Getting to Know Your Affiliate: TESL Ottawa

multiple hands connecting in the centre with the words Join In written overtop the image
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

Did you know that when you become a TESL Ontario member, you also have opportunities to connect with your local Affiliate chapter? Joining an Affiliate chapter is a great way to network with local colleagues, explore professional development opportunities, and participate in meaningful events.  There are 12 TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapters, but today, we are spotlighting the TESL Ottawa Affiliate Chapter Continue reading

POST COMMENT 0

A Guide to Teaching Essay Writing to Your ESL Students

Group of multiethnic college students writing at desk in classroom
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

As your students become more fluent in their new language, it’s a good idea to start focusing on more complex forms of writing. Essays are a great way for ESL students to practice researching, organizing information, and clearly representing their ideas. However, writing an essay in a second language can be difficult, so your students are going to need some help. Continue reading

POST COMMENT 0

5 Tips for Starting the Semester Off On the Right Foot

Back to school. Concept with pens, books, an apple and blackboard with inscription : Back to school
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

Ok, so aside from wearing shoes that make you feel amazing but won’t make your podiatrist cringe, this post will walk you through 5 tips that can send you off into the Fall semester strong and energized.

I know, I know, there are plenty of posts out there that are dedicated to giving you tips and hacks for getting ready for a new school year, but there’s a reason for that. We educators are planners (even when we think we’re flying off the seat of our pants), and we look forward to a new year and thinking about how we can make it incredible for us and our students. These tips are my go-to whenever I start a new semester and take inventory. Continue reading

Categories:
POST COMMENT 0

What’s So Funny? Looking at Different Cultural Approaches to Humour

Young man laughing out loud, crying from laughter in two positions - holding stomach and hand on forehead, cartoon vector illustration isolated on white background. Young man laughing to tears
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

My husband and I laugh together a lot. I cannot imagine being with someone who does not share a sense of humour.  However, I know many couples who do not have the same sense of humour. One of my mother-in-law’s first dates with her future husband involved seeing a Laurel and Hardy movie during which he laughed loudly. She thought he was an idiot but went on to marry him.  Obviously, we don’t always laugh at the same things. This becomes quite apparent when you teach a second language class. Continue reading

Categories:
POST COMMENT 0

Yes, you can! Making Virtual Tours

image source: John Allan

Last year in the post, Change the Routine Without Disrupting the Class – Take A Virtual Field Trip, I shared suggestions about taking students on virtual field trips. Since then I have been exploring different virtual spaces with students and my peers.  It has been fun and rewarding.  A few topics that we explored included: Continue reading

POST COMMENT 5

Lessons of the Outlier

Young students with books and notes. Smart young guy and girl doing their homework in University campus. Learning and education for young people.
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” M. Proust

Travel is not new to me. Travel as a newly minted ESL teacher is.

I am in the middle of a month-long TESL internship in Poland, arranged through Algonquin College, as an optional extension to the TESL Program. Though culturally quite similar to Canada, I am plunked in a community where I do not speak or read the language. Continue reading

POST COMMENT 1

Learning English Through Songs

 

As teachers, we often encourage learners to expose themselves to as much English as possible. One way for learners to do this is by listening to English songs. They are readily available through apps like Spotify and YouTube and can be enjoyed ‘on the go’ as people go about their busy lives. In the classroom, many teachers use songs to enhance their lessons, especially when teaching children. Using a song from a children’s story, one study found songs could potentially contribute to vocabulary learning (Medina, 1993). However, we know very little about the impact of listening to popular ‘everyday’ songs on vocabulary learning as very little research has been conducted in this area (Maneshi, 2017).

Continue reading

Categories:
POST COMMENT 4

Getting in the Way of Progress

image source: bigstockphoto.com

This blog post is about the verb “to get,” and how sometimes this verb can get in the way of progress. Biber and Conrad (2001) list the verb “to get” as one of the twelve most commonly used verbs in spoken English, which explains why it would be an important verb to know. However, too much of a good thing can sometimes get in the way of progress. The verb “to get” and all its inflections can end up replacing every other possible verb, which in turn might prevent some learners from moving to the next stage of language proficiency. Continue reading

POST COMMENT 6

Managing Strong Personalities in the Classroom

image source: bigstockphoto.com

I imagine we’ve all had classes in which one or two students dominate the room.  Maybe they ask questions at every turn or monopolize discussions, not leaving room for others to speak. Making room for everyone in the classroom without alienating these students can be a difficult task.  Here are some methods that can be used to keep a balanced classroom: Continue reading

POST COMMENT 6

Summer Reading Bingo Challenge

image that says Summer Reading Challenge 2018Are you teaching this summer? Sometimes it can be tricky trying to get students engaged in the classroom – or even staff in the office – when the sun is shining and the breezy trees are calling. It’s that “happy place” feeling I try to tap into whenever I teach or whenever I want to motivate my team. For me, the best way to do this is through reading…and I mean really reading, the kind of reading that takes you to a place of wonder, reflection, reaction. Continue reading

POST COMMENT 0