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  1. Workplace English in Alberta

  2. The Purposes of this Module are to … • define content-based English as a second language (ESL) instruction, which is appropriate for English in the Workplace programs; and • provide information and links to resources related to workplace English.

  3. Content-based English as a Second Language (ESL) Instruction • Content-basedESL instruction integrates ESL instruction with subject matter instruction (Brinton, Snow, & Wesche, 1989). • When learning about a specific subject, a focus on language objectives will assist in the development of the language of the subject matter content. • Therefore, a content-based ESL course must include a balanced emphasis on both content and language objectives.

  4. Reasons for Integrating Language and Content • Content-based instruction can be designed to meet the learners’ specific academic or employment needs and interests. • Instruction that is interesting and relevant to learner needs can be highly motivating and thus offer more meaningful pathways to language acquisition (Brinton, Snow, & Wesche, 1989; Crandall, 1995).

  5. Resources Internet

  6. Essential Skills Links(click on the underlined links to take you to the websites) • What are Essential Skills? This website provides information about the nine Essential Skills that are used in learning, daily life and the workplace. These skills are common to all workplaces, but may have differing levels of complexity. • Essential Skills and the CLB On this website you will find information about how the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) and the Essential Skills are linked. • Job-specific Essential Skills and sample lessons This website has information that is specific for internationally trained workers. It lists information about how to understand the language demands of particular jobs. It also contains links for job specific language and lesson plans based on the Essential Skills.

  7. Finding Employment

  8. Occupations in Canada • Career planning This website lists links to relevant information about career planning, changing careers, looking for work, negotiating salaries, resigning and salary trends. • Interesting occupations This CBC website contains different jobs that are held by men named Joe. The paragraphs are fairly simple and refer to a variety of jobs available in Canada. • The Canadian workforce Three of the listening activities on this site are produced by the CBC and are related to work issues in Canada (e.g., work vs. the environment, women in the workforce).

  9. Occupations (cont’d.) • Listening activities and podcasts about employment The CBC Manitoba has a series of integrated listening activities and podcasts. Topics of interest related to employment include: volunteering, retirement, dream jobs, and types of bosses.

  10. Getting Foreign Credentials Recognized • History and description of IQAS Employment and Immigration Alberta provide this information about the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) which evaluates post-secondary education from outside of Canada. This page contains links regarding who uses IQAS and gives examples of qualification assessments. • Internationally educated teachers Teachers who have qualifications from overseas need to consult Alberta Education for the procedures necessary to gain Canadian teaching qualifications. • Internationally educated health care professionals Alberta Employment and Immigration provides information about having international health care credentials recognized in Alberta.

  11. Job Searching • Job searching for those with low literacy This eight-page booklet from English Express has information about looking for work in Alberta. It is a good resource for adults with low literacy levels. • Sample lessons There are four sample lessons available on the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks website related to employment and job searching.

  12. Job Searching (cont’d.) • Video clip on body language for job interviews This eight-minute video clip from the CBC’s morning show titled Steven & Chris. The meaning of crossed arms, foot position, hands in pockets, playing with hair, and leaning stances are some of the body language explained. • Video clip on handshakes This is an eight-minute video clip from the CBC’s morning show titled Steven & Chris. The guest is an expert on body language and communication. This episode contains information on body language for the workplace. It gives detailed information on how to shake hands.

  13. Filling out Application Forms • Tips for filling out application forms Several points for correctly filling out application forms are provided. • Application form cloze passage This site contains a short paragraph and some fill in the blank questions about how to fill in an application form.

  14. Résumés • Examples of résumés This website by Alberta Learning and Information Services provides examples of résumé types and other relevant tips for creating a résumé for a specific type of employment. • How to write a résumé Settlement Ontario gives information on how to write a résumé. There are examples of chronological and functional résumés. Other web sources are provided in the links.

  15. Interviews • Sample lesson Sample lessons are available on the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks website. One lesson is related to interview skills. • Video clip about asking questions at the end of an interview This is an interview with the Vice President of There is advice on searching for jobs, interview techniques, and résumé writing. The clip also includes questions to ask an employer at the end of an interview. • Video clip about interview questions This video clip gives five tips for answering interview questions: 1) Listen to the question, 2) Be honest, 3) Be positive, 4) Answer only the question asked, 5) Give a structured answer.

  16. Workers’ Rights

  17. Temporary Foreign Workers • Handbook for Temporary Foreign Workers in Alberta This is a handbook designed for temporary foreign workers that provides basic employment information. It includes information about agencies that help workers, and contact information. • Temporary Foreign Workers in Alberta Alberta’s official immigration website has many links to relevant issues for temporary foreign workers, such as banking, childcare, housing, and ESL training. • Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s FAQ for Temporary Foreign workers The information provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada on this site is mostly intended for low skilled workers and live-in caregivers. However, this information applies to all workers with temporary foreign worker visas.

  18. Workers’ Rights • Workers’ Rights Worksheets These worksheets designed by English Express were created for teaching workers in Alberta about employment laws. They are designed for low reading levels. • Workers’ Compensation Board Information This website informs workers regarding procedures to follow in case of an injury at work. The information is available in English and 15 other languages. • Video clip This YouTube video highlights workers’ rights in Alberta.

  19. Working in Canada

  20. Networking • Different forms of networking The Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website has some information on how to network in Alberta. Suggestions are made about people to network with, professional associations, and networking websites.

