Practice English

Communication is an essential survival skill that enables expression, information exchange, and understanding. If you’ve ever traveled to, or lived in, another country that spoke a language foreign to your own, you may be able to envision some of the barriers that exist for a Calgarian whose first language is not English. From everyday activities such as ordering a coffee, talking to a neighbor about the weather, or asking a stranger for directions, to more complex processes like navigating the Canadian legal system, registering for courses at a post-secondary institution, or enrolling a child in school, verbal and written communication permeates all aspects of our lives.

Free, volunteer-supported Practice English classes at the Women’s Centre provide a place for women to practice their language skills in a supportive group setting.

“This class is really good practice for my English. I have no extended family in Calgary, only my husband. Here I can talk to other women and practice my English. This class is very important in my life,” says Adrianna, a Practice English participant.

Sharon, a retired ESL teacher, has been volunteering with the Tuesday morning Practice English group for about seven years; five of the women have been attending for as long as Sharon has been teaching. While the format of each class varies, the focus is always on conversation and pronunciation.

“At least half of the class is spent talking about what is happening in their lives, what is happening around Calgary, and any other topic they would like to discuss,” says Sharon.

“Grammar is only necessary if it is needed for the students to be understood. Conversational skills are necessary for their voices to be heard.”

Sharon says one of the biggest reasons she thinks women are committed to Practice English is not just for the opportunity to learn and practice English, but for the opportunity to socialize and connect.

“I have met so many friends here. I never miss a class because I enjoy my time here,” says Man Ting, a long-time participant.

Starting this month, we will be offering two classes a week: Tuesdays from 9:45am-11:45am and Wednesdays from 10am-12pm. Anyone who is interested in attending can contact Caterina or Sarah at 403-264-1155 or or

11 thoughts on “Practice English”

    1. Hi Merve,

      This program is still running! You can drop-in at the Centre on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:45 – 11:45 am.



  1. Soy Patricia Vargas
    Con un gran esfuerzo familiar y económico vine a esta ciudad a aprender inglés y me encontre con solo gramática y unas exigencias de que hablemos y tampoco nos dan herramientas para hacerlo es frustrante ,pero tengo claro el objetivo aprovechar el que estoy en Calgary CANADA y poder aprender a comunicarme .

    Quisiera participar en su grupo y conversar en inglés que me corrijan y aprender . Ser voluntaria como ustedes y ayudar. Quizás podemos hacer un intercambio mientras estoy acá y yo pueda enseñarles algo.
    Estudio en una escuela Inglés ,pero la conversación esta escasa .

    Mi lengua Español.
    Espero respuesta de ustedes , por lo que leí entiendo son un grupo interesante para mis cualidades humanas . Estaré atenta a cualquier respuesta. Cordialmente ,


    1. Hi Luz,

      We have Practice English classes every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:45 – 11:45 am. In the New Year, we’ll be adding another class on Mondays from 1-3 pm.

      Let us know if you need anything else!


    1. Hi Ariana,

      The class is conversational and for beginner to intermediate learners. The classes run on Mondays at 1 pm, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9:45 am. They are two hours and drop-in.

  2. Shital prakashkumar Valmiky

    My name is shital Valmiky from India.
    I have open work permit so can I join your ESL course
    Thank you

    1. Hi Shital, This is a drop in program. Please feel free to join whenever it is scheduled. Or call us if you have questions 403-264-1155

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