Congratulations! You received the OCAD University Employee Equity Award. Talk to us a bit about that award and what it means to you.
I am deeply honored to receive the 2023 Employee Equity Award for my work as an English Language Learning Specialist at OCAD University’s English for Art & Design Program and the Writing & Learning Centre. This award highlights the importance of fostering an equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning and work environment, a mission I am passionately dedicated to. My commitment lies in empowering racialized and multilingual students by providing them with an equitable pedagogical space through amplifying their unique resources and knowledges. I advocate for translingual approaches to teaching English as an Additional Language and creating more accessible curricula that cater to multilingual students’ needs to ensure their success. Continue Reading →
Categories: communication, culture, Curriculum, EAL, EAP, ESL, Interview, Journal, Language, Research, Speaking, Spotlight
“Your first draft isn’t an unoriginal idea expressed clearly; it’s an original idea expressed poorly, and it is accompanied by your amorphous dissatisfaction, your awareness of the distance between what it says and what you want it to say.” (Chiang, 2023)
The rise of ChatGPT
Students have always been the subject matter expert in cutting corners; if a new tool or technology gives them the edge, they will take it.
When the internet emerged, educators prophesied the end of originality. They pondered how plagiarism will now exist on an entirely new plain. The teachers had a point. The internet made it super easy for essay mills to exist and recruit customers. Continue Reading →
The art of teaching a second language (L2) in today’s demands has allowed teachers to become ever so crafty and creative. When teaching any L2 (either as a foreign language or a second language) i.e. English, Spanish or Italian (to name a few), one must make sure of two concepts: First, the motive for which the student is learning an L2; and second, the strategies and tools that a teacher may possess to attain the outcome. This conforms the aptitude that the teacher may readily possess. Furthermore, I would say that any strategy may hold its own weight, and therefore, be useful depending on how the teacher decides to implement it. In fact, I would also mention that any strategy or tool has a specific purpose, Continue Reading →
It is the end of the 2022-2023 academic school year and grade level teams are gathering to begin their annual data dive. Inspecting English language learner (ELL) results is on the agenda. With just over 50% of Toronto District School Board’s K-12 population being deemed an ELL (tdsb.on.ca, 2023), supporting the academic achievement of this demographic is a priority. A question is posed amongst the team leaders: How do we boost an ELL’s language acquisition and content learning in our classrooms while still keeping the learning standards intact? The answer may lie with the inclusion of ELL-targeted self-regulated learning strategies.
Self-regulated learning (SRL) is certainly not a new concept, for it was first introduced by Zimmerman in 1986 (Panadero, Continue Reading →
It is evident that the number of English language learners (ELLs) has increased in the last few years. In Ontario, more than 25% of the student population are learning English as a second language (L2) (Statistics Canada, 2020). Given that numbers are increasing, it is important to know how to support ELLs in the classroom, school community, and in their own communities with the purpose of helping each student become successful. Hence, the core of this message is to provide strategies that may support newcomers to feel positive about their learning, as teachers become more aware about their practices in and outside of the classroom. For this reason, we will focus on the settlement curve and explain it, Continue Reading →
An ESL teacher goes EFL in Salalah, Oman
In mid-December 2021, I embarked on a new odyssey—teaching EFL in a Foundations Program at Dhofar University in Salalah, Oman. The location is described as bucolic as it is cradled between the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Dhofar Mountains, and the weather is usually sunny and warm except for the unique Khareef (fall) season when the monsoon-like weather turns the desert into a verdant green with a constant cloudy drizzle. Coconuts, papayas, and bananas abound here and recently desert farming is expanding the Dhofar region’s agricultural products, which have been heavily based upon camels, cattle, and goats.
Since the EAP market shrunk suddenly in Canada during the pandemic, Continue Reading →
In the past three decades, English as an additional language (EAL) researchers and practitioners have become increasingly concerned with the instruction of second language (L2) pragmatics. Broadly defined as the ability to communicate and interpret meaning in social situations (Taguchi, 2015), pragmatics is an essential component of many models of communicative competence (Timpe-Laughlin et al., 2015). Typically, descriptions of L2 pragmatic competence comprise two parts. The first part, known as sociopragmatics, involves knowledge of how contextual factors (e.g. the relationship between speakers) inform language use. The second component, referred to as pragmalinguistic competence, entails knowledge of how particular linguistic forms (e.g. modals to make polite requests) are used to convey pragmatic competence (Leech, 1983). During the 1980s and 1990s, Continue Reading →