  21. Canadian Work Customs • Information on discrimination This issue of English Express provides information on Human Rights in Alberta. The publication deals with discrimination. • Canadian customs from the Centre for Immigration and Citizenship This on-line booklet contains information about some Canadian customs. Although it is not strictly work-related, there is some information about Canadian etiquette. • Workplace Integration of Newcomers workbook A web book designed by the Manitoba government for ESL learners in the workplace.

  22. Pragmatics • Information on speech acts A speech act is an utterance expressed for a particular purpose or effect. For example, "There's the telephone" may function as a request for someone to answer it. This site provides information on apologizing, complaints, compliments, refusals, requests, and thanking, along with teaching tips. • Article on the importance of teaching speech acts This article begins with information for the ESL instructor about speech acts. At the end of the document, it identifies teaching activities and lesson plans.

  23. Pragmatics (cont’d.) • Small talk To establish positive relationships with their peers, learners need to be able to establish and maintain relationships with their co-workers. Small talk is one means of doing this. This site provides links to other topics, such as workplace humour, miscommunication, and gender differences in communication.

  24. Cross Cultural Communication • Articles on diversity in the workplace Many of the articles on this site address topics of interest for employees unfamiliar with the North American workplace. Some topics include what not to say to a female boss, how to dress appropriately for work, and how to deal with workplace bullying. • Multiple choice quizzes This website designed for adult ESL learners contains a wide variety of multiple choice quizzes on topics related to cross- cultural communication. • Discussion questions on culture This website contains information for classroom teachers about students’ cultural behaviours. It also contains conversation starters for ESL classes.

  25. A Healthy Workplace

  26. Safety in the Workplace • Worksheets about safety equipment These worksheets provided by English Express are designed to teach learners to identify hazards at work. They are written at a low reading level and contain information about safety equipment. • Worksheets about injury prevention English Express provides worksheets to address issues of workplace injury. They include contact information for the Workers’ Compensation Board.

  27. Safety in the Workplace (cont’d.) • Workplace safety worksheets This American website has a variety of worksheets for safety and workplace-related issues. ESL instructors will need to screen the worksheets before class to make sure that the information is relevant to the Canadian context. • Video clips about accident prevention Although these small, graphic vignettes about safety in the workplace were designed for young workers, they could also be used in some ESL classes. Each skit lists ways to prevent different types of accidents. Preview before showing to determine appropriateness for learners.

  28. Lifting/Ergonomics • E-learning module about lifting This is an e-learning module designed for English speakers which addresses lifting safety. It can be used in whole or in part to demonstrate how to properly lift heavy items. • Interactive quiz about lifting This interactive quiz designed for English speakers asks questions about back/lifting safety. • Pictures of lifting techniques This site from the NASG database has two diagrams, one of an improper lifting technique and another of a proper lifting technique. There are also some multiple-choice questions about lifting at the bottom of the page.

  29. Lifting/Ergonomics (cont’d.) • Drywall lifting techniques This is an American website that has information about how to properly lift drywall. There are also photographs of the techniques.

  30. Lone Workers • Legal definitions This website contains definitions for instructors about lone workers and workers’ rights. These pages may need to be adapted for ESL learners. • Interactive quiz about lone workers This quiz is designed for those who work alone and addresses safety concerns for these people. At the end of the quiz are on-line documents about health and safety information for those who work alone. These may need to be adapted for your ESL learners.

  31. Blood Safety • Definition of universal precautions The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety defines universal precautions and lists ways that workers might protect themselves against exposure to blood-borne illnesses. • Albertan information about Universal Precautions at the worksite This document from Work Safe Alberta provides information about universal precautions on the jobsite. It offers specific information about how to avoid exposure to body fluids, as well as information on how to clean up after spills. • Worksheets about HIV/AIDS The following are worksheets that have some information about HIV/AIDS. They are written at multiple levels for ESL learners.

  32. Shift-work and Fatigue • The sleep/wake cycle and shift-work This is a series of five vignettes that explains shift-work, its consequences, and the sleep-wake cycle, and provides tips for the shift-worker. Some of the information might be difficult for beginning ESL learners; however, it can be adapted by the teacher to meet the learners’ needs. • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for shift workers This website produced by the Alberta Government provides information for shift workers on getting enough sleep and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are interesting links on page 5.

  33. Staying Healthy and Managing Stress • Video clip about the importance of relaxation This is a four-minute video clip from Canada AM that focus on the importance of rest and relaxation. • Worksheets about signs and symptoms of stress This website provides information for learners about how to identify stress and deal with it in a healthy fashion. It describes the importance of relaxation, changing perspectives, and time management. • Suggestions for making the workplace healthier Some of the topics that promote workplace health on this Alberta government website include the afternoon slump, back pain, healthy eating, and work/life balance.

  34. Picture-Based Activities for Learning English • This workbook provides examples of activities that can be taken from magazines. These language activities can easily be adapted for workplace English.

  35. Recommended Websites and Readings • Alberta Employment and Immigration • Canadian Immigration and Citizenship • Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) - Information about Adult Employment Instruction • Centre for the Canadian Language Benchmarks • Content Based Instruction • English Express • Laroche, L., & Rutherford, D. (2007). Recruiting, retaining, and promoting culturally different employees. Burlington, MA: Elsevier.

  36. References Brinton, D. M., Snow, M. A., & Wesche, M. B. (1989). Content-based second language instruction. New York, NY: Newbury. Crandall, J. (1995). ESL through content-area instruction. McHenry, IL: Delta Systems.

  37. Acknowledgements Carolyn Dieleman, Alberta Employment and Immigration Gertrude Aberdeen Laura Monerris Dr. Marilyn Abbott Dr. Marian Rossiter