A Year in the Life

Laptop computer with boxes of students in an online classroom on the screen
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

It’s been a little over a year since ESL campuses shut their doors. I can’t decide whether it has gone by slowly or quickly. In my personal life, the pandemic has lurched along, one depressing headline after another; endless days without family and friends. However, as a teacher I have been flying through the days by the seat of my pants!

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#CdnELTchat Summary for April 27, 2021 Building Community in Online Classes

Image Source: #CdnELTChat Team
Image Source: #CdnELTChat Team

As we continue with online teaching and learning, I think all of us have discovered the importance of building community in the online spaces in which we spend so much time. I suspect that we have all also discovered that it’s more challenging to build a community in an online environment than in a face-to-face class. #CdnELTchat hosted a Twitter chat to talk about this ongoing challenge.

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Summary of the #teslONchat Digital Literacy & Google Apps in ESL with Stephanie Leutner

Image source: TESL Ontario

On May 28, 2021 interested individuals gathered on Twitter to discuss digital literacy and Google Education Apps for ESL. The guest moderator of the evening was Stephanie Leutner (@leutner_s).  Stephanie has been teaching ESL/EFL and designing curriculum for 20+ years, in Canada and overseas.  She is a Level 2 Google Certified teaching-with-technology junkie.   

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How are you taking care of yourself during COVID-19?

Mother Working From Home With Kids. Quarantine And Closed School
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

It’s never been more important to focus on taking care of yourself. Maybe like me you are teaching or working from home. Hours of screen time and sitting too long can have negative health impacts. Here are the eight top self-care tips that I have tried and now use every day to reduce stress and boost mental health. Please test them yourself and let me know what you think. 

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PBLA Assessments in Remote ESL Classes

Guest Contributor: Kasia Kasztenna

Student learning online study concept: Asian Young man sitting holding smartphone chatting in home for e-learning in educational technology by self
Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

Observing a student’s progress is an exhilarating moment in a teacher’s life. Creating, executing, and grading assignments however, constitutes the part of teaching that I enjoy the least. I invest a lot of time and effort in a fair and thorough examination of my students’ progress. Online English teaching has imposed new challenges, and opened new opportunities in assessing student progress. 

Based on my experience, how you apply PBLA assessments depends on whether you are using synchronous or asynchronous online teaching. PBLA assessments can be conducted with some modifications in both formats.   

 

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Brain Breaks Essential when Teaching Online

Image taken from BigStock Photos

In general, teachers have an unwavering commitment to their profession and an unparalleled work ethic; when COVID-19 hit, they applied this to online learning. However, the hours spent learning how to teach in this new environment have taken a toll on both their mental and physical health. Many teachers have had to strike a whole new work-life balance.

During an in-person lesson, it is natural to take a break, whether that be leaving the room briefly or stepping into more casual conversation between teachers and students. But what happens in the online classroom when we take a break? For most of us, continuing our work is the norm. How does this ultimately make us feel? Are we better off working through our breaks for the benefit of our students? Continue reading

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Quick Tips for Teaching Literacy – Part Two of Three

Literacy concept, male hand holding letter A
Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

Guest Contributor: Zainab Almutawali

In Part One, I talked about the background of literacy students and issues regarding their attendance. In this post, I’ll be listing some of the best teaching practices that I find useful from my personal experience teaching literacy students.

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Summary of the #English Language Skills discussion with Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna, OCELT

Image source: teslontario

On April 30, 2021 people in the TESL Ontario community discussed teaching the English language skills on Twitter. The guest moderator of the evening was Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna (@capontedehanna). Cecilia is a full-time professor at Centennial College, where she teaches English communications courses to local and international students. With over 15 years of teaching experience, Cecilia has taught children as young as 3 years old to adults in their golden years.

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Make the Most of Breakout Rooms

Students putting hands together in a circle to demonstrate team spirit
Image source: Hannah Busing on Unsplash

One of the biggest challenges with online classes is getting students engaged and working collaboratively. Breakout rooms seem to be the answer to both engagement and collaboration issues; however, these rooms can pose a whole new world of challenges. How do you utilize your breakout rooms to optimize student group work?

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