anagrams, a random-sentence generator, and other computer assisted language learning activities. This site is non-commercial and has no advertising.

  • This site contain quizzes, tests, exercises, puzzles and videos to help students learn English. It also includes links to other sites for students. This is a project of The Internet TESL Journal. See below for the link to teachers resources

For instructors:

  • Every ESL teacher has to teach grammar, even if “English grammar” is not a specific course. This site lists English grammar rules alphabetically, so they are easily accessible. The site also provides PDF files of lessons on these rules, which you can use with your students.

  • What is the point of language study if it is not to speak the language in question? Give your ESL students something to talk about with this compilation of discussion questions you can use in class. Click on the topic you are planning to study and find more than enough questions to keep your class in conversation for as long as you wish.

  • This website provides an online community for ESL/FSL professionals! Membership is free. You can collaborate with peers, access curriculum and program materials, and participate in webinars.

Tips & Hints

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."
~ Henry Adams

1. Lesson Planning for Small Groups

  • Aim to maximize interaction and your learners’ use of English.
  • Provide opportunities to practise and use material in more than one way.

A Typical Lesson Sequence for Small Groups

  1. Present your goals.
  2. Do a quick warmup.
  3. Give instructions and demonstrate.
  4. Do activities and practice.
  5. Give feedback/make corrections.
  6. Review and close.

[Learn more]

2. Multi-Level Materials

You can find great examples of how an instructor can use the CBC EAL website materials to create multi-level materials at Justine Light’s 2014 REALize Conference presentation. (Light, 2014)

[Read more]

3. Rural Routes Tip Sheets

Created by, the Rural Routes team. Tip sheet topics include, but are not limited to Learning Assessment, ESL Literacy, Needs Assessment, and How to Become an ESL Teacher.

[Read more]

Current News

Rural Routes Online Courses

Citizen Preparation: Creating a Course - In this workshop, participants will explore the essential components of citizenship preparation courses for ESL learners.
Event date: Jan 12, 2017,10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Click here to register

ESL Tutor Training - Orients new volunteer ESL tutors to their role, to the needs of their adult ESL learners, and to relevant materials available online.
Event Date: Jan 26, 2017, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Click here to register

Foundations to Teaching Pronunciation - Participants will identify how and where to produce English vowel and consonant sounds, how to produce correct syllable and sentence stress, and how to plan a productive lesson cycle with effective activities.
Event Date: Feb 6, 2016, 1:00 – 3:30 PM
Click here to register

Rural Routes Intercultural Communication Series (Level 2) - In this six part series, Participants in this course will build a solid foundation of intercultural communication knowledge, skills and awareness by learning a practical approach to effective communication in intercultural communication spaces.
Event Date: Feb 7, 2017, 9:30 – 11:30 AM
Click here to register (Registration closes January 25, 2017)

Note: Rural Routes Intercultural Communication Series (Level 3) starts April 18. Registration closes April 4, 2016.

"New" Preparation for Online Learning

Digital literacy skills enable people to use computer systems, networks, and software to find, use, evaluate, create, and share information. NorQuest College developed a FREE course that will help you teach your learners the digital literacy skills, online learning strategies, and vocabulary needed for them to be successful online learners. This course provides tutorial videos, modules, interactive activities, and transcripts you can use to help your learners access and participate in online learning. To access the course or learn more, visit

For more information, contact

New Staff

We would like to welcome Janis Goad to our team as the Rural Routes Regional Advisor for the Northern Region! Janis has an MA from the University of Toronto, a certificate in TESL from Vancouver Community College, and thirty years of experience teaching all levels of language learning in Canada and aboard. You can reach her at or 780-644-6001. To learn more about Janis visit,

Booking Services with Rural Routes

Rural Routes aims to support ESL programs and providers with free, high-quality services.

How to book our services:

  1. Contact us by phone or email. Your regional Rural Routes Advisor would love to hear from you.
  2. We check in with sites three times a year by phone. Please use these conversations with your Rural Routes Advisor to discuss how we can best meet your needs.
  3. Rural Routes Advisors participate in mini-conferences, regional CALP meetings, the ATESL conference, the Literacy and Learning Symposium, and other events. During these events we would love to talk to you about the services we provide, and find ways to meet your needs.

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.

  A proud partner in Campus Alberta |

Copyright © NorQuest College, All rights reserved.

This email was sent by: NorQuest College, 10215 – 108 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta Canada T5J 1L6