Category Archives: Uncategorized

Language Proficiency – How much English does a teacher need?

The issue of proficiency is always at the forefront for English language teachers. As English language teachers, we need a certain level of proficiency in the language to teach it so we can serve as models for our students, and provide them with valuable language input that can help them learn. However, there is still no agreed upon level of proficiency that an English language teacher needs to teach effectively, and there may never be. Continue reading


2017 TESOL International Convention – A Recap!

The TESOL International Convention is always an enormous event with thousands of participants and presenters from all over the world. While at times overwhelming, it can be a thrilling and invigorating few days surrounded by some of the biggest names in our profession. The convention was held in Toronto a few years ago and it gave many the opportunity to go the conference for the first time. This year, the conference was held in Seattle, Washington from March 21st to 24th, and I was lucky enough to attend. The conference serves as an excellent way to discover some of the most current research, teaching ideas, and new resources in the field, but also, discuss and reflect on the most pressing issues in our field.

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It’s Raining PD!

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Last week, we welcomed the first day of Spring – hello Spring!  Maybe you’re like me when Spring arrives. My mind begins to think of that very North American task of Spring cleaning.  However, my Spring cleaning list rarely has anything to do with cleaning up the house. Continue reading


Self-Efficacy and the ESL Teacher

“Whether you think that you can or you can’t, you’re usually right” – Henry Ford

“People’s level of motivation, affective states, and actions are based more on what they believe than on what is objectively the case” – Alberta Bandura (1995, p. 2).

The above two quotations, for me, highlight the importance of researching teachers’ beliefs, and importantly, their self-efficacy beliefs. Continue reading


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


Lessons learned in an ESL Literacy Class

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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


2016 – Year in Review

Many Hands Holding Red Letters The Isolated English Word Never Stop Learning On White Background
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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


Happy Holidays

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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.


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