Category Archives: Research

Complexity Theory and translanguaging as pedagogy for ESL learner empowerment

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Abstract
Recent theories in second language education have highlighted the learner as a social being, who has agency and takes an active role in the language learning process. One recent theory of the social turn in second language education that is of relevance to ESL teaching is Complexity Theory (CT). In this article, we briefly explain how CT and the concept of affordance relate to the role of the teacher and the learners in the ESL classroom. We then discuss what teaching ESL through a CT lens inlvoves and argue that translanguaging as pedagogy can empower ESL learners and transform the ESL classroom into a more equitable and inclusive space.

Introduction
Second language education (SLE) has witnessed a significant shift in the past decades,  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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Developing critical thinking skills in the ESL classroom

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Abstract
This paper presents a discussion of the importance of developing the critical thinking skills of ESL students. Critical thinking skills are sometimes overlooked in the ESL classroom which is problematic given that ESL students need to be equipped with the skills and thinking strategies necessary to perform in academic and professional arenas. ESL teachers can foster critical thinking in supportive environments in their daily practice by including activities that require students to challenge the self and activities that require collaboration and creativity. Several classroom activities that encourage critical thinking are presented and discussed.

Defining ‘critical thinking’
Critical thinking is an important area of interest in education and stems back to the Greek philosophers, including Socrates,  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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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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Differentiated instruction in English language teaching: Insights into the implementation of Raza’s teaching adaptation model in Canadian ESL

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Abstract
The purpose of this article is to discuss the teaching adaptation model proposed by Raza (2018). This will be done with the support of fresh explanations and examples that show how different strategies suggested by the model can be utilized to develop and implement materials that can assist in adapting teaching strategies to English language learners’ needs in Canadian ESL classrooms. Driving their roots from significant language teaching and learning theories, the strategies included in the model are specifically relevant to language classrooms that comprise students from multilingual, multiethnic and multi-educational backgrounds. Starting with a brief introduction to the model, the article discusses the strategies in detail with the support of tasks and activities that can be used in Canadian ESL contexts to facilitate the language learning experience of diverse student population.  Continue Reading →

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Classroom action research on the effects of pronunciation teaching on listening skills

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Abstract
The twentieth century was marked by the publication of a plethora of books on new methods and approaches to teaching English as a second or foreign language, few of which were based on empirically tested claims (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Pronunciation instruction is perhaps the area of ELT that is most lacking in empirical studies to support its practices, with calls for research to investigate its effects and efficacy constantly made by ELT and second language acquisition specialists (Derwing & Munro, 2005). The recent resurgence in the interest for pronunciation has led to a small increase in the number of experimental studies being conducted on the subject. However, research is still limited to how teaching pronunciation affects learners’ spoken production,  Continue Reading →

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Action Research as a Praxis for Transformative Teaching Practice in ELT Classrooms

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Abstract

This paper is to illuminate how action research can be used as a praxis to shape teaching as a constant transformative practice in English language teaching (ELT). I will offer a synthesis on what action research is, how professionals have used it in practice, and why action research is a vigorous and enlightening tool for ELT practitioners and teacher educators for their transformative knowledge (re)building process despite some criticisms.  Then, I will briefly exemplify two action research projects that I have conducted with different colleagues in different settings.

“The unfinished character of human beings and the transformational character of reality necessitate that education be an ongoing activity.  Education is thus constantly remade in the praxis.   Continue Reading →

Categories:
Other, Research, Teaching
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Language teachers’ knowledge and practice of metacognition

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Abstract

Language learners’ (L2) knowledge about their own learning (also known as metacognitive knowledge) enhances with learners’ acquisition of metacognitive skills and successful applications of metacognitive strategies. In these contexts, L2 teachers’ knowledge about teaching is quite opposite to “abstract, decontextualized” knowledge, which results in executing “a set of discrete behaviour” (Freeman & Johnson, 1996, p. 400). Similar to the learners, as Freeman and Johnson (1996) argue, the way “teachers actually use their knowledge in classrooms is highly interpretive, socially negotiated, and continually restructured within the classrooms and schools where teachers work” (p. 400). Therefore, language teachers’ knowledge of metacognition needs to be improved and applied in their instruction and classroom environment which eventually encourages and guides learners’ metacognitive behaviors in L2 learning.  Continue Reading →

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Narratives: Portraying Students’ Identity as Writers

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Abstract

The objective of this research study was to analyze B.A. students’ writers’ identity based on their narratives.  The theory for this research was based on the poststructuralist perspective of identity and on theoretical concepts for personal narratives.  For the methodology, the Case Study approach was taken into account.  Students argued that a writer creates stories and contexts.  Hence, students see themselves as apprentices that like to write, but not as writers.  For the participants, there is a difference between a teacher that writes and a writer, and also none of the participants mentioned academic texts as writing.  For them, writing is related to tales, poetry, and fiction.

Resumen

El objetivo de este estudio fue el de analizar la identidad como escritores de estudiantes de licenciatura en idiomas con base en sus narrativas.   Continue Reading →

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CLIL as a Meaningful Pathway to Redefine Foreign Language Courses in Higher Education

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Abstract

This article gives account of the pedagogical interplay that CLIL could have as an educational approach within a pre-selected undergraduate group of International Business students. It presents a proposal that considers the importance of providing learners with an embedded, functional and curricular model, in which languages and content interrelate simultaneously. In the same line of thought, it suggests a set of materials and resources which could be applied according to particular educational settings, and puts forward a five-step elemental procedure to follow, along with guidelines for teachers to implement CLIL within their university classes.

Introduction

Colombian traditional education models have been immersed within our society for many decades up to now. Features such as memory,  Continue Reading →

Categories:
CLIL, Other, Research
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