Learning and Resilience

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This year at the TESL ON conference, Asmaa Cober, Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre, will be one of our Keynote Speakers. The following blog post was written by Asmaa. Here she gives you a synopsis of her keynote address:

Learning never happens in a vacuum — people bring all of their experiences with them to the classroom. Newcomers (and refugees in particular) have a life history — experiences that greatly affect their ability to learn. We will explore some of the types of experiences that refugees bring with them to the classroom. Continue reading

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How to Reduce Stress and Promote Positive Mental Health in Adult Learners

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October 1st marked the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week. But, what exactly is mental health and why does it need a special week?

Mental health is an important part of our overall health and well-being. In the same way we all experience physical health; we also all experience mental health. Continue reading

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Use Technology for an ESL Scavenger Hunt

Tourists using navigation tools to explore the city. Man with two women friends exploring the city with travel accessories.
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At some point in your classroom, you’ve probably created a scavenger hunt for your students. You know, the type where you hide things and provide questions, clues, or riddles to find the hidden items. These scavenger hunts have traditionally been used as a way to get students familiar with their surroundings or as vocabulary association exercises. But add the wonders of technology and the increase of ownership of mobile devices by students, and you can take scavenger hunting to a whole new level. Continue reading

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Gamification in Education: Hype or Useful Teacher Tool?

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This year at the TESL ON conference, Deborah Healey, TESOL International Association, will be one of our Keynote Speakers. The following blog post was written by Deborah. Here she gives you a taste of what she will be sharing at the conference.

Gamification in Education: Hype or Useful Teacher Tool? This is a question that I’ve been asking for the past few years, as I’ve tried gamifying some of my classes. Most teachers (myself included) have long used games in the English language classroom and in teacher training to encourage motivation and add a fun factor to learning. Some teachers have been able to use game-based learning, where a game sets the context for learning. Continue reading

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The “Good Old Days” Are History

For many of us, our parents or grandparents graduated from high school, walked into a permanent full-time job, and stayed there until retirement. That’s not the case for the majority of people these days.

Many ESL professionals are on short-term contracts, working at multiple locations, or looking for their next way to earn a living. TESL Ontario makes every effort to stay relevant for its members, and a recent member survey showed the need for this topic to be addressed. 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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Peace by Chocolate – A Newcomer Success Story

I was able to attend the presentation given by Tareq Hadhad, owner of “Peace by Chocolate” at the Toronto Reference Library this past summer.  My Specialized Language Training course was just wrapping up; within the course, learners explored local entrepreneurs and local small business stories.  Peace by Chocolate showed up as a news story sometime in May, and immediately I could see the relevance for my group of adult newcomers.  I created a skill-building activity related to the news article, Daily bite: Peace by Chocolate names new bar after Mi’kmaq word For peace and the class responded with a great deal of enthusiasm, hope, and energy.  The reason they did so was because they connected emotionally to the story.  Peace by Chocolate is more than a success story for newcomers to Canada.  It’s a chronicle that exemplifies what it means to never give up, to pursue your passion, to develop strong community relationships, and to do what’s right. Continue reading

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Getting to Know Your Affiliate: TESL Ottawa

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Did you know that when you become a TESL Ontario member, you also have opportunities to connect with your local Affiliate chapter? Joining an Affiliate chapter is a great way to network with local colleagues, explore professional development opportunities, and participate in meaningful events.  There are 12 TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapters, but today, we are spotlighting the TESL Ottawa Affiliate Chapter Continue reading

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A Guide to Teaching Essay Writing to Your ESL Students

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As your students become more fluent in their new language, it’s a good idea to start focusing on more complex forms of writing. Essays are a great way for ESL students to practice researching, organizing information, and clearly representing their ideas. However, writing an essay in a second language can be difficult, so your students are going to need some help. Continue reading

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5 Tips for Starting the Semester Off On the Right Foot

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Ok, so aside from wearing shoes that make you feel amazing but won’t make your podiatrist cringe, this post will walk you through 5 tips that can send you off into the Fall semester strong and energized.

I know, I know, there are plenty of posts out there that are dedicated to giving you tips and hacks for getting ready for a new school year, but there’s a reason for that. We educators are planners (even when we think we’re flying off the seat of our pants), and we look forward to a new year and thinking about how we can make it incredible for us and our students. These tips are my go-to whenever I start a new semester and take inventory. Continue reading

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