Category Archives: Resources

It’s a Whole New Food Guide!

image source: Toronto Public Health

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 with vegetables. 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.

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Discussing Matters of the Heart – How to Keep Your Heart Happy and Healthy

image source: Toronto Public Health

With the arrival of winter comes an entire month devoted to the hardest working muscle in our bodies – the heart. February was heart health month, but it’s important to continue to talk about what we can do to make sure we keep our heart in tiptop shape. The heart works hard to pump blood to all parts of the body 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

But what happens when we don’t have good heart health? And why is it important for ESL educators to know about this?

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Timely Talk About Tobacco

image source: Toronto Public Health

You’ve noticed that many students in your class smoke.  Is quitting smoking something you should talk about? Is it any of your business?  Many of your students have children.  Do they smoke around their children?  Is it part of your role as an instructor to discuss the negative health effects of smoking?  Continue reading

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Google Drive for Busy Teachers

image source: bigstockphoto.com

It was almost 4 years ago that I began my master’s program and started teaching at an amazing English department in addition to continuing my other part time job. It was then that I realized my organizational skills needed help.

I had to work with various LMS (Learning Management Systems) such as Moodle, Blackboard, Desire to Learn at school and at work. In addition to creating lesson plans, marking, doing research, attending meetings, and collaborating with colleagues for projects, I had to make sure that I Continue reading

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#CdnELTchat: join the chat on Tuesday!

If you’re a Twitter user, join the next #CdnELTchat usually every second Tuesday. Below is a recap of the November 27th chat from the #CdnELTchat moderators.


I have been learning how to speak Mandarin for the better part of twenty years, but I still can’t produce the fourth tone correctly. I automatically say the first tone instead of the fourth tone in conversation. I am aware that I do this, yet I can’t seem to correct this bad habit. Is this a fossilized error? Is there anything I can do to overcome this error? On November 27th, a group of educators discussed these questions and more on #CdnELTchat.

Thank-you so much to the enthusiastic participants who contributed their ideas and shared resources during this chat. Continue reading

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Better, Best, or Next Practices in English Language Teaching

Best. Choice, practice or Service. Wooden letters on the office desk, informative and communication background
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

I find the term best practice troubling; and I say this as I wear my language instructor hat and my consultant hat. Full disclosure: I am working on TESL Ontario’s Directory of Best Practice Resources. The Directory is a compendium of online (and hard copy) high quality resources for adult ESL and FSL instructors and administrators. Please check it out: http://bestpractices.teslontario.org/ . In putting together our Directory, Continue reading

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Type 2 Diabetes: An unequal occurrence for newcomers

image source: Toronto Public Health

November is Diabetes Awareness Month so it’s timely to talk about this serious chronic disease that occurs when the body loses its ability to produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that controls sugar levels in the blood. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves and over time, can cause serious health complications.

Let’s begin with an interesting piece of trivia – did you know that November 14th was World Diabetes Day? Do you know why? November 14th is the Continue reading

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Enhance Online Video with H5P’s Interactive Video tool

image source: John Allan

In Six Tools To Enhance Video Learning,   I posted about using online video in the classroom more efficiently and possibly creatively.  Since then a new education technology development tool, H5P, has emerged.  I have been working on a variety of projects with H5P and feel that it is important for educational developers to consider adopting it as a means for enhancing online video learning events.

HTML 5 Packager, better known as H5P, is a free tool that allows you to create custom learning objects with online video.  H5P’s Interactive Video feature allows developers to overlay resources and interactive features over a video itself.  This optimizes the learners’ video viewing area.  Until now, interactivity with the video occurred under the video, on the play back bar, or as a fly out menu to the left or the right of the video.  Overlain interactivity on a video makes the end-user’s experience intuitive. Items such as comments, true/false questions or links to further information can be strategically positioned over the video and timed to focus attention to specific parts of the video screen. Continue reading

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Join the next conversation on #CdnELTchat

image source: #CdnELTchat

If you’re a Twitter user, read on to learn how you can join the next #CdnELTchat.   Below is a recap of the October 23rd chat from the #CdnELTchat moderators.

Being able to use learning strategies and study skills can empower students to become independent learners. What learning strategies and study skills do English language learners need to support their language learning journey? Bonnie Jean Nicholas (@EALStories) and Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow) moderated a #CdnELTchat to explore this topic.   Continue reading

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#CdnELTchat: A Great forum to share your ideas

image source: BC TEAL

Calling all Twitter enthusiasts. Have you followed the BC TEAL’s twitter chats?  If not read on to learn all about how you can join the next chat: happening October 9th. Below is a note from the #CdnELTchat moderators.

Thank-you to everyone who joined moderators, Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL) and Bonnie Jean Nicholas (@EALStories) for the first #CdnELTchat of the fall term. Continue reading

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