All posts by Nicola Carozza

Spotlight — Anna Bartosik

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Who is Anna Bartosik?
Hahahaha!

Let’s start with how I introduce myself now. I’ve been saying my name in Polish since December and my identity is tied to my name. It has taken me a long time to stop making it easier for English speakers to say my name.

If you look at my email signature, you’ll know how to pronounce my name, my pronouns in the order of languages I am comfortable speaking (she/ona/elle), and my degrees.

I don’t know which identity I should highlight; I suppose language teacher because of the content of this interview. We can add professional details as well, such as: instructional designer, facilitator, researcher. These details don’t often help,  Continue Reading →

Categories:
Interview, Spotlight
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TESL Ontario 2021 member survey report

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Abstract
This report summarizes key findings of TESL Ontario’s 2021 member survey, in which TESL Ontario members shared information about themselves, their work, and their views on member services and benefits. Members were employed in a variety of positions and contexts in Canada and internationally and engaged in ongoing professionalization through TESL Ontario’s wide variety of PD offerings. Members reported difficulties in finding stable employment and managing the switch to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Future directions for TESL Ontario include providing support to meet online/remote teaching and learning needs, additional employment resources, and member advocacy.

For 50 years, TESL Ontario has represented ESL instructors in Ontario and worked alongside them to provide resources and training to improve language learning for students and teachers in diverse learning and teaching contexts.  Continue Reading →

Categories:
ESL, Language, Survey
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Benefits and challenges of a hybrid flexible EAP Program

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Introduction
The COVID-19 Pandemic caused changes in modes of instructional delivery in Canadian colleges and universities when many moved to fully remote classes in March 2020. Then, in September 2021, as a part of the Return to Campus Plan at the University of Guelph, the English Language Programs (ELP) pivoted to a program that combined in-person students with remote students living outside of Canada. To ensure a smooth transition and to provide a quality learning environment, the academic team needed to figure out how to teach these two groups of students by taking into consideration multiple factors, such as students’ learning needs and preferences, as well as the instructional teams’ knowledge, skills, and experience. This paper provides the learning context and rationale for the program teaching mode,  Continue Reading →

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iTEP International

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iTEP International is thrilled to announce its new membership and webinar sponsor partnership with TESL Ontario. Our iTEP Canada team looks forward to meeting members of the TESL Ontario community and continuing to service and support international students and educational professionals in Canada. Learn more about iTEP and our exams at: https://www.itepexam.com/about-itep/.

Who is iTEP International?
iTEP International is a Los Angeles, California-based company that provides English testing solutions to the international education community. In 2008, iTEP created a fully Internet-based all-skills English language assessment tool, the iTEP Academic-Plus exam. It was the first time that non-native English speakers could securely assess their English language fluency online and on-demand.

Since then,  Continue Reading →

Categories:
ESL, Testing
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An ESL immigrant teacher’s insight into languages

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As a recent immigrant to Canada, I involuntarily find myself in between-situations, driven by a set of choices that diverge me away while preserving bits and pieces of my natural habitus (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977). As a native speaker of Arabic and an ESL teacher who mainly spoke English and French back home, I never realized how liberating it is to be given the choice to use Arabic, my mother tongue, until that choice was no longer an option. When I was still in Lebanon, I barely used Arabic, except with family and friends. Despite being one of the most complex languages to learn globally (Wahba et al., 2014), speaking Arabic is considered unprestigious in Lebanon. The Lebanese context clearly distinguishes between standard and prestigious languages.  Continue Reading →

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Critical literacy and counter-narratives: Disrupting power and enhancing inclusivity in the LINC classroom

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Many immigrants come to Canada not understanding the long and complex history it has with its Indigenous people, colonization, residential school system, and the impact of this on Indigenous communities. As a result, many newcomers learn negative stereotypes about Indigenous people because of their representation in the media and literature. Therefore, there is a pressing need to educate ourselves and Canadian newcomers about the true Canadian history. It is important to examine it from different angles and a “need to learn to read again the exhibition of the world, to see the display of the civilized and the primitive” (Willinsky, 1998, p. 86) as history topics have only ever been taught from one point of view of the majority group.  Continue Reading →

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The use of technology in the ESL classroom: A discussion

