The TESL Ontario Blog is filled with great information from TESL Ontario members who are passionate about sharing information and their experiences with the community. Technology is wonderful and allows us to access information from all over the world, but sometimes creating a connection beyond the text can be difficult. In order to strengthen a community connection between readers and bloggers, each blogger has written a little bio as well as provided a picture of themselves.
John Allan @mrpottz
Hi—I’m John Allan. I feel that I am an educator first and a techie second when delving into open technologies and creating learning opportunities. During the day, I create interactive learning objects and blended courses for a college in Qatar. I also have experience teaching ESL and EFL as well as a B. Ed. in TESL and a variety of TESOL certifications from TESL Canada, TESL Ontario and the Ministry of Education. My geek fact is that I believe that pocket protectors are an important fashion accessory.27 Articles
Laila Al-Sbeinati @lailasbeinati
Hi! I’m Laila and I’m a mom to two little ones who keep me very busy throughout the day (and night)! I earned a double major in Philosophy and Psychology from Western University, which basically means I can talk a lot and analyze anything!
I earned my TESL accreditation and have taught in both school and workplace settings; but I especially enjoy teaching at different work places.
I have a passion for cooking, baking vegan desserts, and DIY projects. I enjoy reading and learning about new things, but mostly, I’m excited to be sharing my thoughts and any information I may learn about with all of you. Happy reading!23 Articles
Gwen Zeldenrust @gwenzeldenrust
Hi, I’m Gwen Zeldenrust. After a brief absence from the profession, I realized that teaching is my passion and the path that my career should follow. Most of my practice has been focused on teaching ESL to adults in Ontario. In addition to that, I’ve been a trainer for an insurance company, a teaching assistant for several professors at university, taught English in Japan and Core-French at the local school board. While I’ve been teaching ESL I’ve also been working on a project which has developed organically among a group of teachers. Under the name of Language Foundations, we’ve produced a video that teaches strategies for interacting successfully in Canada. The video project has inspired in me a true passion for writing. I love being able to reach out with my thoughts, share ideas and discuss different perspectives. I think writing and teaching are very complementary!17 Articles
Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna @capontedehanna
Hi, my name is Cecilia. I love taking part in good brain awakening discussions. Blogging, I find, lends itself for that. I also believe in sharing my skills through scholarly practice, which is why I write regularly and have presented at several conferences, including TESL Ontario, TESL Toronto, CALL, and at Seneca College. My M.A. in applied linguistics along with my skills and experience have led me to my current position at Centennial College, where I teach English and ESL in the School of Advancement. I’m truly passionate about what I do: teaching, writing, creative expression, and helping my students (both L1 and L2) gain agency and take control of their own learning. Thank you for your readership and I look forward to reading and answering your comments.17 Articles
Greg De Luca
Greetings to all my TESL colleagues at large! My name is Greg De Luca: ESL instructor extraordinaire, education advisor, program developer, innovative researcher in SLA, progressive rock drummer, amateur novelist, decent critic of fine whiskey – and last but not least, a somewhat dejected father of two princess-obsessed toddlers. Self-glorification and whining aside, my goal as guest blogger will be, first and foremost, to promote discussion about the best practices involved in teaching and learning as well as to provide succinct instructional strategies for your teaching practice. My TESL-ing began in Japan in 2004 after graduating from Concordia University’s Creative Writing program. Upon my return to Canada in 2006, I was promptly hired as an ESL instructor for several government-funded, full-time ESL programs at Champlain College Saint-Lambert in Quebec. I recently took on a new role as Education Advisor after obtaining my M.Ed., where I am helping our teachers cope with the challenges of adult instruction.11 Articles
Andrew Shedden @Andrew_Shedden
Hi! I’m Andrew Shedden. Like most people, I fell into ESL by accident. I was preparing to apply for my Master’s in history and decided I wanted to teach in Japan beforehand as a vacation. I got a CELTA degree so I would know what this teaching thing is all about, but one thing led to another and although I never actually made it to Japan as a teacher (or applied for a Master’s program), I’ve been teaching ESL ever since!
For the past 5 years, I’ve been in charge of KGIC’s EAP program. I love the focus on academic writing and English, since I can vicariously go back to university through my students. (I do miss it!) My other professional love is computers. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was 3, and I’m always trying to learn more about how to incorporate them into my program and classes.
