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Resources for the Classroom

for Instruction

This section includes resources (lesson plans, curriculum, readings, videos, podcasts, etc.) to use in class.

General and 4 Skills

See the “Nutrition Lessons for English Language Learners” for language learning modules (co-developed by Alberta Health Services and LINC collaborators):

  • Grocery shopping
  • Canada’s Food Guide
  • Drinks in Canada.

Modules are designed for the following levels: Foundation Literacy–CLB1, CLB 2/3, CLB 4/5. They include lesson plans, activities, handouts, assessment tasks, and some online resources.

Alberta Health Services. (n.d.). Newcomer nutrition education toolkit. https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/nutrition/Page16518.aspx

This resource includes reproducible language learning activities organized by 12 common LINC themes. Scroll down to find PDFs and audios that can be downloaded for LINC 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Algonquin College. (2009). LINC 1–4 classroom activities.
https://settlementatwork.org/resources/linc-1-4-classroom-activities

This website includes language learning courses for 5 different levels. Each level includes 30 units, each with 5 sessions. Sessions include audio/videos, transcripts, quizzes, and other activities.

BBC. (2021). Learning English. https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/

The resource includes multi-level modules published for CLB 1L-2L, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6. The modules address 6 themes (banking, health, services, education, housing, interaction, and transportation) and include module plans, skill building/using activities, audio files, and assessment tasks. (These materials are also available on Tutela and Avenue.ca.)

Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks. (n.d.). Multilevel modules. PBLA Practice Guidelines. https://pblapg.language.ca/part-e-classroom-and-professional-learning/multilevel-modules-2/

This website includes strategies, exercises, and tools for English for Academic Purposes classes, in the following categories: writing, reading, speaking listening, vocabulary, study skills, tools, infographics, and more. To access quizzes, students will need to register (free).

EAP Foundation (n.d.). https://www.eapfoundation.com/

This website has links to a wide variety of online English learning activities organized into the following themes:

  • Basics (including ABCs, colours, etc.)
  • Communication (media, phone, small talk)
  • Community (neighborhood, crime and police, history and government, Canada)
  • Culture
  • Everyday activities
  • Food
  • Health
  • Home
  • Nature and science
  • People
  • Relationships

Activities related to the above themes are organized into activities related to Words, Read, Listen, Grammar, Conversation Questions, etc. The Read and Listen activities are organized by CLB level.

ISS of BC. (2021). Janis’s ESL. https://janis-esl.issbc.org/esl-links/

This website includes activities that are designed primarily for teens; however, many of the topics and activities also appeal to adult learners. The activities are well designed and principled.

Grammar lessons: These include videos, online exercises and worksheets.

4 Skills lessons: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking activities are organized according to the CEFR language levels (A1=pre-CLB3; A2=CLB 4; B1=CLB 5; B2=CLB 6/7; C1=CLB 8-9).

  • Listening: Includes pre-listening preparation activities, audios, interactive online activities, and downloadable worksheets.
  • Speaking: Includes a pre-speaking video, interactive online activities, and downloadable worksheets.
  • Reading: Includes pre-reading preparation activities, reading texts, interactive online activities, and downloadable worksheets.
  • Writing: Includes pre-writing preparation activities, a writing prompt, a model, writing tips, and interactive online activities.

British Council. (n.d.). LearnEnglish teens. https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/

This website includes worksheets and online exercises for ESL. Items are organized according to theme and grammar/functional topics. Teachers can combine worksheets into “interactive workbooks.” They can also create their own interactive worksheets by uploading Word/PDF documents, drawing boxes, and entering right answers. Students can send their answers to their teacher, and/or teachers can register students and check their progress. Some of these worksheets include an embed code.

Liveworksheets. (n.d.). English as a second language (ESL) worksheets and online exercises. https://www.liveworksheets.com/worksheets/en/English_as_a_Second_Language_(ESL)

This is an Open Educational Resource (OER) textbook designed for CLB 5/6 learners. Its five chapters follow a set of characters through a story-line and are organized pragmatically:

  1. Reception, respect, and relationships
  2. Requests and responses
  3. Permission, prohibitions, and obligations
  4. Apologies and excuses
  5. Opinions, clarifying, and filtering

Each chapter has a reading, listening, writing, and speaking section. The sections include awareness building and noticing activities, intercultural/sociolinguistic information, real-life tasks, and self-assessment checks.

