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.

February 2018

Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate Program now running!

February 6, 2018, marks the start of the TESL program at NorQuest. We are happy to say we have some participation from the CALPs, and we look forward to many more when we run the second cohort in September.

Three-month follow-up surveys coming out!

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 5-10 minutes to complete and contains questions regarding your experiences accessing Rural Routes services.

New: Lunch and Learn online

Busy lives need quick solutions! We are launching a series of one-hour workshops scheduled from 12-1 in February and March.

Grab your lunch and a colleague and settle down at the computer to get a quick overview of ideas and tools to make your teaching life easier!

Look for them on the web site:

Community Profile: Valleyview, Alberta

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

Community name: Valleyview, Alberta

Organization name: Valleyview Community Learning Council

Contact person: Christy Dalziel, Community Adult Learning Program Manager
Office Phone: 780.524.4323


Community Profile

Valleyview is located 350 km north of Edmonton and 115 km east of the City of Grande Prairie. The Town of Valleyview is strategically located at important crossroads that lead to Canada’s north. The Town of Valleyview has a population of 1972, with a trading area of 5000. Valleyview is a bustling community with many new businesses opening in the past few years, which has brought many foreign workers to the community.

English Language Learner Support Services

  • Everyday English classes are offered 1-3 on Tuesdays
  • English Language Learning and Citizenship Prep 7-9 on Tuesdays
  • Conversation Café Wednesdays 4-5:30 – the entire community is invited, as we are trying to foster relationships between our ESL learners and other community members to create mentor relationships and a sense of belonging.
  • Tutoring – we have several volunteer tutors from the community who provide one-on-one instruction in English and also build relationships with the learners to help them feel at home in the community.

Community Challenges

Many of our learners work several jobs, and therefore it is difficult for them to find time for language learning.

Community Support

We have partnered with the Valleyview Municipal Library and Northern Lakes college to provide support to the ELL learners in our community. Both organizations provide free space for us to hold classes and training sessions.

[Read more]


For students:

Activities for ESL Students

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. 
English. It also includes links to other sites for students. This is a project of The Internet TESL Journal. [Read more]

For instructors:

ATESL's Intercultural Communicative Competence


Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL), in partnership with Bow Valley College and NorQuest College, developed a set of self-guided professional development (PD) materials designed to provide instructors with support to teach intercultural communicative competence (ICC) in the English language classroom.

The materials include a set of background readings and guiding questions, two narrated slide casts, and an e-book, Enhancing Intercultural Communicative Competence: A Resource Based on the ATESL ESL Adult Curriculum Framework. All PD materials, including a feedback survey, are available to view on the ATESL website and are free to download. [Read more]

Tips & Hints

"There's an accent shift, on average, every 25 miles in England"
~ David Crystal, Ben Crystal

Teaching Pronunciation and “Accent Reduction”

Every one of us has an accent. The way we speak is a part of our identity, and for adults, it is extremely difficult to change. You can’t really reduce or get rid of an accent. You can learn a different one, or modify parts of the one you have.

That said, many of our learners need to adjust their English speech so we can understand them clearly. That should be the goal: comprehensibility. The accent doesn’t matter so much, and for so many learners, their accent is part of their identity. So let’s not erase it, delete it, or even reduce it. Let’s instead teach our learners to be comprehensible.

Three Things You Can Do That Will Help Right Away

  1. Slow down!
    If your learner speaks too fast, have them practice slowing down. They can practice a sentence to last a certain number of seconds based on your own speed of speech. You can count the stressed syllables in a sentence. You can encourage a pause and a breath between sentences. Learners sometimes speed up to give the illusion of fluency or to cover up grammar errors. Slowing it down can help them focus on corrections.
  2. Stress the correct syllable
    Listen to your learner. Record her and listen if you need to. Where does she misplace the stress? Focus on the most common words where this is a problem. Wrong stress pattern causes more comprehensibility issues than actual mispronunciation.
  3. Group words into phrases
    We don’t give all the words in a sentence equal time or attention. Look at a sentence and divide it into thought groups: groups of words that we normally say grouped together. Teach your learners to group words and to pause between groups. Teach them to observe pauses between sentences.

For more on this, book a pronunciation workshop with your Rural Routes advisor.

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 Sessions - We are pleased to be able to offer two sessions with an expert from the Government of Alberta’s Temporary Foreign Worker Advisory Office to give up to date information about TFWs and their rights and responsibilities in Canada. There will be generous amounts of time available for questions and answers.

If you have an area of concern you would like to see addressed, call Dorte Weber at 780.644.6758 and we will make sure your concerns are addressed during the presentation.

Event date: March 14 & 26, 2018, 1:00pm ‒ 2:30 pm

Click here to register

Post-Traumatic Shock Syndrome Workshop - This webinar is back again because of its popularity!  This excellent presentation by Karin Linschoten is back due to high demand. We are so happy that Karin was able to provide this workshop again. Don’t miss it!

Event date: April 11, 2018, 9:30am - 11am
Cutoff: April 3, 2017

Click here to register

Rural Routes Intercultural Communication Series (Level 2) - 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 date: Every Tuesday from 9:30am ‒ 11:30am from February 6 to March 27.

Rural Routes Prep for Online - 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

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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