Upcoming Events

Spring Training 2019

Join us at Hawkwood Baptist Church, 20 Hawkwood Dr NW, Calgary, AB, for a day of learning, encouragement, idea sharing, and tools for your ESL ministry. You will be both inspired and motivated as you reach out and serve newcomers to Canada through your local church.

Main session speaker, Noral Woodburn, Cross-Cultural Pastor at BP Church and Director of Agape Language Centre, will bring an inspiring message on “Thriving in Cultural Diversity—God is bringing the cultures of the world into Canada. How do we as leaders/churches/individuals minister in the harvest field at our doorstep?”

Various breakout sessions with choices from three Tracks: Classroom Techniques, Resources, and Leader and Administration will meet the needs of both intercultural ministry leaders and workers, as well as ESL teachers to answer the Why, What, and How questions of ESL Ministry.

Ticket Prices:

  • $50 Early Bird until April 2
  • $65 Regular after April 2
  • $13 Optional on-site lunch

Register Now!

Download our printable poster to display in your Church.

Program Schedule: 


9:00Main Session 

  • Thriving in Cultural Diversity—God is bringing the cultures of the world into Canada: Noral Woodburn

10:00Breakout Session 1

  • The Sounds of English: Patricia D. Dyck
  • English Language as Empowerment for Mission: Introducing Bible-Based Materials for Teaching English: Amber Wylie-Moerman
  • Spiritual Foundations for Intercultural Ministry: Allan Pole

11:15Coffee Break

11:30Breakout Session 2

  • It Just Makes Sense: Using the Neurolinguistics Approach and Literacy Loop to Empower and Fast Track Beginner ELLs: Roswita and Anja Dressler
  • I-AM ESL Curriculum Sampler: Laura Swart
  • Growing an ESL Ministry—Learning From Experience: Katherine Milum

12:30Lunch ($13 optional on-site lunch)

1:30Breakout Session 3

  • Screen Time in the ELL Classroom: Nada Ramsden
  • Developing Pathways to Jesus for Immigrants in Your Neighbourhood: Rick and Patti Love
  • Understanding and Celebrating Cultural Identity: Warsha and Anshu Stephen

2:45Closing Remarks

3:00Training Day Ends



Noral Woodburn, Cross-Cultural Pastor, BP Church; Director, Agape Language Centre, Calgary

Noral was born in Sheffield England and immigrated to London, Ontario in the mid-1960s with his family. There he met his wife Michele. They were married in 1987 and have been blessed with two wonderful sons, Tristan and Taylor—both married.

Noral attended Master College and Seminary (formerly known as Eastern Pentecostal Bible College) completing his Pastoral Studies in 1981. Noral pastored in London, Mount Brydges, and Niagara Falls. He also al served at Bible League Canada for 12 years as Director of Canadian Ministry and Director of Multicultural Ministries. He and Michele are humbled to see how God has been developing a deep passion for His people within them.

In fall 2013, Noral began serving at Beddington Pentecostal (BP) Church and Agape Language Centre, believing that today—more than ever—God wants to empower His church to demonstrate His incredible love to new Canadians and their families as they make Canada their home.

As a family, Noral and Michele enjoy spending time together. One of their favourite pastimes is travelling. They also love camping, photography, reading, listening, and participating in intense worship, walking, and discovering new places to eat.



The Sounds of English

An introduction to basic consonant and vowels sounds in English with some manipulatives to help the sounds stick.

Patricia D. Dyck: BSc (Carleton University), Teaching Certificate (U of Calgary), ESL Diploma (U of Calgary). Past employment: Elementary school teacher for seven years, LINC/ESL teacher for 19 years. Pat is the author of two high interest, low vocabulary books with complete teaching units for Benchmark 2-4 students and/or delayed readers. Pat is currently teaching ESL and LINC classes for Chinook Learning Services and has taught a course on Pronunciation.

It Just Makes Sense: Using the Neurolinguistics Approach and Literacy Loop to Empower and Fast Track Beginner ELLs

In this workshop you will learn about oral modeling steps for teaching English to beginners (Neurolinguistics Approach) and how to introduce writing emerging from the oral language—the Literacy Loop). The best way to learn is to experience, so you will see for yourself how it works. The Neurolinguistics Approach involves teaching and practicing oral language through modeled practice and the Literacy Loop is a teaching practice based on the belief that learners should hear something, speak something, see something written, all before they write it themselves.