Hi, I’m John Stevens. After adventures working in radio and television, teaching computer courses in Canada and internationally, managing the Canadian Association of Journalists, and acting as the technical director of Softball Canada, I have settled into teaching ESL. As well as experiences teaching in Ottawa and London, I have had stints in Harbin, Jeddah and Istanbul. Since I am currently trying to find a full-time teaching position in Ontario, I help my wife with our bed and breakfast business in St. Marys, Ontario.8 Articles
Hello fellow TESL Blog enthusiasts, my name is Beth Beardall, and I am the Blog Administrator for Guest Bloggers. I’m really excited to be a part of the TESL Ontario Blog Administrator Team and look forward to a great year.
This opportunity brings together 3 of my passions: learning and getting great ideas from others, teaching or tutoring ESL and getting to know people from around the world, and, of course, copy editing and proofreading. I’ve been doing all three both on a volunteer basis and professionally for more than 15 years.
In case you were wondering, my other passion is Salsa dancing. Now if only there was a way to incorporate that!6 Articles
Hi everyone! I’m Manpal Sahota. In spring 2015 I returned to Toronto after spending nearly 13 years in South Korea, where I worked as a teacher, editor, academic coordinator, and teacher trainer. During my time in Korea I was extremely fortunate to meet many dedicated and enthusiastic teachers. Being able to learn and share with these teachers has elevated my passion for teaching and teacher development. I believe teacher growth is greatly accelerated when you are part of a motivated and supportive group of professionals. This why I’m looking forward to learning and sharing with the TESL Ontario community. I hope you enjoy my blog posts and I welcome your thoughts and feedback!4 Articles
James Corcoran @jn_corcoran
Hey now! My name is James and I have been involved in teaching ELT/ESL/EAL/EFL/EAP (enough acronyms yet?) for the past 15 years. My teaching and teacher education experiences have taken me across the Americas (from Brazil to Mexico to various parts of Canada). I have a PhD and MA from OISE/University of Toronto and research/teaching experience in a wide variety of classroom contexts.
Recently, while teaching graduate and undergraduate students at universities across southern Ontario, I have been experimenting with different modalities in delivering English for academic purposes and TESL theory & methodology courses/workshops. I am excited to share my experiences in educational research and pedagogy with the TESL Ontario faithful as we co-construct knowledge together.4 Articles
Hello, my name is Michael, and I am the Blog Administrator for Guest Bloggers. I am currently working on my PhD in the Faculty of Education at Western University. My thesis is focused on language teacher education and teacher preparedness, but I take a general interest in many topics related to TESL, including teacher efficacy, learner silence, and others!
I live and teach in Toronto, but I also make the journey to London on a weekly basis to teach at Western while I complete my degree. Before coming home to Canada in 2014, I taught EAP in China for two years. Prior to China, I worked on my Master of Education in TESOL at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. I have also taught in Korea and lived in France. I miss living and teaching abroad, but it’s great to be back home!
I enjoy my two roles as a novice researcher and an English teacher and I hope to add my unique perspective to the TESL Ontario Blog.4 Articles
Hi, readers! My name is Misha Gingerich. I am delighted to be involved in this idea sharing space, and hope that I can provide a useful perspective. In Ontario, I have taught English for Academic Purposes to adults, focusing mainly on grammar and writing skills, and I would gladly be labelled a grammar nerd. I have also lived and worked overseas, in India and Laos. In Laos, I taught English to adults and children while also playing the role of language learner. In addition to teaching, I have spent many years working in community building. Recently, I started a new project with a fellow teacher called Extra English Practice (EEP – www.extraenglishpractice.com). We create online learning materials for students and teachers, including videos, with the goal of helping students learn while having fun.2 Articles
Hi, I’m Kate Maven – but you might have met me as Kate Cushing or even Kate Rowlands. I am a novelist with a Master’s degree in English, and have taught all levels of adult LINC & ESL, workplace English, computers and even visual art.
After more than 30 years of helping newcomers master English pronunciation, gambits, grammar and writing, I’ve compiled my knowledge & innovations into a 450-page book called “Monday Morning ESL Wake-Ups”. I am currently teaching Levels 0-2 and 5-8 at The Centre in Burlington.
I volunteered to be a guest blogger for the TESL Ontario Blog because I want to share some of the unwritten social rules that I have gleaned from a lifetime of experience in Canada as a mother and a worker in education, banking, computers, and employment counselling: secrets that newcomers and their kids need to know to succeed in Canada.1 Article