Common Ground: Guide to English in the Workplace (Phase 3)

The project addressed professional development for Alberta employers and ESL educators in rural and small urban centres to develop their capacity to provide workplace occupational language and workplace culture adaptation skills for immigrant employees.

Lessons learned

The project was successful in increasing awareness of the Common Ground resource and the ability of workshop participants to run their own English-in-the-Workplace program. Feedback from workshop participants was positive, averaging 96% satisfaction with the workshop's relevance and effectiveness. Session participants included 42% English-as-a-Second Language instructors, 27% Community Adult Learning Council educators, 25% Business Owners, and 6% other. Participants wanted to receive more information and training on delivering English-in-the-Workplace programming. Community Adult Learning Council educators were interested in learning how to better collaborate with businesses to meet the language learning needs of newcomer employees in their community. Between February 2010 and March 31, the Common Ground resource was accessed 991 times.


  • Common Ground Train-the-Trainer workshops delivered in 13 communities across Alberta
  • English in the Workplace: Common Ground Report
Other project information
Project time frame January 2010 - March 2011
Project team
  • Douglas Parsons
  • William Shebansky
  • Darcy MacDonald
  • Todd Odgers
Project funder Alberta Employment and Immigration
Key project activities
  • Development of Train-the-Trainer workshop for Common Ground
  • Delivery of workshop in 13 communities across Alberta
  • Dissemination of Common Ground resource to conferences and trade shows
  • Evaluation of Train-the-Trainer workshop
Target audience

Employers with newcomer employees, Community Adult Learning Councils, Chambers of Commerce in rural Alberta.

Number of people involved in project

171 people including:

  • 4 project team members
  • 6 ddvisory committee members
  • 161 workshop participants
Communities participating in project Brooks, Calgary, Camrose, Drayton Valley, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Jasper, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat, Rocky Mountain House, Vegreville, Wetaskiwin.