Roswita Dressler: PhD, Research Associate, Language Research Centre and Sessional Instructor, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, is a former German, French, and ESL teacher who works at the University teaching future second language teachers. She volunteers in her church’s ESL program—run twice a year for six weeks. She and her husband have four children.

Anja Dressler: a teacher at Calgary Board of Education, currently teaches grades 3/4 at a German bilingual school. She has taught a variety of ages, including an ESL program at her church.

Screen Time in the ELL Classroom

What are the benefits for your learners, and different ways in which to use screen time to help ELL students in their acquisition of English for everyday life? Spend some time together sharing ideas for using movies, TV shows, and YouTube videos in the classroom.

Nada Ramsden: BA, Cert. in Adult Learning, TEFL, recently retired after 14 years of ESL/ELL instruction at the Calgary International Learning Centre (CILC). Nada has also done short-term teaching of children in Japan, and mixed ages in Peru. A new venture in ELL is on the horizon. Nada loves getting to know her students and to create a safe and fun learning environment. She considers herself a co-learner in the classroom and values all that her students have taught over the years.


English Language-Empowerment for Mission: Introducing Bible-Based Materials for Teaching English

Teaching English is one of the key ways churches can reach out and meet a very real and immediate need for newcomers to Canada. The church is uniquely positioned to go a step beyond what government programs offer by addressing relational and spiritual dimensions of individuals. Church-based ESL classes provide space for authentic dialogue to take place to share God’s love right in the classroom. Some challenges that volunteer-based programs face are the daunting task of preparing and choosing resources used for teaching, as well as the question of how to share our faith in a non-threating and welcoming way. The objective of this workshop is to introduce and demonstrate English language curriculum that is designed for teaching English, fostering relationships and discussions, and presenting the Gospel using Biblical text and interactive language tasks. Come join us to discover how this exciting tool can support your current program, or help start a new ESL class in your church.

Amber Wylie-Moerman: MA in Global Studies, TTESOL. Amber has been working in the field of ELT (English Language Teaching) for the past fifteen years. In that time, she has had many exciting and unique opportunities to teach English and train teachers in a variety of contexts and countries, including Canada, Japan, Mexico, Bolivia, China, Mongolia, Lebanon, and the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). Amber has worked as an assistant professor of TESOL at Providence University College in Manitoba and at Trinity Western University in British Columbia. She is a certified CLBPT (Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test) assessor and more recently has been involved in curriculum and materials development. What motivates her most in her work is seeing teachers grow and develop a deeper confidence and passion in their roles in the field of language teaching.

I-AM ESL Curriculum Sampler

I-AM ESL offers live and virtual ESL courses to adult learners in homes and classrooms. Our team will demonstrate teacher-friendly lessons at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, together constructing principles for effective teaching—using music and the Bible to teach, eliciting higher-order thinking, keeping students engaged, managing the classroom, using student-generated curriculum, and understanding learning styles. We will also discuss how an individual or church can use our curriculum to reach others with the love of Jesus.

Laura Swart: Passionate about writing and teaching, Laura has taught critical thinking, reading, and writing courses to post-secondary students for over twenty-five years, encouraging them to find and raise their writing voices. She is a published novelist and playwright and the director of I-AM ESL, an online language school that uses story and song to teach the intricacies of English to refugees and immigrants. Laura’s degrees and research in education, philosophy, and theology have shaped her thinking and woven themselves into her classroom and her writing.

Developing Pathways to Jesus for Immigrants in Your Neighbourhood

How can your church develop a smooth pathway to Jesus for immigrants in your neighbourhood? We will describe a 3-stage plan using a sample curriculum that we have written and used over 13 years of intercultural ministry. Stage 1: ESL, employment classes, field trips, and parties. Stage 2: A pre-evangelistic ESL class with a gentle introduction to the Gospel. Stage 3: Spiritual conversations in an ESL Bible study.

