Category Archives: Other

How to manage expectations in online classes: Guidelines and requirements

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Abstract
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become incumbent upon teachers to transfer courses to an online environment. However, because of the abrupt transition, many in-service teachers might feel poorly prepared for this change of modality, and therefore need to have a better grasp of the expectations and requirements of an online class. This paper attempts to (1) present certain challenges students and teachers may encounter in an online environment as opposed to face-to-face classes, (2) provide relevant guidelines as well as strategies informed by the findings of previous research studies to address the issues, and (3) present a reflection checklist.

Introduction
Before the strike of the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning was considered optional,  Continue Reading →

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Individualized program plans for adult ESL literacy learners

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*For all footnotes, refer to the PDF version of the article.

Abstract
Adult ESL literacy teachers are often perplexed when instructing pre-, non-, and semi-literate adult ESL learners due to their L1 literacy level, age, and possibly traumatic experiences. Classroom instruction and assessment should be carefully planned and strategically implemented because of the underlying financial and social ties connecting literacy to socio-economic status. How might instructional practices be modified to better meet the needs of adult L2 emergent readers? This paper examines the use of Response to Intervention (RTI) tier 3 plans in adult English learning in an L2 context. For twelve weeks, several evidence-based reading diagnostics assessments were administered to help develop individualized program plans for a group of emergent readers.  Continue Reading →

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Possibilities in decolonizing English language learning

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Abstract
Racism in education has a long 500-year history with colonial roots that situates knowledge production as a Western prerogative. Colonizers intentionally created an educational system based on Eurocentric epistemologies that promoted White supremacy. Pieterse & Parekh (1995) argue that in the 20th century, capitalism and industrialization enabled global oppression and resurgent nationalism which undermined social justice initiatives. Over the last thirty years in Canada, despite increasingly diverse students, inclusive curricula, and equity policies from elementary schools to universities, the teacher and administrator workforce has remained racially homogenous. Learning English has become an intrinsic part of a global post-colonial legacy in which many continue to perceive the ideal educator to be White males. Currently, microaggressions among ESL teachers and exclusion in decision making reflect ongoing racism.  Continue Reading →

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Student-centred games and activities

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Introduction
Are you interested in games in the classroom? Do you like video games but do not know how to make it happen? This article aims to use creative problem solving to help you come up with interactive games for your students that incorporate the skills and systems in your lesson plans. All this can be achieved with some creativity, gumption, and some PowerPoint tips and tricks. You will gain new skills from an old tool to reinvent your tech skills without learning how to code. When you are ready to play, start the game, and enter player one!

PowerPoint is much more than your elementary school presentation nightmare―it is all the fun of a game without all the frustration.  Continue Reading →

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Corrective feedback in second language writing: From theory and research to practice

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**For footnotes, please view the PDF.

Abstract
The aim of this paper is to discuss choices available to language practitioners in connection to corrective feedback in second language (L2) writing. Using the results of some empirical studies and prominent second language acquisition (SLA) theories on corrective feedback (CF), we will address the benefits and limitations of implicit and explicit feedback types, peer feedback and self-correction, reactive and proactive feedback, and finally focused and unfocused feedback. In each section, some practical recommendations are made to help L2 teachers better deal with CF in language learning classrooms.

SLA theories underpinning CF
Two theories that are widely used in L2 research on CF are Cognitive Approach and Sociocultural Theory (SCT).  Continue Reading →

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Idioms: The icing on the cake for advanced learners

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**For footnotes, please view the PDF.

Abstract
This paper focuses on the problems that learners and teachers both face with idiom usage. The original submission was in part of the author’s Cambridge Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Learning Skills Assignment for which it received a Merit, but it has been modified to serve a general teacher audience. This essay examines examples from several advanced level coursebooks and draws on the author’s personal experience of teaching multi-lingual classes in Canada and England, as well as exam-preparation courses in Italy to assess the value of teaching learners’ idioms. By identifying the problems that learners have with idiomatic language and analyzing different methods to help circumvent them,  Continue Reading →

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Disrupting the English-only status quo: Using home language as a vital resource in the classroom

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Abstract
An extensive and growing body of research affirms the value of using students’ home language (L1) in both second language (L2) and content learning in the classroom. In spite of this, instructional policy and practice continue to operate as though English-only approaches are axiomatic and essentially common sense. This article appeals for action at the classroom and program levels to close the gap between research and practice in relation to the use of home language in learning. This shift aligns with a move toward rejecting deficit narratives that focus on what students are lacking rather than what they bring to the classroom. If we recognize that our students possess rich cultural and experiential funds of knowledge, we must also begin to value the language(s) in which that knowledge is encoded.  Continue Reading →

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Using explicit instruction in genre-based pedagogy in L2 writing: A personal insight

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Abstract
Explicit instruction technique helps to facilitate genre-based pedagogy in tertiary level L2 writing courses. This paper will focus more on pedagogical experiences rather than research and assessment perspectives. In the case of L2 teaching, explicit and implicit instruction techniques are not ‘either-or’ options, instead ‘but-also’ techniques for developing writing skills in L2. However, the decision of the focus on either of the method depends on the course context and the level of the students. This article will elaborate on how direct instruction helped in-course planning and student’s L2 writing strategy building. This paper will also highlight how using models minimized students’ knowing-doing gap, and finally, how teacher mediation and scaffolding created an opportunity for dialogue through feedback.  Continue Reading →

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Highlighting highlighters: A simple but effective ESL literacy teaching technique

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Abstract
This Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) funded adult ESL Literacy Project of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board is in the midst of piloting a new delivery model of adult ESL Literacy instruction based on the 2016 ESL for Adult Literacy Learners (ESL for ALL) document. The Literacy Researcher guided four team members through intensive ESL Literacy training in the first year of the project. Now, these instructors are running specialized classes that target specific learning strategies ESL Literacy learners need in order to be successful participants in their classes, with PBLA and in their daily lives.

Our TESL Ontario Conference poster presented the learning strategy of highlighting specific information required to answer WH-questions.  Continue Reading →

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Lexical list for EAP/ESP programs: Multiword sequences in computer science textbooks

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Abstract
Lexical Bundles (LBs) —defined by Wood (2015) as “combinations of three or more words which are identified in a corpus of natural language” (p. 45) —play a key role in the comprehension and construction of academic language (Biber & Barbieri, 2007). Despite their importance, LBs are weakly presented in second language (L2) materials (Wood & Appel, 2014). Studies show that L2 learners may misuse LBs in their production (Pérez-Llantada, 2014). With the aim of informing L2 pedagogy in the university context, this corpus study uses WordSmith Tools 6.0 (Scott, 2007) to identify 59 items that represent the most frequently occurring LBs in eight Computer Science introductory textbooks. Utilizing the functional taxonomy, suggested in Biber et al. (2004),  Continue Reading →

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Short-term applications for blockchain technology within an ESL context

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Abstract
This paper aims to help educate English as a Second Language (ESL) members on the potential benefits of implementing blockchain technology. As academic record transfer and digital publishing represent two of the simplest transformations the industry can undertake in the short-term, they represent the focus of this article, but additional, longer-term use cases are also briefly mentioned. This technological step is one that could become mainstream across global economies within the next five years, and the ESL industry is primed to be one of its major beneficiaries. With an immense demand for English instruction and resources, blockchain will help meet the world’s English needs in a transparent and accountable manner.

Introduction
The ability for organizations and individuals to confidently share data with one another,  Continue Reading →

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culture, Other, Technology
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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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