ESL Rural Routes Newsletter

Community Profile


Tips and Hints

Current News

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.

April 2017

It's time for our annual survey!

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 you quality services.

This survey is for anyone who has accessed our services, including:

  • Learning facilitators
  • Coordinators
  • Instructors or teachers
  • Volunteer tutors
  • Paid tutors

The survey takes approximately 15 - 20 minutes to complete and contains questions regarding your experiences accessing Rural Routes services. In the fall of 2017, Rural Routes will make the survey findings available.

Prizes to be won:

If you complete this survey by March 31 you will have a chance to win one $100 Visa or One of Two $25 VISA cards. Click here to complete the survey today!

Community Profile: Vegreville, Alberta

In this edition, we are showcasing Vegreville as our Community Snapshot!

Community name: Vegreville, Alberta

Organization name: VegMin Learning Society

Contact person: Holly Cependa, Executive Director
Office Phone: 780-632-7920


Community Profile

Vegreville is a town in central Alberta located on Highway 16A, approximately 103 km (64 mi) east of Edmonton. It was incorporated as a town in 1906, and that year also saw the founding of the Vegreville Observer, a weekly newspaper for the region.

English Language Learner Support Services

Currently, they offer a variety of programming in Foundational Literacy, Essential Skills, English Language Learning (ELL), Community Capacity, and General Interest, including:

  • Volunteer tutoring in English, reading, writing, numeracy, and computer and digital technology
  • English Language Learners drop-in class

ELL Supports

Aside from the ELL support programs that VegMin offers, they have been innovative and forward thinking by providing live or recorded ELL sessions for their learners. If learners are unable to attend class, they have the option of watching a live feed or a recorded session. A great idea, especially for their learners who travel!

Community Challenges

Due to its small rural location and growing transient population, Vegreville has many challenges and barriers that affect the community and CALP. Additionally, the relocation of the Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Case Processing Centre (CPC) to Edmonton, has also had a major impact on their community

Community Support

Vegreville is a thriving little town with a lot of community support, and VegMin CALP is pleased to have partnerships with many of them. These partnerships include:

  • Alberta Works
  • CALS
  • Vegreville Parent Link
  • AHS‒Health Promotion
  • Vegreville & Area FCSS
  • Vegreville Ag Society

[Read more]


For students:

Reading Practice with Word Families: These materials provide online reading lessons for adult English as a Second Language (ESL) learners to practise integrated reading skills, including comprehension and decoding within the context of life skills themes. [Read more]

Citizenship Prep Kits: Available in English and French! Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship Study Guide is condensed into flash cards to help new Canadians pass the Citizenship Exam with ease. Check out the following website to find a location near you where you can buy this resource: [Read more]

For instructors:

Hands On! This book is not a curriculum, but one of many resources that can be used to teach learners how to read and write. [Read more]

Pragmatics – Apologies Lesson Learners will have the opportunity to notice patterns of speech that native speakers commonly use when they apologize. The lesson includes a lesson plan, learner handouts and audio files. [Read more]

Tips & Hints

"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere."
~ Chinese proverb

Lesson Planning for One-on-One Instruction

Where Do I Begin?
Start by setting specific and measurable goals with your learner. Break vague goals like “I want to learn grammar” into smaller and smaller substeps. A goal such as “I want to use the past tense correctly” is easier to achieve. Then ask yourself how your learner will demonstrate that skill.

General Planning Tips
However you spend your time, aim to maximize interaction and your learner’s use of English

Specific Tips for One-on-One Tutors
Because group work isn’t an option for you, it’s especially important to provide opportunities to improve both fluency and correctness.

What Do You Want to Work On?
There's a lot to fit into your one- or two-hour meetings. Let your learner’s needs and goals determine your focus. Focus on reaching two or three major goals each day.

Typical Lesson Cycle
Begin by talking about your goals for the day… End with a brief review.

Activity Ideas

  • Read and listen to a news story.
  • If you visit a store, cafe, library, or leisure centre, stop to look at how staff use language at each place.
  • Try combining field trips with movie or TV clips to review or just use the clips if field trips aren’t practical.

The Canadian Immigrant online magazine has great material [Learn more]

Rural Routes Tip Sheets

These tip sheets are created by ESL Rural Routes Regional Advisors and Language Training Instructors. Tip sheet topics include, but are not limited to, learning assessment, ESL literacy, needs assessment, and how to become an ESL teacher. Tip sheets are avialable on the Resource section of ESL Rural Routes.

Current News

Rural Routes Online Courses

Temporary Foreign Worker Information Webinar – April 2017 - This webinar is back again because of its popularity! The webinar will provide basic information on the services of the Temporary Foreign Worker Advisory Office and the rights and responsibilities of foreign workers and employers.
Event date: April 12, 2017, 9:30am ‒ 10:30 pm
Cutoff: April 3, 2017
Click here to register

Rural Routes Intercultural Communication Series (Level 3) - In this six-part series, course participants 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 dates: Every Tuesday from 9:30am ‒ 11:30am from April 18 to May 30, 2017 (7-week program)
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: April 22, 2017, 10:00am ‒ 12:30pm
Click here to register

Rural Routes Prep for Online - “New” Rural Routes prep for online learning. Designed for ESL instructors to use with their learners. Want to offer Prep for Online to your learners, but you don’t have your own Moodle platform? Well, Rural Routes can help! On your behalf, Rural Routes will host a Moodle class on the NorQuest College Moodle platform. For general inquiries or more information regarding this course, contact us at

What can we do to Bridge the Gap Between Immigrants and Canadians? - Join us as Lionel Laroche (keynote speaker at the 2015 Literacy and Learning Symposium) talks to literacy providers, volunteer tutors, and those who work with immigrants about what we can do to bring immigrants and Canadians together. The event will involve activities and a Q&A session.
Event date: May 26, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Lethbridge Public Library
E-mail if you wish to attend.

TESL Canada Conference 2017 - Join us at the Sheraton on the Falls for an invaluable learning and networking experience with your English-language teaching colleagues from across the country and around the world.
Event dates: June 8‒10, 2017

Literacy and Learning Symposium - The Literacy and Learning Symposium is an annual province-wide professional development event for Community Adult Learning Program literacy and foundational learning practitioners, partners, and other community learning system stakeholders.
Event dates: Monday, September 25, to Friday, September 29, 2017
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel West Edmonton, 16615 109 Avenue NW, Edmonton

ATESL Conference
Event dates: October 20‒21, 2017
Location: The Westin Calgary, 320 4th Avenue SW, Calgary

Booking Services with Rural Routes

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

How to book services:

  1. Contact us by phone or email. Your regional Rural Routes advisor would love to hear from you.
  2. We contact sites three times a year to check-in. During these phone calls, you can let your Rural Routes advisor know how we can support you.
  3. Rural Routes advisors participate in mini-conferences, regional CALP meetings, the ATESL conference, and the Literacy and Learning Symposium. We would love to talk to you about the services we provide during these events and find ways to meet your needs.
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