standard protocol for presenting at TESL conferences in Canada is that the
presenter receives an honorarium and a card expressing thanks from the
organizing committee. It’s a nice gesture and I always appreciate
I received a unique gift for presenting at the TEAM conference in Winnipeg,
Manitoba. It was a beautiful bag,
handmade by Angela of the One Nation Exchange (O.N.E.). I was moved to learn more about O.N.E. and
how this bag came to be.
While teaching a module about working in Canada, I found my students were a bit surprised when I told them that volunteer work was not only valuable to have on a resume, but also one of the best ways to gain work experience in Canada. For many, “paid” work experience seemed to be the only valued work experience they had known. So, when I mentioned to my class that employers like to see volunteer experience on resumes and hear about it in job interviews, students started asking how they could do it.
It was a cold day in January,
2017. I was standing in front of a class of about twenty students from Panama
who had come to Canada as part of the Panama Bilingue Program. I was trudging
my way through my lesson, clicking through slide after slide of my rigorously-prepared
Power Point presentation, when suddenly something happened that changed my
outlook on teaching ESL forever: it started snowing.
For years, I have
been fascinated with the work of Nel Noddings and her themes on care. In one of
her (2010) articles, she presses educators to become role models who shape healthy
and caring students. The students in my class were feeling stressed and
overwhelmed by being constantly assessed on their performance, so I decided to
create a set of lessons on the theme of stress. These lessons were prepared for
a high-intermediate level and each day represents a period of 50 minutes.
Happy Canada Day! Even though we celebrate Canada on one
special day, there are so many lesson ideas you could use to continue to learn
about Canada throughout the month of July. Here are a few ideas I’ve come up
You probably heard by
now that there is a new Food Guide. Maybe you took a peek online at its new
look (Canada.ca/FoodGuide) and
wondered what to say to your students or what those changes really are.
Just looking at the
plate, you will see some familiar messages – like filling half of your plate
No surprise, eating vegetables is good for you because they have lots of fibre,
vitamins, and minerals. Eating a variety of vegetables and fruit everyday can
reduce the risk of heart disease. Choosing fresh, frozen, or canned can all be
great choices; just choose ones without added salt or sugar.
Do you use Canadian or American spelling
in your classroom? Do you “correct” your students when they write color instead of colour? Have your students ever asked why you write metre when their dictionaries say meter?
This year at the TESL ON conference, Asmaa Cober, Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre, will be one of our Keynote Speakers. The following blog post was written by Asmaa. Here she gives you a synopsis of her keynote address:
Learning never happens in a vacuum — people bring all of their experiences with them to the classroom. Newcomers (and refugees in particular) have a life history — experiences that greatly affect their ability to learn. We will explore some of the types of experiences that refugees bring with them to the classroom. Continue reading →
This blog isn’t really about being thankful… unless you are thankful for a few ideas that you can use this week to teach about Thanksgiving. Are you tired of the same old worksheets that you use year after year? Are you looking for something different? Here I want to offer some (hopefully) fresh ideas that you can consider using in your classroom. Also, please share any ideas that you love to use in the comment section below. So, let’s freshen up our Thanksgiving activity repertoire. Continue reading →