We were three months into an online class and just past a spike of on-boarding new learners. At this point, and counting the newer learners, about half of the class relented to turning their cameras on. It was Monday and I had a new grey tie. I really wanted to show off my new necktie, so I wore – uncharacteristically – a black shirt.
Learners arrived and turned on their cameras, saying “Good morning. How was your weekend? Are you feeling any better?” and all that. One of the first was a lovely woman, a retired teacher and a dedicated student – one of those learners who is, besides punctual and respectful, eager to please and who quietly but assuredly defends the soundness of the instructor’s pedagogical choices. Let me call her Harmony.
When we went back to class in March, my students appeared larger than life. More human, tangible. Lots of smiles, welcoming faces, laughter, and excitement. They had a willingness to learn and interact with each other, as well as with the teacher.
I was curious to see how teaching would function in a “post-COVID-19” period. I was happy to see them in class.
I developed a learn-as-you-go approach. I didn’t know who would attend on a day-to-day basis and hoped more students of various backgrounds would join.
If you’re a Twitter user, join the next #CdnELTchat on Tuesday, March 30, when our topic will be: Teaching and Learning Vocabulary. Below is a recap of the March 16 chat written by #CdnELTchat moderator Bonnie Nicholas.
A little over a year ago, on March 11, 2020, our lives were upended when the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Most schools and learning institutions in Canada closed to in-person learning soon afterwards, and many of us found ourselves teaching online classes for the first time. As we left our workplaces, I suspect few of us thought that we would still be in the midst of the pandemic a year later.
If you’re on Twitter, join the next #CdnELTchat on Tuesday, January 28 – on the topic of Authentic Listening Materials. You can access the #CdnELTChat padlet here. Below is a recap of the January 14 chat.
By Bonnie Nicholas
While I was starting to work on this summary, this quote by Maya Angelou popped up in my Twitter feed:
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
Do you feel uncomfortable when you visit a new place? I imagine how our
students feel when they arrive to Canada. Not only are they here to learn
English, but they’re also here to adapt to an unfamiliar culture.
Speaking from experience as a current ESL teacher and a former ESL
learner, I thought I’d compile a short list of the top five ways that teachers
can support their learners in their transition to help them adjust and become
confident and effective learners.
In early October, I saw a call go out on the TESOL webpage
looking for members to join a newly formed committee called the Affiliate
Network Professional Council (ANPC). The
call asked for interested parties who had recent previous experience on an
affiliate board, as you would be working with other affiliate leaders closely. I
thought it sounded interesting, and I quickly discovered that I was right.
TESOL International has about 100 affiliates from a wide range of places, like Bangladesh, New York state, and Yakutia, Russia. When I first joined TESL Ontario, I was surprised to learn that
“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” M. Proust
Travel is not new to me. Travel as a newly minted ESL teacher is.
I am in the middle of a month-long TESL internship in Poland, arranged through Algonquin College, as an optional extension to the TESL Program. Though culturally quite similar to Canada, I am plunked in a community where I do not speak or read the language. Continue reading →
Congratulations! You have razzle-dazzled the department manager with your small-talk skills and your memorable elevator pitch and have received the exciting news that you have a job interview. After giving yourself that well-deserved pat on the back, you realize that it’s time to start preparing. You set out to craft the most powerful and impactful answers that will not only impress your audience, but will also demonstrate how you CAN and WILL add tremendous value to their company. What might that answer look like? Continue reading →
To be remembered, you must first make yourself memorable.
To fully understand the power of a great elevator pitch, I first have to come clean with you. After many years of teaching Business English in Korea and China, I returned to an oversaturated ESL / ELT job market, filled with passionate and qualified language instructors who were all vying for the same jobs; yet, I had to compete in an environment where I had no network, no one to sing my professional praises, no advantage of native “Englishness”, and no real understanding of how to sell myself. Six jobless months passed, and I knew it was time to finally take stock. Clearly, it was me, not them and, with this humbling realization, I set out to Continue reading →