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 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.

March 2014

Community Profile: Lloydminster

Community name: Lloydminster

Organization name: Lloydminster Learning Council

Contact person: Darlene MacDonald, Executive Director


This edition we are showcasing Lloydminster as our Community Snapshot!

Community Profile

Canada’s border city, Lloydminster straddles the Fourth Meridian—more commonly known as the Alberta–Saskatchewan border. This bi-provincial city has a single municipal administration. Its population of around 31,500 boasts the youngest median age in all of Canada.

English Language Learner Support Services

The Lloydminster Learning Council Association opened its doors in 1975 and has been providing a full array of leading edge programming ever since. The past 15 years have seen a very large English Language Learning (ELL) and Family Literacy component, as well as programming to address adult basic literacy and adult lifelong learning.

Community Challenges

Funding is the biggest concern for the Lloydminster Learning Council. A growing community means increasing need and an ever-expanding demand for programs. Getting the most possible out of funding dollars is always a challenge. 

Community Support

The Lloydminster Learning Council enjoys 100% support from the community, including many productive partnerships. In turn, the Council lends their support to major city gatherings, such as sending volunteers to work at the Hockey Day in Canada event.

[Read More]


Tips & Hints

Students both want and need to learn more about English grammar. But learning about grammar does not necessarily translate into the practical skills of being able to speak and write more accurately or with more complexity. The key is to go beyond completing practice worksheets and learning about grammar, and move on to using that grammar in communication.

[Read More for Examples]

The Internet abounds with sites that you can use to teach about grammar (e.g., and It’s harder to find resources that actually get students using the grammar.

[Read More for Additional Resources]


Current News

Rural Routes was thrilled to launch the Practices of an ESL Instructor Self-Assessment Tool (PEISAT) – Part 1 in February and Part 2 in March. This tool adapts core principles from the ATESL Best Practices document (2009) into manageable “I can” statements designed to promote self-reflection and self-assessment in the work of ESL practitioners.  All ESL coordinators, instructors, and tutors are invited to complete the tool.

This launch of PEISAT will allow Rural Routes to develop a baseline of the self-assessed knowledge, confidence, and experience of ESL providers in rural Alberta. It will also enable us to identify and develop additional workshops and training services that are needed in our communities. If you did not receive the tool via email and would like to take part, please use the following links:

[Learn more about this Tool]

Volunteer Engagement for ESL Providers Workshop Pilots

Save the Dates! Rural Routes in partnership with Volunteer Alberta is excited to offer a new workshop designed for ESL organizations who engage volunteers.  This Free workshop will be held in three locations around Alberta and online. For more information and to register, visit and click on “Events”.

Workshop Schedule





May 1st

1pm – 4pm

Red Deer

May 27th

9am- 12pm


May 8th  

10am – 12pm


May 21st 

9am – 12pm


June 3rd  

1pm – 3pm

Family Literacy Training Insitute

The Family Literacy Training Institute provides training to over 100 practitioners each year from a variety of sectors. Various family literacy program models are presented, including Books for Babies, Storysacks, B.O.O.K.S., and Rhymes that Bind. It also provides an Introduction to a Family Literacy workshop and various professional development sessions.

The 2014 Family Literacy Training Institute will be held in Calgary at the Deerfoot Inn from May 12–16. To register, go to the Centre for Family Literacy website at and select the “Family Literacy Training Institute” online registration form.

Literacy and Learning Symposium

Save the Dates! October 22nd–24th, 2014, Edmonton, Alberta

THEME: Navigating Change in the Learning Landscape

Edmonton Marriott at River Cree Resort, Edmonton, Alberta

300 East Lapotac Boulevard, Enoch, AB (corner of Whitemud Drive and Winterburn Road, West Edmonton)


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