Rick and Patti Love: The Loves have been involved in cross-cultural ministry since 1994 in both Asia and Canada. In 2006 Patti began her role as Pastor of Intercultural Ministries at Foothills Alliance Church in Calgary. Rick has directed Love New Canadians since 2014. He has a MA with a focus on cross-cultural ministries and a PhD in Biblical studies. Patti has a MA focusing on cross-cultural studies and an MA in Teaching English Language and Literature. She has been certified with Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language since 2006. Rick and Patti have worked with more than 180 churches in 7 provinces and 25 denominations to help them develop Pathways to Jesus for Immigrants in their Neighbourhoods.


Spiritual Foundations for Intercultural Ministry

I love Jesus and I love His church! With this heart, I would like to discuss our Spiritual Foundations. Why should we reach out to new Canadians? What are the challenges that we face? How can we stay strong individually and as teams? Let’s look at God’s Word together and pray for each other.

Allan Pole: BA, MDiv, DMin, leads Cooperative ESL Ministries (eslcooperative.ca) and pastors New Beginnings Church (nbccalgary.com). Al grew up on a farm on the northern edge of Calgary and lives with his wife, Brenda, on an acreage north of the city. Their daughter, Allison, is married to Justin and son, Braden, is married to Jaimie. Braden and Jaimie have a son (first grandchild), Jasper, born on February 1, 2019.

Growing an ESL Ministry—Learning From Experience

Come hear the story of the New Canadian Friendship Centre and our first-hand experience in starting and administering a new ESL ministry in the community. We will share our learnings from what has worked, and what hasn’t—highlighting how new Canadians have responded to our ministry since opening in May of 2013.

Katherine Milum: BA English Literature, currently serves as manager of the New Canadian Friendship Centre (NCFC). She is a lifelong learner with a never-ending stack of books to read on a variety of topics. In addition to reading and baking, she enjoys spending time with friends over a cup of tea. She is a mom to three delightfully interesting children, between the ages of 15-21. She feels privileged to work every day with people of different cultures, languages, and faith—hearing their stories and learning from them.

Understanding and Celebrating Cultural Identity—the unwavering and unique strength of an individual’s narrative that is closely intertwined with their cultural identity.

This session will invite all session attendees to have an opportunity to share their stories first, recognizing their “Chronos” and “Kairos” in their identities. Hence, understanding the impactful “Kairo” moment of uprooting and immigrating to a home as a newcomer. We will then dive into challenges and successes facing newcomers when redefining their identity. Lastly, we will focus on giving tools and language to all attendees around genuine understanding and celebrating diverse cultural identities in their community!

Anshu Stephen: (pronounced “unshu”), means ray of light in Hindi. Anshu grew up in Canada, India, Cambodia, and Malaysia. She has 7 years of experience in the field of empowerment, advocacy, and success coaching in the non-profit sector—working with marginalized populations. She is also a certified TESOL instructor from Mount Royal University.

Anshu continues to explore this beautiful globe whenever she can, learning about cultures around the world through their delectable foods. When not working or traveling she loves to recharge through great music, painting, and spending time with loved ones.

Warsha Stephen: Master of Science in Biology, Zoology. Warsha taught Biology/Life Science in college and high schools for more than 10 years. She is a member of ACSI, Association of Christian Schools International and TEFL certified (UK) to teach ESL to adult students.

Warsha has a huge heart for serving new immigrants and has taught ESL to new immigrants at NCFC (New Canadian Friendship Centre) in Calgary. As well, she continues to learn, having taken intercultural ministry courses from Canadian Theological Seminary in Calgary. Here experience both internationally and locally includes working in areas of education, community development, health & nutrition, and small enterprises with nonprofit organizations in India, Cambodia, and Calgary. Passionate about teaching and writing, she has published stories about women empowerment and authored Christian articles and poems for various publishers. She also speaks English, Hindi, Bengali, and Khmer (Cambodian language).

Her hobbies are traveling, meeting new people, learning their culture and history; as well, sampling both food and music of other cultures. She is motivated by positive change and growth in people’s lives; embracing many valuable lessons from those she serves. Her biggest achievement/reward—a close-knit family!

Register Now!