Category Archives: culture

Summary of the #teslONchat on Workplace English with Patrick Chan

Image Source: teslontario

On March 26, 2021 we discussed Workplace English on Twitter. The guest moderator of the evening was Patrick Chan (@patchantweets). Patrick Chan currently serves as the Social Content Committee Chair for TESL Ontario. He is also Technological Lead in TESL Ontario’s Conference Committee and the current president of TESL Ottawa. In addition to these roles, he is a LINC instructor in Ottawa. Along with his Ontario Certified English Language Teacher (OCELT) designation, he is an Ontario Certified Teacher. He has taught Workplace English for many years.

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Effective Online Tools & Resources for Teachers and Learners

Education, distance education, internet studying, e-learning flat vector illustration. Online classes, training courses, tutorials, online education design for mobile and web graphics
Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

Over the past two years, I have been attending a lot of webinars, presentations, conferences, dialogues and online courses. I’ve also been reading blogs and articles as well as doing presentations and writing blogposts. I’ve gained knowledge and collected remarkable resources. Tools like the ones below can help us design tasks that will engage and motivate our learners.

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Music for the Mind, Body, and Soul

Music recording concept. Creative process of writing a song
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I recently created an online listening and speaking module about music. The idea came to mind as a way to make online learning fun, interesting, and engaging for students.

           The module was broken down into four weekly sessions and accessed by students via Canvas, Padlet, Zoom, PowerPoint, Word, voice recording apps, and email.

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Building cultural awareness inside and out

Photo by Giulia May on Unsplash

I have been lucky enough to work with students from a myriad of cultures over the years. Had anyone asked me if I promote intercultural skills in my students, my response would be swift. Yes, of course!

After all, I have initiated plenty of culturally themed discussions, readings, presentations, digital narratives, and other activities. But after reading more about Intercultural Competence (IC) and, more specifically, Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC), I realize that I am not going far enough.

What is ICC?

Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) derives from Intercultural Competence (IC). Both refer to the ability to interrelate with people from different cultures. According to Byram (as cited in Bickley, Rossiter, and Abbott, 2014), being interculturally competent means you can communicate effectively with people from diverse cultures in your own language. ICC, however, focuses on the “additional knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities” to do so in a second or foreign language (p. 138). For EAP, obviously, this distinction is important. 

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PBLA CHECKS AND RECHECKS AND RECORDS HAVE SHADES OF TOTALITARIAN RULE, SAY LEARNERS

wooden clipboard with checklist lettering on paper isolated on white
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Many teachers who have questioned portfolio-based language assessment (PBLA) have been wrongly described as “resistors” by PBLA administrators (for a discussion, see Desyatova, 2020). The students in my classes are not resistors: They are keen observers who have seen something that has not been raised before about the portfolio.  In one particular class, my students have observed that the “culture of assessment” inherent in PBLA (Desyatova, 2020, p.11) has features reminiscent of their lives under rule by the former Soviet Union, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).        

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Calling our students by their names

image source: Unsplash.com
image source: Unsplash.com

~A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But would it, really?

My name, Jennifer, comes from the Welsh Gwenhwyfar. It means “white wave” or “fair lady.” Although I don’t see myself as a “lady,” I do like the rhythmic majesty of “wave.” The tumbling, repetitive motion of it. But if it weren’t for the research I did, I wouldn’t have a clue what my name means. My parents certainly didn’t put much thought into it; they just liked it. Indeed, according to Ye Chongguang, “Chinese names are often chosen for their meaning, but English names are chosen for their sounds” (Lee, 2001).

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Language Matters: Inclusivity in Language Choices

If you’re on Twitter, join the next #CdnELTchat on Tuesday, January 28 – on the topic of Authentic Listening Materials. You can access the #CdnELTChat padlet here. Below is a recap of the January 14 chat.

Image source: #CdnELTchat

By Bonnie Nicholas

While I was starting to work on this summary, this quote by Maya Angelou popped up in my Twitter feed: 

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

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An Unexpected Canadian Gift

Source: Patrice Palmer
Source: Patrice Palmer

The 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 it.   

Recently 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.

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