Category Archives: ESL

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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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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The Early Language Learning (ELL) curriculum supports newcomers with low levels of English

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Abstract
The article provides information on the Early Language Learning Curriculum (ELL) curriculum, which is a set of documents to guide and support the delivery of real-world task-based English language instruction for adult newcomers with low levels of English (literacy to CLB 3) from Mothers Matter Centre. Designed as a service enhancement to the long-running Multicultural HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) Program for immigrant and refugee mothers of young children, ELL can also be used on its own to provide structured, informal English training in a classroom and/or with one-on-one English practice tutorials.  Materials designed for the tutorials can also be used to support conversation circles. The curriculum was designed through the support of Immigration,  Continue Reading →

Categories:
Curriculum, ESL, Language
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An anthropological approach to diversity in ELT

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Abstract
This paper presents a discussion of the racial barrier to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of English Language Teaching. Although diversity is welcomed in ESL classrooms, giving all the students and teachers equal opportunities to participate and keeping all of them equally engaged is not necessarily an easy task when it comes to a formidable barrier called race. To achieve this aim, one perspective ESL employers, teachers, and students can adopt to reduce racial bias is an anthropological approach, which this paper is attempting to promote.

 

Survival of the fittest
When the sociologist Herbert Spencer coined the phrase survival of the fittest in 1864, he had no idea how his misconception of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution would arouse such a bitter controversy in the 20th century with dire repercussions in our present day.  Continue Reading →

Categories:
culture, ESL, Uncategorised
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Facebook as a tool for enhancing students’ argumentative writing

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For images, refer to the PDF of the article.

Argumentative writing is one of the most difficult written genres in higher education for both English as a second language (ESL) and English as foreign language (EFL) learners. These learners often face difficulties using complex syntactic forms and appropriate elements of argumentation (Ka-kan-dee & Kaur, 2014). Hence, there is an imperative need to explore the use of effective strategies to improve ESL/EFL students’ argumentative writing ability at the tertiary level.
Corrective feedback, referred to as utterances that indicate to a learner that their output is erroneous in some way (Nassaji & Kartchava, 2017), may be a particularly effective method of giving individual and specific guidance for the improvement of argumentation.  Continue Reading →

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Thou shalt not speak English at home

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Abstract
In this paper, I will explore various reasons why English may be endorsed to be spoken at home by English language learners. There is a strong consensus by second language teachers that learners of a second language (L2) should focus on developing their first language (L1) in a more academic means, adding that solidifying their foundation in their first language, would also support second language learning. Furthermore, language skills are interchangeable from one language (L1) to another (L2). However, the point of this article is to entertain and even to support a continuation of learning the L2 at the student’s home for reasons explained in further detail. In addition, the notion is not to weaken the argument that speaks of the continual development of the L1,  Continue Reading →

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Identity in undergraduate L2 writing: A juxtapositionof academic voice and internal voices

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Abstract
Despite mounting research on the potential that cultivating self-identity affords students, it is often forgotten in most academic contexts, whether in instruction or assessment, that L2 writers have an L1 identity. In all avenues of higher education, researchers agree that multiple, complex, and simultaneous identities of students are advantageous for their advancement in academic writing (Cohen, 2011; Cummins, 2001; Leki, 2008); however, institutional practices, persisting social conventions, and student-teacher relationships (or lack thereof) place a greater pressure for L2 undergraduate students specifically. International and immigrant/generation 1.5 undergraduate students arrive in their new settings with their L1 knowledge base and are often expected to forego rhetorical strategies of their L1, as well as their linguistic and cultural repertoire,  Continue Reading →

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English as a lingua franca: Reverting the school system back to a monolingual ideology—Why it’s dangerous and how to move toward a plurilingual ideology

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Introduction
English is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is the most commonly taught, learned, and used L2 worldwide. English is sought out as a valuable commodity. Parents want their children to learn it because of potential job and personal gains, and people worldwide seek to learn it for these exact reasons. It reigns supreme within the seemingly invisible pyramid of languages. English is king. As a lingua franca, it is the dominant language of international business, science, and technology (Lüdi et al., 2010, p. 57). Whatever the context, the rule of thumb seems to be, “When in doubt or when in a communicative bind, resort to speaking English.” Tourists who visit foreign countries can rest assured that they will be understood if they have knowledge of English.  Continue Reading →

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