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Word TravELS 011 July - December 2017

ELS - No Capes Necessary

ELS - No Capes Necessary Teaching...Volunteering... A t the risk of making one too many references to movies in this issue (see “Iron Man Amongst Us”)—spoilers alert if you haven’t seen “The Incredibles” (circa 2004)—you may remember from an early scene in the movie, where the narrator says, “...[the superheroes] are living among us. Average citizens. Average heroes. Quietly and anonymously continuing to make the world a better place.” In the movie, this happened after the “supers” were accused of stepping out of line and actually causing more bad than good, and were forced to stop hero work. (Watch the movie for the full story. Word has it that the sequel is coming out this summer!) In the ELS world, we have supers who also quietly and anonymously continue to make our world a better place. They, however, are anything but average. In this, our new column called “No Capes Required,” we will feature our heroes as our way to acknowledge the important contribution and the difference they make in both the English Language School and our students’ lives. (Yes. “No Capes” is another reference from “The Incredibles.”) Our first capeless crusader we’d like to feature is Barbara Lavallee. Barbara is a long-time English for Academic Purposes (EAP) instructor of the English Language School. While most of us know her as an “instructor,” Barbara is also an avid volunteer. Her energy and enthusiasm as a volunteer in the local community easily matches her W o r d T r a v E L S | 18

work at ELS. She also has creative ways to weave the “learning” and “volunteering” processes together within the setting of an EAP class. same. And the students really seem to genuinely appreciate the experience. One of the students commented about how much she Barbara would, as part of the students’ studies in EAP, assign them to visit, learn about, that others can see that not only is volunteering fun, enjoyed volunteering at Hope Mission, and hoped and become familiar with areas and events in but it can also help make changes. Edmonton in order to “establish and sustain opportunities to help them integrate into the “The students were very keen.” Barbara explains in a local and university communities.” This, in report. “They were diligent, showed up, worked hard, fact, is one of the priorities of the English Language School Strategic Plan: Inclusive En- interacted with staff and peers in a positive way and were well received by the institutions involved.” gagement. With Barbara’s help, ELS students got to volunteer at Outside the EAP classroom, not only does different organizations in Edmonton during the November - December term: making sandwiches at Barbara make time to volunteer and engage with the local community, she also helps facilitate opportunities for her students to do Hope Mission, preparing Christmas hampers at the W o r d T r a v E L S | 19