Connecting and learning at the ISTE2017 Conference

In June, I attended the ISTE2017 conference in San Antonio, Texas. ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) is a non-profit organization serving over 100,000 educational stakeholders.  ISTE is at the forefront of educational technology, driving change and offering professional development throughout the year.

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Bending Without Breaking: Error Correction in a Culturally-Sensitive World

I’ve become accustomed to taking a hatchet to my own writing. I’m a severe editor of my own bad stuff, but that has never bothered me. I keep at it, trying to arrive at what I want to say.

Fifteen odd years of editing and re-editing of my own work (and that of others) has helped me build a semblance of emotional elasticity. But, how am I to communicate this elasticity to the handful of internationally-trained adult English language learners who are now under my guidance? Continue reading

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Notes From a Public Health Nurse: Getting Active In The Classroom

Image says "Join the movement. Bike. Walk. Play. activeto.caWhat do you think of when you hear the word “classroom”? I doubt “health” is a word that comes to mind. When you think of the classroom you probably think of learning.  But why not use that learning opportunity as a chance to promote healthy behaviours? Classrooms are a safe environment where cultural and social norms can be established and reinforced. Together with your students, you can create Continue reading

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A Summertime Teaching Adventure

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One highlight of my ESL teaching career was when I taught in the Black Forest of Germany at an English Summer Camp. I taught Local German teenagers who wanted to practise conversational English.Our mandate was to introduce them to North American English since they were being taught British English in the German school system. I was the only Canadian on our team; the others were all from the United States.

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How A Rubric Changed My Classroom

Proofread checklist and checked boxes next to the words spelling, grammar and accuracy
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I always attend conferences to try to improve myself as a teacher, and sometimes I come away exceptionally motivated.  This was the case a few years ago when I attended a great session on rubric creation.  At the time I was working in a private language school and also doing some part-time LINC teaching.  I kept wondering how I could mark student writing in a way that was useful to the students but also less time-consuming for me.  This session seemed to be the answer to my prayers. Continue reading

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To Be Effective, Participate

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One of my TESL Professors told me that to be an effective educator you needed to participate in the community.  I’m not sure I’ve accomplished the first part yet, but I have certainly learned a lot from volunteering. What I love about being on the TESL Ontario Board is how it has enriched my knowledge of the diversity of our field.

I have been on the TESL Ontario board for nearly 6 years, which means that my time is drawing to a close.  When I reflect back on the last 6 years, the first thing that pops into my head isn’t Continue reading

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Why I Joined

the word leadership written on a black background
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Having worked in various ESL/EAL sectors in Ontario over the past 20 years, I decided to apply for the TESL Ontario Board in 2015.  I had thought of applying to the Board for years before, recognizing the important role of TESL Ontario to support and advocate on behalf of our profession, its members, and the increasingly important role our profession plays in building bridges in Ontario/Canadian society.  As I had worked in the private, LINC and college/university EAP areas, I thought I’d be able to share perspectives from these complementary experiences to help shape the direction of the organization and the future of our exciting profession.  So in 2015 Continue reading

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15 Sources of Canada Day Activities

 Well, it is June and there is no better time to introduce the Canada Day holiday to your students.  I have searched the web and have asked colleagues about favourites for teaching about Canada and Canada Day.  Since150 would put this post way over the maximum word count, I have pulled together 15.  I hope this helps you and your students with your holiday preparation.   The resources are listed in alphabetical order. If you have any that I have missed please add them through the comments feature below.

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Getting on Board: Giving Back to ESL

group of people around a table
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It was nearly 5 years into my teaching career before I cautiously attended my first executive meeting for TESL Ottawa. I’ve attend conferences, lectures and workshops religiously from the very beginning. It was the best opportunity to meet and get to know other colleagues away from the photocopier. It was energizing to end the day with new tips and tricks for my own teaching toolbox to try out on Monday morning. It was also a chance to Continue reading

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