Category Archives: Uncategorized

Add fun to your vocabulary lessons with Quizlet Live

image source: John Allan

Quizlet Live is the latest feature on the Quizlet suite.  This is in addition to current learning activities which include: flashcards, test, learn, spell, as well as two games: gravity and match. In May of 2015 I posted about the attributes of Quizlet from a teacher-developer’s perspective. More recently, Continue reading

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Lessons learned in an ESL Literacy Class

image source: bigstockphoto.com

 

During the fall term, I was privileged to teach a group of 10 ESL Literacy students. Although in the past I had volunteer-tutored a literacy student and had taught various computer literacy classes, teaching a whole class of beginner ESL students with literacy needs was a whole new challenge. I have to say it was thoroughly rewarding Continue reading

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2016 – Year in Review

Many Hands Holding Red Letters The Isolated English Word Never Stop Learning On White Background
image source: bigstockphoto.com

We want to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous 2017. We look forward to weekly posts from our amazing guest bloggers and occasional bloggers who always provide first-rate resources, tips, and practical ideas that encourage us all to strive towards excellence in our profession. This Friday look for our first post of 2017 from occasional blogger, Carol Blake.

Before we jump into the New Year, we thought it would be fun to look back on 2016, Continue reading

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Happy Holidays

hands of woman reading book by fireplace
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

It’s that time of year again where our team would like to express a huge THANK YOU to all of you for reading our blog and commenting on our posts.

As this season of relaxation, reflection, and rejuvenation is upon us, we’ll be taking a break from the blog and will return in the New Year.

This is a great time for you to catch up on posts you’ve missed or re-read posts you’ve enjoyed and be inspired.

We’ll be back on January 9th with more posts from our amazing Guest Bloggers and Occasional Bloggers.  This is also a great time for you to think about being a one-time Occasional Blogger yourself in the new year. Maybe there’s a reflection of your work that you’d like to share.  If you’re a TESL Ontario member and have a post in mind, send us an email (you can find our email on the Contact Us tab).

Happy Holidays, everyone. We hope it’s restful and warm.

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Student Teachers – Flipping your Class for Success!

education, learning, teaching, technology and people concept - group of students and teacher with tablet pc computer at school

It has been said that a teacher’s first task is to make herself progressively obsolete. I could not agree more. After all, one of our main mandates is to enable students to learn the target content and achieve the learning outcomes.
Thus, by course’s end, students should be able to “do” as the teacher “does”. If my course revolves around getting students to speak at an intermediate level in English, then by definition, they no longer need their teacher by course’s end. If they do, the course has failed in generating the target learning.

But how does a teacher go about “doing” this? I propose using a flipped class, or “student teacher” approach. See below.

***Warning*** – What follows may cause anxiety, dizziness or a lack of student trust in the teacher’s choice of instructional strategies. It may cause poor results on a course evaluation. It may actually push some students to complain to your superiors. But, fear not! It is ultra-effective! Continue reading

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Webinars: 50 and Counting

50 Webinar imageIt’s Sunday night, you’re mentally checking off your ever growing TO DO list to make sure you’re ready for Monday morning: make lunch, review lesson plan, pack worksheets, bring new whiteboard markers, load new PowerPoint into LMS … and that’s just to get you through Monday. Your mind starts to wander and you realize it’s time… Continue reading

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ESL for Specific Purposes – Myth or Reality?

Image source: bigstockphoto.com
Image source: bigstockphoto.com

To function or not to function? That is the question. Have you ever been faced with a 36-hour business English intensive course that aims to bring beginner-level students to a “functional” level of fluency in a work-place setting? Do you think this type of course can be successful in developing “functional” fluency? I think not.

There currently exists a panoply of “function-specific” ESL courses, from business correspondence to academic purposes. While it is possible to teach an advanced student to draft conventionally proper business letters, it is virtually impossible to do the same with a beginner. In order to meet this demand however, many institutions offer short courses which are function-specific. In other words, the ESL course will not cover, say, Continue reading

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TESL and QR codes

johna-qrcode_tesl_on_blog
A colourized QR Code leading to the TESL Ontario Blog site

While working on ESP books for a technical program, I found that QR codes were a great solution to add quick links to additional resources.  These resources included interactive activities, worksheets, images, videos, animations, graphs and further readings. I am not the first person to think of using QR codes for educational purposes. Links to fantastic resources providing a myriad of uses of QR codes for educators can be found in the additional resources section below. I am offering a few simple practices that you might consider to improve access to resources in your classroom, on your class website, or in your instructional documents.

What is a QR code?

QRs, or Quick Response Codes, were developed for Continue reading

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Special Post: Leadership, Professional Development, and the Annual TESL Ontario Conference

Conference Concept. Modern Line Style Illustration. Multicolor Conference Drawn on Dark Brick Wall. Doodle Icons. Doodle Design Style of Conference Concept. Conference on Dark Brick Wall. Conference.
image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

Fellow TESL O members, it is almost that time of year where we get a chance to share our knowledge with each other and develop our skills as educators at the annual #TESL2016 Conference.  This face-to-face experience allows us to build our community of practice and share leadership in the field.  The conference might be in November, but preparations have already started! As we prepare for this conference, we ask, will you be a leader?

Leadership

One of the MANY benefits of TESL O’s annual conference is the opportunity to develop your own leadership abilities. Be a discussion leader by presenting or better yet, co-presenting an approach in the classroom that you have tested, a research question that you have investigated, or a tool that you have used and believe others can benefit from.  Be a creative leader by displaying a poster of your idea or tool. Continue reading

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