The Instructor’s Guide includes additional support for the instructor, including assessment rubrics, extension activities, and transcripts for audio/video files.

NorQuest College. (2016). In the community: An intermediate integrated skills textbook. https://globalaccess.bowvalleycollege.ca/our-resources/publications-resources/community-intermediate-integrated-skills-textbook

This resource includes learning modules (CLB 1 & 1L to CLB 7) on 8 different topics. Although designed for face-to-face instruction, these can be adapted for online delivery. The resource includes module plans, skill-building, skill-using, and assessments.

Note: To access these resources, publicly funded instructors will need to get a password from their administrator. Also, many of these resources can be accessed on Tutela (and some have been adapted for online delivery).

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. (2020). Real world assessment task bank modules. https://realworldtasks.ca/login.php

Learners can access this app to independently improve their reading, speaking, and listening skills. Downloadable from the Calgary Public Library, Digital Library site.

Calgary Public Library. (2021). Rosetta Stone library solution. https://calgarylibrary.ca/read-learn-and-explore/digital-library/rosetta-stone-library-solution/

This handbook provides an introduction to multi-level instruction, as well as 16 ready-to-use lesson plans for multi-level classes. There are 4 lessons plans in each of the following 4 modules:

  • Finding a job
  • Shopping online
  • Online safety
  • Going to the doctor.

Each lesson plan includes activities suitable for CLB 1, CLB 3, and CLB 5 learners who may be together in a multi-level class.

Includes multi-level modules for the following CLB levels: 3–4, 4–5, 5–6, 7–8. Each module includes a module plan, list of resources, ideas for skill building/using activities, assessment tasks (with Google Form links) and answer keys.

The Immigrant Education Society (TIES). (2020). PBLA module bank for LINC online. https://www.immigrant-education.ca/pbla-modules/

This resource includes reproducible language learning activities for LINC 5-7 learners.

Volume 1 includes chapters on academic skills, business writing, interacting with others, and looking for a job. Volume 2 includes chapters on managing information (reading), meetings, and telephone calls. Audio files can also be downloaded.

Toronto Catholic School Board. (2010). LINC 5–7 classroom activities, volumes 1–2. https://settlementatwork.org/resources/linc-5-7-classroom-activities-volumes-1-2

This website includes a substantial collection of resources that are CLB-referenced and created for ESL instruction in Canada. To access the resources, instructors create a free account and sign in to Tutela.

Under the Resources tab search for Teaching Resources by theme and CLB level.

Under the Collections tab, search for resources by theme/topic (e.g., Black History Month, Employment, Equity, Health and wellness); CLB level; and/or resource type (e.g., H5P, PBLA).

Listening

This playlist includes videos, designed for newcomers to Canada, which target Essential Skills and Canadian workplace expectations.

Alberta Workforce Essential Skills (AWES). (2019). Newcomers and the workplace [Video playlist]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb5jNH9sU42GbTPTeCA4rvQrh-GWKhIyR

News stories are presented in simple English. Learners listen to audios or videos and complete online quizzes. (Note: As of 2020, these are no longer being produced, but the lessons are still available.)

Learning English with CBC. (2020). https://www.cbc.ca/learning-english

This page includes activities and resources to develop strategies for understanding lectures, including lecture cues, note-taking, recognizing recycling and paraphrasing, recognizing digressions, and more.

EAP Foundation (n.d.). Listening. https://www.eapfoundation.com/listening/

Includes over 3,000 free listening exercises for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students. Each lesson includes an audio or video, a transcript, vocabulary enrichment, and a comprehension quiz.

English Listening Lesson Library Online (ELLLO). (2016). https://elllo.org/

Includes listening activities organized according to the CEFR language levels (A1=pre-CLB3, A2=CLB 4, B1=CLB 5, B2=CLB 6/7, C1=CLB 8-9).

