Nurturing Reflection and Networking: The Reflective Teaching Journal

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Abstract
Teaching is said to be “the profession that eats its young” (Halford, 1998, p. 34). Unfortunately, this is often the reality and norm associated with many performance-based careers today. Experienced teachers would agree that performance in the classroom begins the very moment you step in front of a classroom full of students. Those teachers, who are ill-equipped for the task or not ready to perform and respond to student needs in an efficient and satisfactory manner, will be faced with many obstacles. This article considers the needs of teachers and how they can learn to cope with the issues related to teaching, in order to better prepare for and respond to the various challenges, while building resilience and striving to enjoy long and fruitful careers in education.  Continue Reading →

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An Innovative (and Easy) Approach to Corpus Analysis

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Abstract
Lee and Swales (2006) suggest that using corpus analysis activities in the classroom provides students with pragmatic tools they can use to identify patterns of language use without relying on native-speaker expertise. In addition, subsequent research on the use of corpus analysis, or data driven learning (DDL) (Boulton & Cobb, 2017), demonstrates that substantial benefits accrue to students who work with corpora (Bridle, 2019; Charles, 2012; 2014). However, the complexity of existing corpus analysis technologies may deter instructors from implementing existing corpora (e.g. COCA) or corpus toolkits (e.g. AntConc) which may require significant time investments to learn and transform into effective pedagogy.

This article describes an easy, innovative approach to harnessing the benefits of corpus analysis using technology with which teachers and students are already familiar.  Continue Reading →

Categories:
corpus, Technology, Vocabulary
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The Application of Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model in a Business English Program

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Abstract
The article introduces the application of Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model (1984) in a four-week Business English program at the University of Guelph. The authors explore how the stages of Kolb’s experiential model informed the design of experiential activities in a Business English program. In addition, the authors discuss how experiential learning contributes to raising students’ language proficiency and cultural awareness and to furthering understanding of business concepts studied in class. The article concludes with the description of some challenges of the application of the model as identified by the students and the teachers, as well as highlights pedagogical implications of the use of the experiential learning model in a second language classroom.

 

Experiential learning is an important component in higher education learning models found in co-ops,  Continue Reading →

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Informed Use of Learner L1: Plurilingualism as a Macrostrategy for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

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Abstract
The use of learner L1 in TESOL contexts has emerged as an effective, if controversial, teaching strategy. This strategy is validated by the notion of plurilingualism. Plurilingual practices serve a variety of classroom aims and offer a range of pedagogical and intercultural benefits. However, there are several challenges impeding the adoption and application of plurilingual pedagogy. In response to these challenges, I draw on a postmethod framework and my own teaching experiences to offer several ideas for plurilingual classroom activities, developed with Spanish and Portuguese-speaking students. A plurilingual perspective can help ESOL teachers to recognize, respect, and make use of their learners’ diverse linguistic and cultural resources.

Introduction
Views of monolingualism, native-speakerism, and subtractive language acquisition still dominate TESOL learning and teaching contexts.  Continue Reading →

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Can Sociodramatic Play Enhance Second Language Development?

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Abstract
Sociodramatic play contributes to children’s communication processes in several ways, including the development of language, imagination, creative expression, self-regulation, inner thought, and socialization, as well as the paving of the way for the development of symbolic activities such as literacy, mathematics, and music. To what extent, however, can it be beneficial to second language development in teenage and adult learners? In this paper, study findings about how and why sociodramatic play—also referred to as role-play, pretend play, symbolic play, and make-believe play—can help learners of all ages acquire a second language are reviewed. In these studies, sociodramatic play is regarded as an opportunity to promote interactive and cooperative learning along with understanding the norms of other cultures,  Continue Reading →

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Exploring Multilingual International Students’ Identity-related Experiences through Pictures

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Abstract
This paper shares findings from an investigation connected to a larger research study which sought to holistically understand multilingual international students’ socio-academic and linguistic experiences at a university in Ontario. In here, the focus is placed on the students’ identity-related experiences in light of post-structuralist theory in applied linguistics. By drawing on interviews and participant-generated photography, this study seeks to link theory and experience, and to illustrate some of the complexity, diversity, and subjectivity of identity and identity-related experiences for multilingual international students for whom English is an additional language.

