Task-Based Language Teaching

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In my last blog, I wrote about the educational movements and how they have encouraged new methods of viewing teaching and learning. They have also made room for new forms of content delivery to be developed. One of the more recent developments in content delivery, which is becoming popular in language teaching, is Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT), or “learning by doing.” Learning by doing can be defined as performing an action, i.e. enactment; in comparison, other ways of learning something are learning by viewing or learning by listening (Steffens et al., 2015). There is a general assumption that learning by doing creates better memories of an event or action, and so styles like TBLT are becoming more popular.  

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Reflections on a Year as TESL ON Board Member – from Mitra Rabie

Guest Contributor: Mitra Rabie

As a devoted English instructor, I have always thrived to be a rich source of inspiration and support to my students and their academic success. To my understanding so far, the overall composition of the elected Directors reflects a balance of perspectives from different sectors and regional diversity, and I am sure that as part of this Board and its Committees, I will learn a lot that I can then share with the community members.

I think one of the key reasons that motivated me to run for a position on the TESL Ontario Board of Directors has been the Board’s mission and vision as a leading authority to provide support and direction to professionals, government bodies, and industry stakeholders involved in the English language education field. It has been a great professional success for me to be appointed as a Board member and to serve on three of its Committees: Nomination, Research Advisory, and Strategic Planning.

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Back to School

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Well, it’s happening. My colleagues and I will be back at the college campus next session, and I can’t wait! Like anything else, you do not realize the full value of something until it is taken away. The outside air hitting your face as you rush to the streetcar, the smiles and good mornings in the staff room, the student banter as they settle behind their desks. I even miss the frantic line-ups in the photocopy room because they offer what is now liquid gold;

Despite the rush of excitement, there is also trepidation. Like my students, I have found security behind the screen. How confident will I feel standing at the front of the classroom in real life? Will I remember how to use the Smart Board? Will my building keys work? Where are they, anyway? Will I remember my colleagues’ names? Will they remember mine? And finally, what will my teaching look like? Will I have strictly face-to-face classes, hybrid, HyFlex? And that last one? How will that work? There are just so many unknowns. Continue reading

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SOS: Tackling Mid-Career Malaise

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People sometimes joke about having a midlife crisis yet the truth is, research shows midlife (i.e., approximately in your 40s) is when people really do experience the lowest satisfaction in their personal and professional lives. This is a stage of life during which many have the highest financial burdens and the most at-home demands.

Canadian TESL professionals also experience malaise mid-career. In a study on the reflections of three mid-career ESL teachers in Canada, one participant noted she had “gone a little stale.” Another felt she had “plateaued professionally.” Experts say the signs that you are experiencing malaise can include feeling lethargic, disinterested, and unmotivated. You may be asking yourself questions like Is this truly what I’m meant to be doing with my life?

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Considering a Role on the TESL Ontario Board? New Member Jenny Kirk Shares Her Experience

Guest Contributor: Jenny Kirk

Have you considered taking the next step in your involvement with the TESL community?  

I’ve recently taken on a new role with TESL Ontario. I’d like to tell you about my experience and why I think you too should consider taking on a new challenge.

Serving on the TESL Ontario board can be an amazing opportunity to develop your leadership skills, gain board experience and receive positive professional mentorship. Plus, the board needs your perspective. 

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Multimedia English Class with Ted Talks

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Teaching research writing and communication courses has been one of the best experiences I have had in my teaching career so far. One of the challenges, however, has been encouraging students to read articles before joining classes. These reading articles are a prerequisite for our students to complete a series of reflective reading and writing practices. Therefore, I have started taking advantage of TED Talks as a not so state-of-the-art, but practical resource for a college communication course. Here are a few ways I use this resource in my classes: 

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Who are you as an educator?

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The Importance of Student Self-Reflection on Their Own Learning

             Source: Teachstarter.com

 

What is self-reflection in learning?

It is a cognitive awareness that occurs when students are aware of and can articulate what they know and what they need to learn. Thus, it examines the ways an individual learns.

Self-reflection is a huge and often overlooked part of education. While students are often asked to reflect on their own learning, their teachers typically do not coach them in how to do it most effectively. We already know that teacher reflection is a very important part of our professional development. TESL training usually offers great opportunities to learn how to do that. But students have similar needs. Neither teachers nor students can maximally improve their performance without self-reflection.

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Boosting your Career with the OCELT Designation – Growth. Recognition. Community.

Image source: TESL Ontario

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

Hi there. My name is Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy. I am the TESL Ontario Accreditation Services Manager. I am also an OCELT. Do you know what OCELT stands for? We see OCELT in email signatures, resumes, title slides of presentation decks, and presenter biographies quite often these days, which is excellent for our profession! The OCELT professional designation acknowledges the professional status of certified practitioners and enhances their professional prestige as members of a dynamic ESL community. If you are an OCELT but haven’t started using your professional designation yet, or if you are not an OCELT but are planning to start the application process soon, this blog post may encourage you to start today!

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A Look Back: History and Impact of TESL Certifications

Image source: TESL Ontario

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.

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