Improving Access to Free English Lessons

The Alberta government is partnering with the CBC to better connect people learning English with free lessons on their mobile devices.


Minister Gray and CBC’s Adrienne Lamb meet ESL students Lucy Lui and Ismail Jama who will be using the new Learning English with CBC website.

With a two-year grant from the Alberta government, Learning English with CBC has improved its website to make it easier for newcomers to participate in its English language lessons. The lessons use news stories and interviews from around the province to help new Albertans learn about their communities.

The $153,566 grant will support a fully interactive website, which can be accessed on mobile devices for the first time. The stories are read at a slower pace to help learners better understand the content. To test their understanding of the stories, students of the program can submit answers and get immediate feedback.

“Our government is working hard to make life better for newcomers by helping them flourish in their workplaces and communities. We are proud to support this innovative project that will improve accessibility to free English as a Second Language resources. Our government supports initiatives that prepare newcomers for success and help this talented pool of hard-working Albertans find good jobs.”

~Christina Gray, Minister of Labour

“We are very excited to continue our partnership with the Government of Alberta on Learning English with CBC. To cater to learners’ needs for on-the-go learning, we have transformed this project by combining tailored storytelling with accompanying online activities with instant feedback.”

~Gary Cunliffe, managing editor, CBC Edmonton

“ATESL wishes to extend thanks and congratulations to the Learning English with CBC team. The update of this resource to focus on real-world interactions at an appropriate level and in a mobile-friendly format makes it all the more relevant and accessible to our learners.”

~Kim Dudas, president, Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL)

Learning English with CBC started in 2011 with funding from the Alberta government. More than 1,200 people from across the province and around the globe visit the website every week.