Behind the Scenes

Used in hundreds of schools across Canada and the United States, as well as schools in France, Australia, Spain, Korea, Japan, Germany and other countries, Callan's ESL books, written by Nancy Callan, are aimed at low beginner to upper intermediate English language learners. To find out what other teachers think about the books, check out these testimonials

Teaching English as a Second Language in Canada since 1992 and writing books since 2003, the author's degrees include B.A., B.Ed., and a PostBac.Certificate in Education(TESL). Nancy is fluent in English, French and German with conversational ability in Mandarin and beginner competency in Spanish and Russian. Her knowledge of Canada comes from a ten year career in tourism, two car trips across Canada and having lived in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, London, Winnipeg and Vancouver. 

With the exception of Callan's ABC's, the books are illustrated by three local artists: Joseph Laquerre, Mike Huang, Hamish McDonald and Mark Perrault. 

What you see above is Nancy testing out one of the jigsaws from her books. Each book is also thoroughly field tested by a number of other experienced teachers, in classes ranging from CLBA benchmark 1-7. If you would like to be one of Nancy's field testers, please send her an email

The teacher's role is more that of a facilitator in these student-centred jigsaw lessons, as she circulates among groups to check comprehension and assist with pronunciation and intonation. With 5 minutes prep on the part of the teacher, students have up to 3 hours of 4-skills based materials that transform the classroom into a hub of communicative, cooperative activity.

This is David Callan, Nancy's father. If you recognize him, that's because he occasionally helps out at conference publisher displays for ESL Jigsaws.