All posts by teslontario

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 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!


April is Poetry Month

Remember poetry?  Do you ever find opportunities to use it in your English instruction? This April marks the 25th anniversary of national poetry month.  We hope you enjoy this selection of previous blogs about poetry from TESL Ontario Blog. 

“If you wanted a poem, you only had to look out of a window.  There was material always, walking or running, fighting or screaming or singing.” Gwendolyn Brooks, African-American poet and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Annie Allen.  

“To Take the Road or Not to Take the Road… That is the question!” – Robert Frost Meets William Shakespeare

Haiku: a humble but mighty tool in ESL

Where I am from

April is Poetry Month!

Live Poets Society


Maximize Your Potential: Why OCELT Certification Maintenance Matters

by Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy, Accreditation Services Manager, TESL Ontario 

Did you know that in order to maintain your certified status, OCELT (Ontario Certified English Language Teacher) certification must be renewed annually? This annual renewal process isn’t merely administrative; it’s serves as a gateway to a host of advantages that benefit teachers, employers, learners, and all stakeholders involved in language education.  These benefits enable employers and funders to ensure the high quality of their language instruction services, motivating teachers to regularly upgrade their knowledge and skills, while also staying abreast of the latest developments in the field of TESL.  OCELT is awarded to qualified English language teachers of adult learners by TESL Ontario, and is valid for twelve months.  Like many professional certifications, OCELT requires renewal at the end of each certification cycle to ensure the association can verify the continued professional development of OCELT holders.

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Happy New Year!

Here are some short and sweet messages from some on our TESL ON Blog Team. We asked the question: What are you hoping to discover and learn about in 2024 with regard to your TESL practice or any other endeavours? 

Jennifer Hutchinson: Happy New Year everyone! I hope this year brings you the contentment of routine as well as the excitement of trying new things.  My resolution is to lower my screen time, watch TV less, read more, and spruce up my teaching practice with new strategies and tools. Hope I succeed!  Here’s to a happy, healthy and engaging 2024 to you all.

Derek Czajkowski: I’m reading a book by Stanford University Professor Jo Boaler called Limitless Mind, which supports the science behind neuroplasticity, the idea that we don’t have fixed brains, and we are capable of learning any subject, at any age. I want to explore this topic in my blogs, as it has definite relevance to our students, who are learning a new language, many of whom are older, and are dealing with learning impediments. I also want to expand my subject range for my blogs. In 2024, I want to learn how to be a better teacher, improve, especially how to be a more effective teacher to lower level students. I would also like to become more adept using online platforms such as Avenue, as well as incorporating AI and ChatGP in my lessons, which I keep at arm’s length, for now, but am becoming somewhat more open to. Last, I want to wish everyone a creative and dynamic year in and out of the classroom, and that despite all the frustrations that come with being an ESL teacher, we are helping our students flourish. 

John Allan:  In 2024, I am hoping to share projects that I have been contributing to over the past few years.  These are New Language Solutions, the team behind Avenue, resources being shared to the Canadian LINC sector. Posts may include discussions about online technology standards, open independent learning resources, new Canadian graded readers and considerations to make online courses more efficient. If there is an opportunity, maybe some commentary on AI and language teaching. 

Ozma Siddiqui: As the year turns over another leaf, I would like to start the new year with learning more about how AI can be used for successful learning in the classroom. AI seems to be the way forward and I would love to see how it can be integrated into the English classroom. I wish the TESL fraternity around the world the best of 2024 and hope to continue on this journey of lifelong learning!

Gordon Hatt: I’m currently doing twenty, one-hour classes per week. They are one-on-one and small group coaching classes with native French speakers whose abilities range from level 4 to 7. All of these students have studied English since grade one, and many through the college level. All of them need to be able to function in English at work at least occasionally. Finding authentic texts that stimulate the upper-level learners and learners needing specialized vocabulary is an ongoing challenge: Too easy, and there is no learning. Too difficult, and the students founder. Recently, I have experimented using ChatGPT to convert authentic news articles to the appropriate CLB level. I felt it was very successful and will be using it again in the coming year.

Elyse Borgdorf: Wishing everyone a happy and fruitful 2024.  I’ll be taking maternity leave during the year, but hope to use time away from the classroom to understand AI better and look into TESL opportunities that complement my current life stage as a young mom.

Beth Beardall: Best wishes to everyone for a healthful and fulfilling 2024. I hope to continue to hone my skills as a LINC/ESL Instructor. I am especially thinking about how to incorporate a more holistic approach to “doing” PBLA.  On a personal note, I want to continue to strengthen my newly discovered practice in Qigong.


Showcase Your Lifelong Learning Commitment: Include Certificates on your LinkedIn Profile 

If you’ve been a TESL Ontario member for a while, you probably have more than one PD Certificate sitting in your inbox as a result of attending one of our webinars, conferences or TESL Dialogue sessions. While these certificates are essential in accruing the PD hours required to maintain your OCELT each year, they also make a great addition to your professional LinkedIn profile!
  Read on for instructions for how to upload certificates…
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Busting the myths of ESL instruction

Busting some of the myths and assumptions that English language instructors might have, we’re looking back this week at some older blog posts that are still timely. Are there other myths that you have become aware of in your own experience of teaching? After you read these blogs, return here to share in the comments below.


ESL Myths Debunked

Myths about Teaching ESL Learners


Take A Break

While some in our TESL Ontario community continue working through March Break (perhaps you had your break in February if you work in higher education), many of us will be taking a breather from our classes.  Whether you will be enjoying time to relax at home, or will be getting away from it all, March Break is a great time to take a few moments to catch up on some blogs you missed.

To that end, here are a few more recent blogs that we hope will be beneficial to your practice: Continue reading