Activities include online pre-listening preparation, audios, interactive online activities, and downloadable worksheets.

British Council. (n.d.). Listening. LearnEnglish Teens. https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/skills/listening

This site has a series of videos and accompanying activities designed to help learners take ownership and responsibility for their own language learning. Videos are accompanied by downloadable transcripts, as well as vocabulary, comprehension, and reflection activities.

Live & Learn: An Online Community for New Manitobans. (2021). iEnglish – The world of English [Video].https://livelearn.ca/learn/ienglish/

Includes a series of videos where speakers narrate their stories of coming to Canada.

Historica Canada. (n.d.). Passages to Canada [Video]. https://vimeo.com/channels/507633/

My Canadian English includes a variety of videos designed to make reading as well as information about Canada more accessible to English language learners. Playlists include Shona’s reading program (for ESL literacy), What the Canada Eh?, Winter in Canada (CLB 1-3), Things we don’t usually talk about (CLB 4-8), and Write 365.

Nichols, S. (n.d.). My Canadian English with Shona Nichols. https://www.youtube.com/c/MyCanadianEnglishShonaNichols/featured

This site includes audio recordings with accompanying online comprehension quizzes and transcripts. Activities are categorized as easy, intermediate, and difficult. A listening transcript is also available for reference.

(Note: Includes a lot of ads)

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab. (1998–2021). Boosting your English listening skills. https://www.esl-lab.com/

TEDEd includes lessons (with quizzes and discussion questions) based on short videos. Register for an account. Search for videos on relevant topics.

TEDEd. (n.d.) https://ed.ted.com/

Search for TED Talks by topic and length of video.

TED talks include an interactive transcript. Students can click on any sentence in the transcript to hear it spoken (great for shadow-reading and pronunciation).

Reading

Includes online interactive reading activities for 5 levels of ESL (A1=pre-CLB3, A2=CLB 4, B1=CLB 5, B2=CLB 6/7, C1=CLB 8-9). Activities include pre-reading preparation, reading texts, interactive online activities, and downloadable worksheets.

British Council. (n.d.). Reading. LearnEnglish Teens. https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/skills/reading

This portal has articles for low literacy readers and English language learners, some of which are accompanied by recordings. Articles can be searched by level (1–3) and topic.

Community Adult Learning Program (CALP) Portal. (2018). English express. https://calp.ca/express/articles

This resource includes complete CLB-aligned lesson plans and materials based primarily on reading Clicklaw Wikibooks. Also included are online quizzes based on readings from the wikibooks.

Clicklaw Wikibooks. (n.d.). Law-related lessons. https://wiki.clicklaw.bc.ca/index.php/Law-Related_Lessons

Includes reading activities categorized into Easy English, Interesting English, Fun English, Practical English, and Academic English. Activities include visuals, audio, text, and online questions. Printable lessons and quizzes are also available.

Dreamreader.net: http://dreamreader.net/

This page includes activities and resources to improve reading speed and develop reading skills, including notetaking, summarizing, critical reading, and more.

EAP Foundation (n.d.). Reading. https://www.eapfoundation.com/reading/

Designed for middle and high school learners, many of the resources on this website are appropriate for EAP classes or classes that prepare learners to transition to upgrading or college/university English classes. The website includes worksheets that develop reading skills such as main idea, making predictions, making inferences, facts vs opinion, context clues, summarizing, and more. They also have worksheets that address literary analysis (including point of view, mood, story structure, figurative language). Worksheets come in Word, PDF, answer keys. Some worksheets also include presentation slides and/or e-versions that are automatically marked online.

Ereading Worksheets. (n.d.). https://www.ereadingworksheets.com/

Includes reading lessons on life in Alberta, on parenting, financial advice, mental health, and community. These lessons are downloaded as PDF instructional packages. Lessons include vocabulary activities, reading strategies, grammar, and writing all related to a reading text. Answer keys are also included. (Note: Scroll down to "Language Learning Resources: Lessons on Life in Alberta.")

