Join us for an Intercultural Communication Awareness Workshop on October 25th. Looking for tips for your ESL classroom? Read on...
Dear <<First Name>>

It's been a busy month for the Cooperative with the start of the Reaching Out With English 30-hour course and our AGM at the end of September. We are blessed to have a full class this year for ROWE, the program was sold out by the early bird deadline. It has gotten off to a great start and we are looking for at least 60 ESL students to join us on Saturday, October 18th at the New Canadian Friendship Centre from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m for free English lessons. The students will help volunteers learn how to teach English. If you know anyone who would be interested, please have them contact for details. 

Intercultural Communication Workshop Oct. 25

We are pleased to announce an Intercultural Communication workshop on Saturday, October 25 at Encompass Partnerships 3851 - 54 Avenue NE.

Do you work with people from other cultures? Do you live near someone from another country? Do you want to welcome people from other cultures in your church or school? Do you want to feel comfortable and confident communicating with people from other cultures? If your life intersects with people from other cultures, these workshops will benefit you!

Topics include: Identity (who we are); Point of View (how we see things) and Interaction (how we share ideas). Our workshops will help you understand and appreciate people from different cultures and develop more effective ways of communicating with them. Intercultural Communication Workshops are also helpful for newcomers to Canada who want to learn more about Canadian Culture. The workshop is $20 if registered in advance (by October 21) and $25 at the door.  See our website for full details. 

We also offer custom workshops. If your workplace or school is interested in booking a personalized workshop, please contact 

Linguistic Identity

by Dr. Roswita Dressler

How many languages do our students speak? Have you ever asked? Sometimes we are so busy teaching English to newcomers that we forget that many of our students speak more than one language, over and above English! Exploring what languages students speak and their feelings toward those languages can tell us and them a great deal about their linguistic identity and how that is changing as they learn English. 

Research David Block is also interested in linguistic identity. He has discovered that when people refer to their linguistic identity they either refer to their expertise – their ability to speak languages, their affiliation – their connections to the language and culture, real or imagined, and their inheritance – family connections they have to the language and/or culture. For some people, aspects of one are stronger than others. For others, one aspect may be completely missing. Whatever the case, the interesting discussions come from talking about one’s expertise, affiliation and inheritance and how they come together to make up one’s linguistic identity. 

One way that these discussions can be assisted is by asking students to “draw their languages”. The added interesting element is to include a silhouette of a body and ask students to “draw their languages where they are on your body”. This is an activity that two German researchers, Dr. Hans-Jürgen Krumm and Dr. Ingrid Gogolin designed for children in Europe as a part of the European Language Portfolio. This is where students collect evidence of their language learning as they progress through school. I have used this activity with children and adults alike. Both groups enjoy the activity and the discussions that follow as they share what they have drawn, explaining the colors they chose and why they did so. 


Before:                        After:

The Before picture shows the silhouette the students receive. The After picture is my language portrait. After I have colored it, I usually explain it like this: English is in my head, it is the language I think in. I chose blue because at the end of a long day, it is calming to speak English because it is easiest for me (expertise). German is red and in my heart. It holds a special place in my heart since it connects me to my family in Germany and my family here in Canada who speak German (inheritance). Since I learned that I hold German citizenship, I have become closer to the language (affiliation). French is brown and in my hands. I learned French for practical reasons: I wanted to always be able to get a job as a second language teacher and although I have had to work at it, I have had success (brown, dirt, work = expertise). I chose orange for Dutch because that is the color of their sports teams so I think of it as the Dutch color. I like the way the language sounds, so even though I am not as good at it (expertise), I like it (affiliation). In drawing about my languages, I realize that I not only associate them with certain colors, but also certain parts of my body, which in different cultures may mean different things, another area for discussion.

The Language Portrait Silhouette is a simple, but engaging tool for exploring linguistic identity with our students. I encourage you to try it as an ice breaker or writing prompt and discover the many languages your students speak as well as how they feel about them.


Partner with Us!

Community Partnership is open to any Church, Corporate Donor, Community or Not-for-Profit Organization wishing to partner financially with CESLM because of a mutual desire to reach out in love to immigrants and internationals in our communities.
Benefits of Community Partnerships, in effect for one calendar year after donation, are:
  • Special rates on registration fees for CESLM Training Events. 
  • Your church or organization will be identified as a Community Partner on our website and in our Annual Report.
  • Your church or organization will receive a copy of our electronic newsletter.
  • Your ESL Program will be listed in our on-line Directory.
  • Volunteers from Community Partner churches and organizations will have access to our lending library.

For more information about Community Partnerships, please contact


Blog coming soon!


Cooperative ESL Ministries
PO Box 65172 North Hill
Calgary, AB T2N 4T6

Add us to your address book





Learn More About the Canadian Workplace

The Centre for Newcomers is pleased to offer a 5-day workshop series: Managing Workplace Expectations.
This workshop is not associated with Cooperative ESL Ministries, for more information, please contact Centre for Newcomers directly.

Managing Workplace Expectations
October 27-31 (Monday to Friday)
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Contact Lidia to register: 403.569.3329

Workshop will be held at:
Centre for Newcomers
1010, 999 - 36 St. N.E.
Calgary, AB
Making Changes Program

The next session of the Making Changes Program will be starting Oct. 20, 2014 at 1000 Voices at the Genesis Centre for Community Wellness. To register contact Elaine Lupul at 403.262.5776. The program is free for immigrant women. Unfortunately, this program is limited to women with permanent resident and refugee status. Free childcare is provided.

The Program is an excellent pre-employment orientation that is beneficial for immigrant women who wish to plan and prepare for their future in Canada. 

They learn how to establish more meaningful lives in their new society by introducing career management skills including research skills, networking, job search strategies and assertiveness training. Participants are helped to increase their confidence, recognize their skills and to develop a plan for their future.

Intercultural Communication Workshop

Saturday, October 25th, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Encompass Partnerships 3851 - 54 Avenue NE. Register online, $20 before October 21. $25 (cash or cheque) at the door. Please contact for more details
Copyright © 2014 Cooperative ESL Ministries, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp