Navigating Management and Administrative Roles in ELT

Administrative roles are important in the overall management, functioning, and strategic direction of educational institutions. These roles can encompass a wide range of responsibilities that may involve overseeing operations, implementing policies, or managing resources to ensure the overall success of the educational programs and institutions.

Whether you are an educator seeking to broaden your impact on a larger scale, drawn to leadership and mentorship for educators, or motivated for professional growth, embarking on the path from educator to administrator is a journey that demands both ambition and strategic navigation.

In this unique blog series, we explore the pursuit of administrative roles in the field of English Language Training (ELT). TESL Ontario collaborated with six (6) hiring managers representing various sectors of the Ontario ELT landscape, who stand ready to share their experience, advice, and wisdom along this transitional journey. This first installment of the series is designed to introduce you to the available roles and potential pathways into administration.

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Reflections on my practice in the PBLA Prescribed System

A circle with words related to the text - learning, students, PBLA, assessments, etc.In the LINC/ESL class,  instructors “cross barriers of understanding, aptitudes, behaviours, desires, and knowledge” (Rappel, 2013) in hopes of helping newcomers successfully adapt to life in a multicultural community. In this context, I think that Knowle’s five assumptions of andragogy are as useful as ever: clear learning intents and expectation, teacher-student collaboration, student-student collaboration, timely feedback, and engagement in self-reflection.

I believe these practices can be helpful in creating a learning environment in which students take ownership of learning through mutual respect and co-operation. While these principles are also supported by PBLA guidelines, the application of it brings some challenges as well. Continue reading

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The Silent Barrier of Language Learning

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Language learning is always challenging, with the fear of making mistakes standing out as one of the barriers. The fear is often rooted in shame, signaling to language learners that they will face rejection in the form of judgment, invalidation, punishment, scolding, etc. This fear leads to students’ reluctance to embrace errors as stepping stones to fluency.  

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Leveraging LinkedIn to Expand Professional Network

In today’s competitive job market, building and nurturing a professional network is crucial to career success. Several studies repeatedly show that a majority of positions are filled through referral, internal hiring, and networking within the hidden job market, underscoring the impact of personal connections on professional opportunities.

Among the many online tools available, LinkedIn remains the leading professional networking platform for those seeking to find new opportunities, build meaningful connections, and expand their career.

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Learner’s Autonomy! Is it for all learners? 

Mark Van Doren quote: The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.
image source: Flickr-Venspired

As an ESL teacher with over a decade of progressive teaching experience, no notion in English language pedagogy was as mindblowing to me as the idea of learner autonomy. The way that learning and learners are seen as autonomous has always resonated highly with me; I always thought if anyone masters independent learning, they can learn almost anything with joy and efficiency. Recently, however, I’ve been thinking differently about this. Not because I am now a skeptic of this approach, but because I have been wondering if all learners want to be independent learners! Based on my recent encounters and experience at work, I now think maybe there are some learners who learn best without being independent. In this blog post, I’d like to share my own experience with this type of learner.   Continue reading

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Teacher Centred Literacy Classes

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I know the orthodoxy of education is for lessons to be student centred. But I’m going to risk excommunication here by suggesting that there are times when it’s absolutely essential that classes be teacher centred. Literacy classes are such instances.

To go against one’s training and instincts by shifting focus to oneself (the teacher) is one of the many challenges of teaching a literacy class. It doesn’t take long, however, to see that the lower the level of a student’s English, the more guidance, scaffolding, and support they need from their teacher. 

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Using Authentic Materials for EAP Students

Have you ever considered how you might conduct effective and enjoyable EAP sessions? Despite the limited duration and high-stakes nature of EAP classes, the emphasis on learner autonomy, critical thinking, and authentic academic situations renders the teaching process potentially more engaging than that of a standard English course, provided appropriate delivery methods are employed. 

As per Tomlinson’s (2013) perspective, classroom material ought to offer an array of authentic input in the target language, encompassing diverse styles, forms and functions. Based on this notion, I developed a lesson plan aimed at introducing my EAP students to academic research reports, facilitating their exposure to an authentic lecture and enabling them to independently explore the subject matter. To achieve this objective, I selected a TED talk and a pertinent research article as the primary resources for this lesson.  Continue reading

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Moving beyond the shadows: Showcasing AI in the classroom

In my last blog post, I mentioned the hours I had spent examining students’ work for suspected AI use. Now, a couple of months later, I am more exhausted from the process than ever. We educators are still muddling our way through without clear policies or reliable detection tools, and are literally left “up to our own devices.” 

But what if we change tack? What if we encourage students to use AI? Until now, I have balked at exploring its use in class, worried about introducing it to students who had never heard of it. After all, what kind of teacher would show students how to cheat? But I am no longer under such delusions. Unless they have been hiding under a rock, most students know exactly how to use AI tools. 

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Coping with the AI Challenge

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

September is here! The past eight months of warnings of artificial intelligence- or AI- generative chat calamities were heeded by some and ignored by others. Hopefully, you are one of the fortunate ones who work in an institution where AI policies, guidelines, just-in-time support and plagiarism teaching-learning plan statements are ready and accessible to supervisors, instructors and learners. If this is not your situation, this post is for you. Read on to quickly pick up some tips to cope with AI generative chat technologies while your institution works towards comprehensive strategies.  
 

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