ESL Rural Routes Newsletter

Community Profile


Tips and Hints

Current News

Upcoming Events

TESL Canada Conference 2014

Land of the Living Languages: Mark your calendars for the next TESL Canada Conference called Land of the Living Languages. The conference will take place at the University of Regina from May 8–10, 2014, in Regina, SK.


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 new 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 2013

We are excited to announce that the Rural Routes Team has hired Laura Branner and Luisa Toteda as the new Region 4 consultants. As part of a provincial initiative, we have committed to position consultants throughout the province to provide service in a timely and cost effective manner.

Community Profile: Grande Prairie

Community name: Grande Prairie

Organization name: Grande Prairie Council for Lifelong Learning

Contact person: Jacky Rivas, Executive Director

This edition we are showcasing Grande Prairie as our Community Snapshot!

Community Profile

Grande Prairie is located in northwestern Alberta, in the heart of the Peace Region, and is the largest city North of Edmonton.

English Language Learner Support Services

Our Family English class had 21 pre-school-aged children enrolled in the program, and 45 parents. Many participants moved up a Canadian Language Benchmark during their period of study.

Community Challenges

ESL Full-Time Program – Due to budget constraints, the ESL full-time program shut its doors last year. However the need for an ESL full-time program still exists within our ESL population.

Community Support

The Grande Prairie Council for Lifelong Learning supports many programs and agencies. We have a Community Adult Learning Council, Volunteer Tutor Adult Program, Family Literacy Program, and Granting Council.

[Read More]


Updated Can Do Statements 

Updated Can Do statements that reflect the new CLB document are now available for download. These statements use accessible language (and visuals at CLB 1–2) to make it easy for learners to understand key concepts from the CLB document. There is a reading, writing, listening, and speaking page for each benchmark level. Learners, tutors, and instructors can use these Can Do statements to assess areas of strength and weakness and set learning/teaching goals.

[Read More]

Tips & Hints

ELSA Net Assessment Toolkits

ELSA Net provides support to ESL providers in British Columbia. On its assessment page, it provides assessment resources linked to the new CLB document, and relevant for most ESL providers across Alberta.

Learning Styles

This article focuses on three learning styles: visual – seeing; auditory – listening; and kinesthetic or tactile – movement or touching. For clarity, the word "style" indicates preference and the word “strategy” indicates a plan or a way of doing something. For  great tips, and more information about the three learning styles and examples of learning strategies, visit our discussion board for more details.
Rural Routes is pleased to announce that we are in the process of developing a workshop on this topic. Keep visiting our website for more details.

Current News

Collaborative Delivery of Foundational Learning for Rural Adult Learners: Results and Next Steps

NorQuest College piloted an innovative collaborative delivery model to increase access to quality learning for rural adult learners. Four content streams were offered from September 2012 to May 2013. The content streams were pre-high school mathematics, essentials skills for employment, Aboriginal language arts, and intercultural communication.

For more information on the project, contact NorQuest at

[Read More]

Council of the Federation Literacy Award Winners Announced!

September 6, 2013 Canada's Premiers Announce Literacy Award Winners for 2013

Congratulations to the Alberta winner - The Further Education Society (Calgary)

Calgary’s Further Education Society (FESA) demonstrates outstanding innovation and excellence in literacy. Each year FESA delivers 80 programs and assists 800 individuals, including Aboriginal, English language and financial literacy learners, as well as domestic violence victims. Keep up the good work!

IELTS is fast becoming a necessity in many sites around the province. For those of you who haven’t run across this acronym yet, it stands for “International English Language Testing System.”

Rural Routes is pleased to offer an IELTS workshop which can help our practitioners with some of the test writing tips and hints.

Other Workshops

In addition to the IELTS workshop, Rural Routes is offers a variety of other workshops to fit the needs of tutors and instructors. We have something for every type of teacher—from new teacher training to more specialized subjects.  We are happy to tailor workshops to the specific needs of your site, and our services are always free.

Literacy and Learning Symposium and ATESL Conference

Rural Routes took part in both the 2013 Literacy and Learning Symposium and The 2013 ATESL conference in Calgary, Alberta. Barb Hudkins, Laura Branner, Luisa Toteda, Gavin Palmer, Sara Gnida, Jacky Rivas, and Cheryl Whitelaw from the intercultural Centre, NorQuest made a presentation about Tools and Resources for ESL Practitioners.

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