Government of Alberta. (2021). Improve your English. https://www.alberta.ca/improve-your-english.aspx

Includes reading activities for beginners, pre-intermediate/intermediate, and upper intermediate/advanced. Activities include key words, recordings, and online reading comprehension questions. PDF teacher packages and handouts can also be downloaded.

National Geographic Learning. (n.d.). Interactive reading practice. http://www.ngllife.com/student-zone/interactive-reading-practice

This site provides a series of 15 e-books for adult literacy and English as additional language learners. Each e-book contains 8 to 10 stories accompanied by exercises and activities. The e-books can be downloaded as PDFs.

The Westcoast Reader. (n.d.). Best of the Reader. http://www.bestofthereader.ca/

Includes reading (and listening) activities for 5 ESL levels (upper beginner to advanced)

University of Victoria ELC Study Zone. (2021). http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/

Speaking and Writing

This page includes activities and resources to develop presentation, discussion, and exam skills.

EAP Foundation (n.d.). Speaking. https://www.eapfoundation.com/speaking/

This page includes activities and resources to improve academic writing skills. It addresses different types of essays and reports, paraphrasing, references, cohesion, style, and more.

EAP Foundation (n.d.). Writing. https://www.eapfoundation.com/writing/

Includes 14,180 English Conversation Questions for sparking classroom or group discussions. Questions vary from everyday topics to controversial issues. Questions can be printed in Word or PDF files.

ESL Discussions. (2008–2018). https://esldiscussions.com/

Access resources for ESL teachers and learners by clicking on the links to topics listed from categories. These categories include grammar and mechanics, plagiarism and academic integrity, practice and exercises, and workplace writing. Each subject provides information and examples to follow.

Under “Skills” select Writing or Speaking.

Activities are organized according to the CEFR language levels (A1=pre-CLB3, A2=CLB 4, B1=CLB 5, B2=CLB 6/7, C1=CLB 8-9).

Each writing activity includes a pre-writing preparation, a writing prompt, a model, writing tips, and interactive online activities.

Each speaking activity includes a preparation activity, a videoed interaction, and comprehension activities (matching, gap fill, and reordering). (Note: Some of the speaking activities are less relevant as they are designed for teenaged language learners in the UK).

Worksheets can be downloaded.

British Council. (n.d.). Writing. LearnEnglish Teens. https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/skills/writing

British Council. (n.d.). Speaking. LearnEnglish Teens. https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/skills/speaking

Focused on current events, this page connects learners to the world around them while strengthening their literacy and critical thinking skills. Scroll to the bottom of the page for Activities for Students and Writing Curriculum.

The Learning Network. (n.d.). https://www.nytimes.com/section/learning

This YouTube playlist includes a daily 10-minute writing activity based on a photo.

Nichols, S. (n.d.). Write 365: A daily Writing activity for English Language Learners. My Canadian English with Shona Nichols. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyyBPCsnrklumGnC074B3IjuYSibkMtlh

Grammar

The Grammar section on this site includes a series of 6-minute grammar activities for beginning and intermediate learners, a grammar gameshow (videos, explanation, and activities), and a grammar “class” (videos and downloadable worksheets).

BBC Learning English. (2021). https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/

Includes grammar videos, written explanations, online exercises, and worksheets.

British Council. (n.d.). Grammar. LearnEnglish Teens. https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/

This playlist includes videos of conversations that illustrate a wide variety of grammar points. Learners hear target grammar items contextualized in engaging conversations. The grammar point is often summarized at the end of the video.

Easy English (n.d.). Grammar and English tenses [Video playlists]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTRHegh7UqWuKRymXoqzbzA/playlists

Includes grammar explanations and grammar practice activities (some ads).

elfnet. (n.d.). Free English (ESL/EFL) learning resources. https://eflnet.com/

Includes videoed lessons on a wide variety of topics. Lessons can be searched by teacher, level, and topic (including grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, speaking, writing, culture, and business English).

Engvid. (n.d.). Free English video lessons. https://www.engvid.com/

This site includes more technical grammar explanations, grammar tables, and practice quizzes on almost any grammar topic. Suitable for higher-level learners with an ability to understand technical grammar explanations.