Background
Canadian universities and colleges have experienced a rapid increase in the number of international students over the last decade. International students contribute to the diversification of their host academic communities in multifaceted ways.  Continue Reading →

Categories:
Identity, Journal, pedagogy
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Action Research as a Praxis for Transformative Teaching Practice in ELT Classrooms

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Abstract

This paper is to illuminate how action research can be used as a praxis to shape teaching as a constant transformative practice in English language teaching (ELT). I will offer a synthesis on what action research is, how professionals have used it in practice, and why action research is a vigorous and enlightening tool for ELT practitioners and teacher educators for their transformative knowledge (re)building process despite some criticisms.  Then, I will briefly exemplify two action research projects that I have conducted with different colleagues in different settings.

“The unfinished character of human beings and the transformational character of reality necessitate that education be an ongoing activity.  Education is thus constantly remade in the praxis.   Continue Reading →

Categories:
Other, Research, Teaching
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Making the Case for Blended Learning in LINC: A Demonstration Research Project

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Abstract
Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) aims to advance both newcomers’ English language learning and their settlement skills and goals. Canada’s official languages, cultural awareness, and employment and settlement skills are essential drivers of settlement and a core part of the LINC curriculum. In response to these needs, Blended Learning (BL) LINC programs combine face-to-face (f2f) LINC classes with online activities beyond the classroom and integrate technology and settlement skills with English language learning. BL provides learners with essential opportunities for developing their English skills while learning the digital skills necessary for effective settlement in Canada.

At the 2019 TESL Ontario Conference, LINC and ESL teachers and administrators raised important questions about BL and our research regarding the effects of BL in LINC (Cummings,  Continue Reading →

Categories:
Blended Learning, LINC
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Developing Intercultural Competence: Surveying EFL Learners’ Knowledge, Strategies, and Attitudes

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Abstract

Understanding others has long been a goal of language teaching yet remaining in the background of educational practices (Liddicoat, 2012). One of the existing challenges in the language-teaching domain is the integration of culture and language. The incentive to conduct this study is the existing gap of teaching culture in language classrooms. The researchers investigated learners’ opinions on the presentation of English-speaking countries’ (ESC) cultures and explored the cultural knowledge scope of Iranian EFL learners. Besides, the strategies used by the learners to acquire intercultural communicative competence were explored. A questionnaire was distributed among 250 language learners, yet twenty-six male and female EFL learners, intermediate and upper-intermediate level, were interviewed to probe their knowledge, strategies, and attitudes.  Continue Reading →

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Language teachers’ knowledge and practice of metacognition

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Abstract

Language learners’ (L2) knowledge about their own learning (also known as metacognitive knowledge) enhances with learners’ acquisition of metacognitive skills and successful applications of metacognitive strategies. In these contexts, L2 teachers’ knowledge about teaching is quite opposite to “abstract, decontextualized” knowledge, which results in executing “a set of discrete behaviour” (Freeman & Johnson, 1996, p. 400). Similar to the learners, as Freeman and Johnson (1996) argue, the way “teachers actually use their knowledge in classrooms is highly interpretive, socially negotiated, and continually restructured within the classrooms and schools where teachers work” (p. 400). Therefore, language teachers’ knowledge of metacognition needs to be improved and applied in their instruction and classroom environment which eventually encourages and guides learners’ metacognitive behaviors in L2 learning.  Continue Reading →

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Narratives: Portraying Students’ Identity as Writers

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Abstract

The objective of this research study was to analyze B.A. students’ writers’ identity based on their narratives.  The theory for this research was based on the poststructuralist perspective of identity and on theoretical concepts for personal narratives.  For the methodology, the Case Study approach was taken into account.  Students argued that a writer creates stories and contexts.  Hence, students see themselves as apprentices that like to write, but not as writers.  For the participants, there is a difference between a teacher that writes and a writer, and also none of the participants mentioned academic texts as writing.  For them, writing is related to tales, poetry, and fiction.

Resumen

El objetivo de este estudio fue el de analizar la identidad como escritores de estudiantes de licenciatura en idiomas con base en sus narrativas.   Continue Reading →

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CLIL as a Meaningful Pathway to Redefine Foreign Language Courses in Higher Education

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Abstract

This article gives account of the pedagogical interplay that CLIL could have as an educational approach within a pre-selected undergraduate group of International Business students. It presents a proposal that considers the importance of providing learners with an embedded, functional and curricular model, in which languages and content interrelate simultaneously. In the same line of thought, it suggests a set of materials and resources which could be applied according to particular educational settings, and puts forward a five-step elemental procedure to follow, along with guidelines for teachers to implement CLIL within their university classes.

Introduction

Colombian traditional education models have been immersed within our society for many decades up to now. Features such as memory,  Continue Reading →

Categories:
CLIL, Other, Research
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