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Here to Help

  • Here to Help

The following blog post was written by Heidi Beyer and Glen Cochrane, faculty members at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement (CEIIA).

One of the projects that the CEIIA's Innovation and Research team have been busy working on is the Here to Help: Workplace Communication Skills for Food Services course and resource. Here to Help is a set of modules and resources designed to support English language learners to communicate successfully in entry-level jobs in food services.

Here to Help has been funded by the Alberta Government and is currently being piloted in the region. The pilot course, as structured, runs for approximately 48 hours and is targeted at CLB levels 4-6. In building Here to Help, we observed and consulted with community partners to understand the language that newcomers use in entry-level positions in food services and where communication breaks down in the workplace. This helped to focus our outcomes for the course and produce authentic audio and video resources.

The modules center on the following themes:
  • Interviewing and Onboarding
  • Knowing your Environment
  • Staying Safe
  • Taking Initiative

Here to Help focuses on the language that learners will need to use and to thrive as an entry-level employee in Canadian workplaces. 

Here to Help focuses on the language that learners will need to use and to thrive as an entry-level employee in Canadian workplaces. Although the setting for these resources is food services, the outcomes can transfer to a variety of industries.

Learners will practice language functions such as:
  • Listening for details
  • Using direct language
  • Paraphrasing information
  • Asking clarifying questions
  • Softening language
  • Greetings and leave-taking

Here to Help will also run as a pilot course at our downtown campus in the 2017 Winter term.

To view the resources, visit our publications page. 

For more information, email