Written by Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy, Accreditation Services Manager – TESL Ontario
Hard to believe, but TESL Ontario is turning 50 this year! Throughout the years, the association has made great strides in the area of setting professional standards for certification of English language educators. We invite you to join us for a look back on the history of certification at TESL Ontario.
Educational digital accessibility is often viewed as a set of practices dedicated that assist disabled individuals with challenges to participate in online and blended courses. In fact, accessibility practices endeavor to more than eliminate barriers to education; they ensure that digital content is enhanced for everyone. Digital accessibility practices are something we all should practice because:
Well, hello there! I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced, but we’ve probably bumped into each other before…maybe at a conference, or a webinar. Allow me to introduce TESL Ontario’s College and University Committee!
Over the last 3 years, a small but dedicated group of people have been toiling to put together the infrastructure to have a new committee and a voice for College and University educators. For a committee to work effectively, a lot of things need to be in place including terms of reference, a strategic plan, a call for volunteers. We accomplished these tasks and many more within our first year and have looked to grow and expand. Our mission is to develop leadership for professional development and practice among English language and TESOL educators working in both the college and university sectors.
In 2014, I posted on the TESL Ontario blog “Encourage Extensive Reading with MReader.” Since then, I have been integrating extensive reading with language learners in different contexts. I have learned a great deal using extensive reading in face-to-face situations. However, as COVID has forced us all online, the new challenge is facilitating extensive reading in a fully online mode.
In late 2021, Sepideh Alavi, a member of the Extensive Reading Foundation Board of Directors and Avenue mentor, and I started an extensive reading research project on the Avenue system. A critical part of this study is a pilot test of extensive reading with literacy-level classes.
Allison Keown is the Executive Director of TESL Ontario
TESL Ontario introduced certification for Ontario English language educators in March 2000. The introduction of this provincial certification helped advance the TESL profession and the TESL Ontario certification swiftly became the sector standard for the hiring of English language educators in Ontario.
2004 – Expanding Access to Language Instructor Certification through PLAR
At a time when language teaching was gaining traction as a valued profession worldwide, internationally trained individuals (ITIs) with significant experience were struggling to obtain certification in Ontario, because their education did not meet the certification standards that had been established. As a result, these qualified professionals were often having to repeat education that they already possessed, in order to become employable in Ontario.
In Part 1 of this two-part series, you were introduced to three of the TESL ON Board members who have completed one year of service. In Part 2, we dig deeper into their responses about their perspectives as Board members.
What have you learned from your fellow Board members in the last year?
Cecilia: Where do I start? Everyone is truly focused on the continued strengthening of the organization and to share their individual talents to make this happen. We have only Zoomed since I joined but I have felt welcomed from the very first time we met. New members are matched with a mentor who we can call on anytime and that’s reflective of the spirit of collaboration that exists within the Board and our organization as a whole. David Hezell, past Chair and treasurer, became my mentor and that helped me to transition to my current role as treasurer.
The Blog Team had the opportunity to interview three TESL Ontario Board members who were appointed one year ago. Following is Part 1 of a two-part blog series in which the members reflect upon their experiences thus far. Part 2 will be posted Wednesday, January 5.
Board Cohort 2020-2023 – Member Bios
Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna, M.A, OCELT, OCT
Cecilia continues to be a very active member of TESL Ontario. Her commitment to second language education along with her experience and skill set led her to her current role as a TESL Ontario Board Member and most recently Board treasurer.
If you google the meaning of “mentorship”, you can find the literal meaning in the dictionary. According to Merriam-Webster, mentorship means “the influence, guidance, or direction given by a mentor” (n.d.). But what does this mean in practice? Why is having a mentor important? This article discusses the importance of mentorship at work, how to find a mentor, and how to maintain a healthy and successful mentorship.
Over the past months, thousands of language instructors across Canada have been unwittingly or intentionally taking on instructional developer responsibilities. They have been cobbling together, rearranging, and refining digital resources and activities from various sources to meet the needs of their students. Many instructors have been generating original learning resources to fill in gaps that appear while teaching online.
Usually, learning materials are prepared ‘on-the-fly’ to anticipate or adapt to challenges that arise from our classroom lessons. What happens to these documents? Often, they are forgotten on a computer drive and discovered on a slow day when you are considering which files to remove to free up hard drive space. These files are hastily named, filed, and saved, so they are lost. Sometimes, it is too much trouble to save and properly file a document that is created just before your online class is about to start. If you are currently teaching online, I am sure you will agree with this! Continue reading →