The Triangle of Love for English: Nurturing Language Learning with Care and Passion

By: Margaret Holec

Language learning is a multifaceted journey that involves not only acquiring vocabulary and grammar rules but also fostering a deep connection with, and passion for, the language. In the realm of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), educators often emphasize the importance of creating a supportive and engaging learning environment. One powerful concept that encapsulates this approach is the Triangle of Love for English.

The Triangle of Love for English represents three essential elements that contribute to effective language teaching and learning: the mind (intellectual aspect), the heart (emotional connection), and the mouth (language production). Let’s delve deeper into each element and explore how they work together to nurture language learning with care and passion.

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GPTs for Language Instructors

I know this is going to be confusing, so let me try to sort out this alphabet soup. GPT, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer model, is a type of artificial intelligence model developed by OpenAI. You should be familiar with ChatGPT, which is the most common tool. For language instructors, these tools can perform various tasks such as language translation, text summarization, question answering and much more, including: 

  • content creation 
  • customer support 
  • educational tools  
  • personalized learning experiences 
  • research assistance.
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The Importance of Selecting Appropriate Reading Materials – How to Help Learners Find the “Right” One

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Learners often come to me with questions about their English reading materials. They wonder if the books they’ve chosen are good for practicing English or why certain expressions differ from what they hear daily. For instance, one of my students asked why “you shall” was used in a text. This highlighted a common issue: many learners struggle to distinguish between reading for pleasure and reading to learn English as a second language. This leads to a vital question: How does one choose a book that benefits English learning? However, selecting the right materials involves more than just finding any English text—it requires careful consideration of the learner’s proficiency level and the regional variation of English they are exposed to. 

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Sharing Languages, Sharing Realities

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok

As I scrambled to find an idea for today’s post, I mused about my classes over the last couple of weeks. Had any stood out in terms of student engagement? The answer hit me: our discussions on how language affects the way we see the world. Indeed, before we knew it, we had ventured into linguistic relativity, or the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. These discussions sprang from our “Language and Culture” unit, specifically a TED Talk by Lindsay Morcom, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Language Revitalization and Decolonizing Education at Queen’s University.

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The 2024 TESL Ontario Annual Conference Call for Proposals is Now Open!

This year’s TESL Ontario Annual Conference will be taking place November 13-15, 2024. The call for presentation proposals is now open for this year’s event: Navigating New Routes in Language Education. The TESL Ontario Annual Conference provides an exceptional opportunity to share your expertise and research to a diverse and engaged audience, fostering professional growth and visibility in your field. It allows you to contribute to the collective knowledge of our community, receive valuable feedback, and engage in stimulating discussions that can inspire new ideas and collaborations.

Participating in the TESL Ontario Annual Conference as a presenter enhances your communication and presentation skills, builds your network with peers and industry leaders, and positions you as a thought leader. The experience not only boosts your confidence but also opens doors to future opportunities, both academically and professionally.

Interested presenters can choose from a variety of session types to deliver live or pre-recorded, including Papers, Presentations, Publisher’s Presentations and Technology Presentations.

The benefits of presenting at the TESL Ontario Annual Conference are numerous:

1 – Presenters receive a one-day complimentary registration for the day of their presentation
2 – Presenters receive a certificate for five (5) hours of Professional Development for their one-hour session
3 – The opportunity to hone virtual presentation skills
4 – The opportunity to expand one’s personal learning network within our field
5 – The opportunity to share knowledge and engage in inspiring conversation

New presenters will have access to a comprehensive and self-directed training package with the support of a dedicate conference team of organizers, session moderators and web admin. Returning presenters will not be require to complete training unless they wish to do so. A brief “What’s New in 2024” reference video will also be available for repeat presenters.

Interested presenters can visit https://teslontario.formstack.com/forms/callforpresentations2024 for more information about the conference, this year’s theme, presentation requirements and to submit their proposals. All proposals should be received by June 10, 2024.

We can’t wait to see you in November!

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Incorporating Listening Activities Into Literacy Classes

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Literacy teachers emphasize reading and writing because those are the only two skills assessed at the literacy level. However, when does the attention given to those two skills become excessive? And, by devoting the bulk of class time to those two skills, do we do so at the expense of a holistic approach to teaching?

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Raising students’ awareness of the effectiveness of note-taking for vocabulary learning through testing rather than teaching 

Learning new words is a challenging aspect of language learning and the fact that there are numerous methods for vocabulary learning is itself a testimony to its difficulty.

Of all the methods and techniques that exist, I have always found it useful to keep records or take note of new vocabulary words with their English definition and then use them in one single paragraph. Some popular vocabulary books, such as 504 Essential Words and 1100 Words You Need to Know, have endorsed this method of learning vocabulary.

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Student Engagement Strategies That Work

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As the day wears on, it’s not uncommon to see learners becoming unfocused, disengaged with classroom tasks, restless, noisy or silent. The most demotivating aspect of disinterested students is their unwillingness to learn. A Gallup student poll (2014) reports that nearly 50% of the learners were “either not engaged (28 percent) or actively disengaged (19 percent) in school” (Collier, 2015). 

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Student Success in the Online Classroom 

I work remotely as an ESL teacher for a Chinese company teaching English as a Second Language to students aged six to thirteen in China. From my observations, the cultural expectations in China are highly focused on academics.  

I’ve witnessed students attend class through a mobile device while eating dinner, in bed sick, or completing other homework while waiting for class to begin. It’s not unusual for students in China to have 12-hour school days, then come home to learn English.

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Make Your Word-Processed Documents More Accessible

Most of us are aware of the importance of the issues around digital accessibility through our own disabilities and supporting our students in virtual and blended classrooms. Some organizations offer accessibility training for educators and learners. Due to accessibility legislation and policies, software vendors build accessibility features into their wares. This opportunity allows us to make our documents more accessible. This post suggests some features available in the Microsoft Word app that instructors may leverage to make their digital documents more accessible. Please be aware that this is not a comprehensive accessibility resource, but an introduction for interested educators.  Continue reading

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