The walls of the classroom begin to shake as the tow motor speeds by on the old wooden floor. 1 The truck is transporting down to the production floor raw materials needed by some of the assembly-line workers. The assemblers themselves, however, are not on the lines. It is lunchtime, and they are sitting in the English classroom waiting for the noise to pass and for the teacher to begin speaking again. The line workers are all women, and most of them are first-generation immigrants from Portugal. The noise dies down, and the teacher continues his lesson on polite ways of asking coworkers for tools while working on the line. The women smile in amusement, look at each other, laugh quietly, and start talking to each other in Portuguese. The teacher is puzzled and waits for someone to tell him what is funny about talking politely on the lines. Fernanda 2 looks at the teacher, smiles, and tells him that on the lines no one has to be polite. They are all “sisters,” and sisters don’t have to be polite when asking each other to pass over tools. What Fernanda does not tell the teacher, and what he does not know, is that on the lines, the workers not only do not have to be polite with one another; they do not speak English. The majority of the women working on the lines in this Canadian workplace, like the majority of the women in the English class, are Portuguese. And on the lines, the communicative tasks that make up the curriculum the teacher is using in his workplace-English language class, tasks such as asking a coworker for tools, are not performed in English. They are performed in Portuguese.