Category Archives: Teaching

Benefits and challenges of a hybrid flexible EAP Program

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Introduction
The COVID-19 Pandemic caused changes in modes of instructional delivery in Canadian colleges and universities when many moved to fully remote classes in March 2020. Then, in September 2021, as a part of the Return to Campus Plan at the University of Guelph, the English Language Programs (ELP) pivoted to a program that combined in-person students with remote students living outside of Canada. To ensure a smooth transition and to provide a quality learning environment, the academic team needed to figure out how to teach these two groups of students by taking into consideration multiple factors, such as students’ learning needs and preferences, as well as the instructional teams’ knowledge, skills, and experience. This paper provides the learning context and rationale for the program teaching mode,  Continue Reading →

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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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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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Incorporating CALL in the ESL classroom: Focusing on animation, movies, Netflix, TED, VOA, Arirang News, NPR, and YouTube

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Abstract
This study examines the application of CALL in English classes for university-level or EAP students. Multimedia is significant in the digital era and should be applied in the ESL classroom. However, few studies explore how to apply a variety of multimedia resources in the ESL classroom. This study explores students’ opinions on the use of multimedia from a class conducted for one semester. The class dealt with one theme each week using various media. Over the semester, eight multimedia resources were used: animations, movies, Netflix, TED, VOA, NPR, Arirang News (a Korean English-language network), and YouTube. At the end of the semester, a student survey was conducted to examine students’ motivation, preference, and improvement in English proficiency when using multimedia.  Continue Reading →

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Quick tips for teaching literacy

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These tips and guidelines are meant for instructors and volunteers who are new to the field of literacy and intend to work with adult literacy learners. I have come up with these tips based on my experience with literacy students, other teachers’ experiences and observations, and also my learners’ feedback that I always consider when planning my lessons. This is based on experience teaching literacy students from diverse backgrounds and various levels of literacy.

Background
Understanding the background of literacy learners and their needs is the first step to a fruitful learning experience. Many of our literacy learners are individuals who have never been to school before, have had limited education (one to two years of schooling) in their home countries,  Continue Reading →

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The role of grammar in ESL and EFL courses

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Abstract
The teaching of grammar has been a controversial issue in second and foreign languages. On the one side, one can find those who oppose teaching grammar in language courses, and on the other side, one can also find many language teachers and applied linguists who favor teaching grammar in the same said courses. This paper deals with some issues related to the teaching of grammar, how teachers should teach, and when is the best time to introduce it in second and foreign language courses. While many language courses focus on grammatical forms, other courses, such as those adhering to the communicative language teaching approach, try to exclude the explicit treatment of form from the syllabi. It is known that native speakers of any language acquire their native language without grammar explanations;  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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