Grammar-Quizzes.com (2021). https://www.grammar-quizzes.com/

Includes interactive exercises, handouts, videos, and PowerPoint presentations that can be used for in-class presentations. Materials address common writing errors of first-year composition students. The vocabulary and topics of sample sentences assume a somewhat idiomatic understanding of English.

Simmons, R. L. (1997–2021). Grammar bytes. https://chompchomp.com/

Pronunciation and Vocabulary

This page includes resources to develop academic vocabulary.

EAP Foundation (n.d.). Vocabulary. https://www.eapfoundation.com/vocab/

Includes lesson plans and downloadable handouts for pronunciation lessons.

Note: This website has a lot of ads so you may want to use the worksheets but avoid posting the website for learners.

ESL Flow. (2017). Pronunciation exercises and worksheets. https://eslflow.com/pronunciationlessonplans.html

On this interactive site, learners enter a word to view collocations. They can click on the collocations to view sample sentences.

Flax Interactive Language Learning. (n.d.). Learning collocations. http://flax.nzdl.org/greenstone3/flax?a=fp&sa=collAbout&c=collocations

Learn English with fun using vocabulary, phrases, and games. Learners can select slow, fast, and review modes. These activities can be embedded into your LMS.

Games to Learn English. (n.d.) https://www.gamestolearnenglish.com/

Vocabulary is organised into themes and categories. After selecting a category, learners hover over pictures to hear the vocabulary spoken. Activities have learners speak words in response to pictures, as well as select pictures in response to audios.

LanguageGuide.org. (2021). English vocabulary. https://www.languageguide.org/english/vocabulary/

This site has learning activities to help learners learn and understand Canadian idioms related to the seasons, people and personalities, and family and relationships. Each set of idioms includes a PowerPoint Presentation introducing the idioms, an audio with the target idioms, the script of the audio, and a Quizlet. (Eligible learners residing in Manitoba can register to access additional materials and supports.)

Live & Learn: An Online Community for New Manitobans. (2021). Learn: Canadian Idioms. https://livelearn.ca/learn/canadian-idioms/

Following are two good online dictionaries.

Longman Dictionary. (n.d.). https://www.ldoceonline.com/

Oxford Learners Dictionaries. (2021). https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/

A vocabulary learning program that helps learners connect meaning, sound, and text. Activities are organized by themes and categories. In each activity, learners match audio to text, text to images, and audio to images. They fill in the blanks based on images and audio dictations.

Learning Chocolate. (n.d.). https://www.learningchocolate.com/

This website includes videos that teach the sounds, rhythm, intonation, linking and stress of American English.

Rachel’s English. (2021). https://rachelsenglish.com/

An interactive online game that helps learners recognize English sounds that are new to them.

Thomson, R. (2012–2021). English accent coach. https://www.englishaccentcoach.com/

Use voice recognition tools (such as https://dictation.io/) to identify pronunciation errors. Students dictate their text. If they do not pronounce words correctly, the word will be mistyped.

Have students make voice/video recordings (using, for example, Voicethread, Vocaroo.com, Soundcloud, or Moodle Forum capabilities). They can listen to and assess their own pronunciation, and/or submit recordings for pronunciation feedback.

Enter a word and explore synonyms, antonyms, definitions, rhymes, sample sentences with audio, and more.

Search a word or a phrase (e.g., an idiom or functional language chunk), then listen to it being spoken naturally and in context in YouTube videos. Great for both pronunciation and vocabulary development. Note: An embed code is available.

Intercultural Communication

A 19-minute TED talk that addresses the issue of stereotypes based on “single stories” of a group of people. It also addresses the issue of power in determining whose stories get told.

Adichie, C. N. (2009). The danger of a single story [Video]. TED. https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story

Designed to enhance the intercultural communicative competence of EAL instructors and their learners, this resource includes a resource book with lesson plans and materials. Each lesson comes with readings and reflective questions for the instructor. There are 3 lesson plans on each of the following topics:

  • Cultural stereotypes (language of, impact of, and identifying)
  • Differences and similarities in values and beliefs (classroom, feedback, organizing ideas)
  • Diversity in Canadian cultures (gender, childhood, education)
  • Cultural identity and acculturation (adjusting, conversations, new perspectives)

Chapter 6 includes reflection questions for instructors, along with reflective tools regarding their perception of student attitudes. The resource also comes with a reading list and discussion questions designed for instructors.

