Busting some of the myths and assumptions that English language instructors might have, we’re looking back this week at some older blog posts that are still timely. Are there other myths that you have become aware of in your own experience of teaching? After you read these blogs, return here to share in the comments below.
I set the timer and focus on my new goal: to grade a paper in twenty minutes. Everything starts smoothly; checkmark after checkmark, praise after praise. A quick glance at the rest of the paper reveals more of the same error-free, polished style. Hmm. I pull up the student’s writing diagnostic, previous assignments, and emails. All are riddled with errors and awkward phrasing. The plagiarism report, though, comes up clean.
It’s a reality that many ESL teachers – particularly those in precarious non-full-time roles – feel dissatisfied with their jobs. I have also felt this dissatisfaction. However, before you (or I) decide to quit a teaching position, there are steps that can be taken to try to modify your current role and make it a better fit. In this blog, I relay great advice from Marcus Buckingham, shared in the four-part 2022 HBR IdeaCast podcast series “Find Joy in Any Job,” about pinpointing and exploiting your professional passions – aka “red threads.”
English language education has a long history and has evolved from volunteers supporting newcomers in small community spaces to the recognized profession that is today. TESL Ontario is committed to improving outcomes for learners by contributing to the certification, professional development and career growth of the educators who work with them.Continue reading →
Whether you’re aware of it or not, the recent release of artificial intelligence-powered chatbots is transforming the way we interact with technology. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, allows anyone to engage with it in a human-like manner to achieve a response. Over the past few months, scores of GPT-powered web apps and browser extensions have appeared due to AI-powered chatbots resulting from the release of the OpenAI’s GPT API (applications programming interface). The API allows apps to work with ChatGPT. This allows software developers to create more powerful applications. The browser extensions described below will help language instructors use ChatGPT more effectively to enhance their lessons and daily digital tasks.
Instructors want to help their international students become aware of their rights and of the services that their school offers them. After all, their presence significantly enhances our colleges and universities, benefiting domestic students as well, and contributing to the economy. Unfortunately, many international students do not realize what benefits their schools offer them. To some extent, this may be because of language barriers.
Are you looking for an engaging way to focus on natural-sounding idiomatic language, pronunciation, intonation, and rhythm? Wanting to focus on these particular elements, I did what I always do when I wanted to fill a gap: I searched the internet. While I found a number of resources for dialogues, I was mostly disappointed with what I had found. I found short dialogues that were disconnected and unnatural where the intention was clearly language-focused – but with the result of feeling meaningless and maybe even pandering. I tried a few of those dialogues and quickly thought: I wouldn’t enjoy this if I were learning a language.
Many educators are now familiar with the black screens and mute students on Zoom and its breakout rooms. While having student cameras turned on can certainly have its own merits, the black screens do not necessarily mean that the students cannot or will not contribute. I have found the following three activities helpful in engaging students regardless of having their cameras on or off.
As an ESL teacher, the majority of my teaching has recently been shifted to questioning. This is mainly because I’ve been teaching university Pathway courses lately, and the role of critical thinking has been the highlight of these lesson plans. In order to help my students become better critical thinkers, I need to ask critical questions. And that’s why I believe we should create the culture and context before asking critical questions, to ensure learner engagement as well as academic excellence.
If we can learn anything from ChatGPT and all other AI tools, it is that their product is the result of people who immersed themselves in the process of collecting information before arriving at the final product. The secret to success is what took place behind the scenes —the work it took to arrive at the final product.