Category Archives: Uncategorized

2024 Award Nominations Now Open

Kiara Kim, Learning and Development Assistant, TESL Ontario

Nominate Now: Recognize Excellence in TESL for 2024

As we prepare for the TESL Ontario 2024 Annual Conference: Navigating New Routes in Language Education, it’s time to spotlight the leaders who are making a significant impact in the TESL community. One shining example is Gonul Turkdogan, the 2023 recipient of the Sparks of Excellence Award. Gonul’s journey since receiving this prestigious award offers a glimpse into the profound impact and inspiration these accolades can bring.

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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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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 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!


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


Simplifying Real-World Content with ChatGPT and the Canadian Language Benchmarks 

Image taken from: Big Stock Photo

Lesson planning can be a time-consuming endeavor, especially for educators teaching students with lower levels of English proficiency. Adapting materials to meet the needs of these learners requires careful consideration and often entails significant effort. However, with the assistance of tools like ChatGPT, this process can be streamlined and made more efficient. 

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Supporting Literacy Students to Become Independent Learners


I was taking the chairs down from the desks and putting them on the floor before the morning class, when a student came in and said:


She shook her head and pointed to herself.

Me,” she said.

She motioned for me to sit. Since that day, the students have put themselves in charge of the chairs.

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Smartphones can be a “Smart” Helper in the Classroom

Image taken from: Big Stock Photo

At first glance, smartphones may seem like the ultimate language roadblock for ESL learners. The alluring prospect of effortlessly translating any text with a simple tap can lead to a habit of overreliance, hindering genuine language absorption. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. When approached with a strategic mindset, smartphones can indeed become “smart” tools in the ESL learning arsenal, especially for those who find themselves grappling with the complexities of English at a foundational level. 

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Teaching To The Test

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I had planned on giving one of my classes a task every Friday. What’s that saying? Ah, yes. Even the best laid plans. . . My plan was running like a well-oiled machine until the final week of classes before the Christmas break. I’d scheduled a writing task on December 15, and the class did it. That was not the problem. Time was. I didn’t have enough of it to cover all the material, and so I decided to teach to the test, or task, as it were.

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