ATESL. (2016). Enhancing intercultural communicative competence: A resource based on the ATESL Adult ESL Curriculum Framework. https://www.atesl.ca/resources/enhancing-intercultural-communicative-competence/

A 12-minute TEDx video by a French Canadian living in Norway. He advocates adapting to other societies by changing one’s own cultural lens. He gives a number of examples of miscommunications that occur when people view other’s behaviours through their own cultural lenses.

Bourrelle, J. S. (2015). How culture drives behaviours [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-Yy6poJ2zs

This country comparison tool compares countries across the following 6 dimensions: power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation, and indulgence versus restraint. (For more detail, see the indexes for each of Hofstede’s 6 dimensions: http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/ )

Hofstede Insights. (n.d.). Compare countries. https://www.hofstede-insights.com/product/compare-countries/

Includes EAL lesson plans and materials for teaching Pragmatics for the Canadian Business context.

  • Apologies (CLB 5+): Lesson plan, 9+audios, learner handout
  • Feedback (CLB 6–8): lesson plan, audios, learner handout
  • Complaints (CLB 6–8): lesson plan, audios, learner handout
  • Compliments (audios with compliments)
  • Requests (audios with requests)

The article by Louw and Abe (2016) provides an orientation to these materials. The NorQuest link includes the lesson plans and audios.

Louw, K., & Abe, Y. (2016, July). Pragmatics: When the unwritten rules of language break down. TESOL Connections. Retrieved from http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/tesolc/issues/2016-07-01/2.html

NorQuest College. (n.d.). Pragmatic patterns for business: Resources for EAL instructors. https://www.norquest.ca/norquest-centres/centre-for-intercultural-education/projects/current-projects/pragmatic-patterns-for-business/eal-instructors.aspx

With a focus on pragmatics (adjusting word choice, tone, and register to the context) and the workplace, this resource has online activities to support the teaching and learning of workplace language skills for newcomers. It includes the following:

  • A Facilitator Guide
  • Five videos for the Office context
  • Five videos for the Industry context
  • Language Study tables (short videos with a language/culture focus on the following aspects of pragmatics: idioms, requests, responding to a request, giving feedback, small talk, urgency, asking for support, complaining, giving advice).
  • Something’s Up! Intercultural resources: 10 video clips along with a “Something’s Up” explanation which takes participants through the Something’s Up cycle. (Topics: hockey pool; meeting deadlines; keeping a client; following the agenda; comparing cultures; leaving work early; work safety; driving conditions; going to site C; coming to a meeting.)

A 17-minute TED talk by an Iranian-born Canadian professor in Ontario. She explores what culture is, then focuses on how individualism and collectivism are manifested in insults and humor.

Safdar, S. (2012). Everything you’ve always wanted to know about culture. TEDx Talks [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=FaOJ71czAGQ

20-minute TED talk by a Italian/British man living in Norway. Discusses the cultural differences he encounters, addressing stereotypes, equality/hierarchy, eating, small talk rules, use of words, attitude towards rules, and more.

See also the following Quizlet related to the video: https://quizlet.com/226522522/ted-talk-cross-cultural-communication-by-pellegrino-riccardi-flash-cards/

Also see the TEDEd version of the video with multiple choice questions: https://ed.ted.com/on/JM3I8tTj

Transinter. (2017, January 10). Cross cultural communication Pellegrino Riccardi TEDx Bergen [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv62gqnkuso

This resource includes 20 short videos illustrating a breakdown in intercultural communication in the workplace. Also included are an introduction video, an activity guide, scene-by-scene breakdowns, and video transcripts. The scene-by scene-breakdown includes characters, background, perspective points, and informed actions for each video. Also included is a list of cultural orientation dimensions.