Ah, the public library – the place you perhaps went to as a child to sign out books so you could read and escape to new worlds in your imagination. But when was the last time you walked into your local public library as an educator (before social distancing)? And when did you realize the library offered more than just books? While there are some avid library users in the education field, there are still many who don’t recognize the underrated value the library has for the ESL community.Continue reading
When COVID-19 hit, I spent a lot of time with my students keeping tabs on the latest news and reviewing hand-washing procedures.
Then, we were told to stay home, and my focus shifted to spending time with my family and keeping busy.
I work as an Adult ESL and LINC teacher, and soon enough, I was asked to teach online.Continue reading
I’m sure what’s on everyone’s mind is this: When will this whole quarantine situation end? How will things be afterwards? And, will things actually return to normal?
It seems as though an endless period of time has passed during quarantine, and I sometimes have to check or be reminded what day it is. Weekends aren’t as exciting as they used to be because you can’t go anywhere, and worst of all, you can’t visit your loved ones and hug them.Continue reading
In this piece, adding to the focus on mindfulness that a fellow blogger posted about last week, I present my reflection on this very popular topic.Continue reading
Stress! As an educator I feel it. Meeting tight deadlines, converting to online learning due to COVID-19, finding appropriate learning resources, marking assignments, and addressing student needs can contribute to my stress levels.Continue reading
It is the third week of social distancing in 2020, and I am constantly amazed and overwhelmed by the number of best practices being shared by colleagues and other educators. It is 2020 and the number of platforms to learn from and to share information about is just too many. Even so, I thought it might be a great time for me to share some of the best practices I have learned for effective online teaching strategies with my TESL community.
Many of us teaching at Ontario colleges were given a week to transfer our courses to distance learning. Keeping in mind that one week is definitely not enough time to learn and plan to teach from a distance, here are a few strategies that I follow while planning my courses.Continue reading
In these strange and isolating times, many ESL instructors have navigated a truly steep learning curve of technical knowledge to teach online. Whether your online class looks the way you want it to or not, I applaud your efforts. I bet learners in your class are also very thankful for you!
Some of you might know that April is national poetry month. The theme this year is A World of Poetry. What a great opportunity to create poetry with your online class! Below are some resources and ideas to get you on your way.Continue reading
Inspiration to Join the TESL Ontario Board
During the Ontario College strike in October 2017, I felt compelled to be more politically aware. Then, in October 2018, I attended the Canadian Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) Pan-Canadian Research Conference and I found the global and local initiatives to improve education truly inspiring. At my institution, I joined our Senate, Honorary Degree Committee, Local Executive Council, and became the Chair of the Academic Policy Committee. Being a driver of change is really hopeful and promising.Continue reading
Noticing theory in the context of cognitive linguistics seems to offer an interesting insight into the processes accompanying second language acquisition focusing on the problems of attention, awareness and memory. “Noticing” – despite disagreements in defining the term – seems to function as a gateway into these processes in Richard Schmidt’s (1995) deliberations. An ESL instructor “in the field,” might have burning questions such as these: How is noticing initiated? Is it totally subjective and personalized, or does it have some regularities that could be exploited in the classroom? If the latter is true, then what are the stimulants? How can one effectively manage the process of transforming “comprehensible input” into “noticed intake”?Continue reading
Since Extensive Reading (ER) is a crucial part of language learning, I have compiled some important ER resources to help you promote ER in your classroom. ER can build learners’ confidence, enjoyment and autonomy.
If you missed my first blog post, The Role of Extensive Reading in Language Learning, please read it when you get a chance so that the resources below will be most helpful.Continue reading