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Abstract
Over the last 20 years, technology has become a leading force in education and has consequently changed not only the resources available in the ESL classroom, but also impacted the types of decisions that teachers face when applying technology to daily lessons. Under discussion will be the results of how technology has impacted learner outcomes to date, what responsibilities school systems have to support teachers and learners in technological adoption, how and when (and when not) teachers should use different devices in the classroom, as well as a recommendation of resources to help teachers get started. Along the way, the paper will discuss some best practices, and why it is imperative that ESL learners develop technological proficiency.  Continue Reading →

Categories:
ESL, Teaching, Technology
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The emotional challenges of adult learners of English as a second language: A teacher’s reflection on a student’s temper tantrum

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This essay will explore how negative emotions of adult ESL learners can lead to educational challenges, and ultimately decrease the quality of their autonomy in their personal lives. By reflecting on and contextualizing a personal experience with an emotional student, I will analyze examples of emotional barriers and discuss how teachers can strive to understand this specific population of learners through awareness of Knowles et al.’s (2015) second andragogical principle, “a deep psychological need to be seen by others and treated by others as being capable of self-direction” (p. 44).

Knowles et al. (2015) note an unfortunately high rate of adults who drop out of learning environments . There are several psychological dynamics at play that can impact this decision,  Continue Reading →

Categories:
culture, ESL, Other, Reflection, Teaching
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Spotlight — Najwa Rahmani

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Who is Najwa Rahmani?
My name is Najwa Rahmani (she/her), and I am a meticulous, systematic, and personable being. My greatest fulfilment comes from my commitment to lifelong learning and passion for education. My commitment and passion have incentivized me to pursue a career at the intersection of adult education, digital technology, and social justice. Currently, I am completing my Master of Education in Interdisciplinary Studies online and part-time at the University of Calgary. The topic for my first year is Leading and Learning in a Digital Age. Thus far, I have examined the implications for designing and leading interdisciplinary and technology-enhanced learning experiences in addition to strengthening competencies in technological and digital literacies. I have completed a diploma (Assaulted Women’s/Children’s Counsellor/Advocate),  Continue Reading →

Categories:
Interview, Spotlight
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Supporting online language education during the COVID-19 pandemic: Insights into language teachers’ use of action-oriented, plurilingual scenarios in Northern Italy

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Abstract
The shift to remote classes due to COVID-19 required teachers to reimagine their pedagogical practice and develop new strategies for providing quality language education in online environments. The sudden transition also meant teachers had to intentionally create affordances for online interaction or risk reverting to methods that ignore the interactive and socially-mediated aspects of language learning. Given this, and considering the especially devastating impact of the early pandemic across the Northern region of Italy, this article reports on an intervention that supported language teachers in Lombardy in selecting and adopting research-informed, online pedagogical resources in their teaching contexts. These included fully developed plurilingual and action-oriented scenarios, a social engagement platform, and an e-portfolio with reflective and interactive self-assessment tools.  Continue Reading →

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Inclusive online course design: Lessons from a pandemic

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Abstract
Curriculum developers for the ESL Foundation Program at the Real Institute at Ryerson University adapted programming for in-person learning to virtual formats in response to COVID-19. An important consideration when developing the online program was the establishment of an inclusive online environment. Curriculum developers responded to challenges and fostered inclusivity through UDL, flexibility, digital tools, and demonstrating personal interest in students. Overall, a strong sense of community was achieved, and students responded positively.

Introduction
With the onset of COVID-19, language programs across the country had to shift their mode of delivery from the traditional face-to-face classroom setting to virtual learning environments. Designing a virtual learning experience in any subject area requires significant time, care,  Continue Reading →

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Learning technology in LINC – Beyond the pandemic

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Abstract
This article is based on observations from a workshop conducted at the 2021 annual TESL Ontario conference presented by language training professionals and experts in learning technology solutions from the Avenue–LearnIT2teach Project. The onset of COVID-19 in March 2020 was a crisis in immigrant settlement language training. Many teachers and learners were forced to rapidly pivot from conventional face-to-face learning to remote learning. Teachers and learners who had previously practiced blended (or hybrid) learning were well positioned with technology and skills. Teachers and learners who had not were forced to rapidly respond with Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT). Observations from the workshop panel and the participants uphold the need for continued sector engagement with learning technology to support the development of digital skills among newcomers,  Continue Reading →

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