Category Archives: Reflection

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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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 →

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culture, ESL, Other, Reflection, Teaching
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Make teacher reflection count!

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Abstract
Language teachers always need to develop their teaching. They continue their teacher training and professional development in different ways. Reflecting on teaching practices helps teachers to dig deeper into their teaching opportunities, challenges, and solutions. Teacher reflection helps to develop quality teaching and learning while helping to sustain teachers’ professional development as well. Language teaching is a reflective practice and a cyclical process with a series of steps.

Introduction
Teacher professional development is very important to support teaching and learning processes. To help develop teaching and learning, language teachers should refer to teaching as a reflective practice. Gnawali (2008) thinks that reflection helps teachers to “understand themselves, their practices and their learners” (p. 69).  Continue Reading →

Categories:
Other, Reflection, Teaching
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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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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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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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