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In 2017, the Department of Imaginary Affairs started The Stories of Us. The Stories of Us is a project to reimagine ESL libraries. We are designing an ESL library full of stories told by newcomers for newcomers. 

Throughout the project, we have been guided by the design principles of collaboration, participation, responding to feedback, and learning from our failures. 

We have had a great deal of success through The Stories of Us. We have learned about the power of storytelling as a tool for uncovering otherwise untold stories, teaching English, and building connected communities. 

“Stories have a surface. Usually, we tell the stories on the surface, but this was different. We were able to go deeply and share the stories we don’t normally tell.” 

On March 26th, we are hosting a Teacher Training. Registration is open. 

In January 2020, we convened a group of 10 LINC teachers across Ontario in a one-day Teacher Design Lab to brainstorm how The Stories of Us resources – both the storybooks as well as the curriculum that guides newcomers through the storywriting process – might be integrated into the PBLA classrooms.

This Teacher Training is informed by the insights that came out of the Teacher Design Lab as well as the lessons learned as the participating LINC teachers implemented The Stories of Us resources in their classrooms.

It will feature:

  • Break-out groups that unpack each of the six workshops that make up The Stories of Us curriculum and the end task associated with each workshop.
  • Small group discussions with LINC teachers who teach at the same or similar CLB levels about the different ways in which The Stories of Us curriculum can be a platform upon which to build various speaking, reading, writing, and listening tasks and assessments.
  • Opportunities to hear from LINC teachers who have already used The Stories of Us resources in their classrooms about how they were able to customize it for their classes and make them PBLA-relevant.

We will be hosting 25-30 ESL teachers across Ontario, particularly those teaching within a LINC context, for this Teacher Training on March 26, 2020 in Toronto. A total of 7 Professional Development hours and certificates will be provided to trainees as by TESL Ontario standards.

Spots are limited, so please only register if you know you can make it!

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with Mathura Mahendren at

Time: 9:30AM-4:00PM, please arrive promptly at 9:30AM.

Location: RBC Building, 1005 King Street West, Toronto, ON

Food: Breakfast, lunch, and a snack will be provided.

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