Category Archives: Uncategorised

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 →

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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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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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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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Teaching the pronunciation of consonsants to ESL students

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Abstract
In this article, an experienced ESL pronunciation teacher explains the typical pronunciation problems many ESL students have with selected consonants. The author explains how these consonants are pronounced, and there are video links to demonstrate the pronunciation of these consonants. In addition, for each of the selected consonants within the article, the author gives practical suggestions as to how these consonants may be taught within the context of task-based and communicative lessons. This is important as such meaningful activities allow the students to apply their pronunciation of these consonants within classroom situations that mimic real life. The demonstrations of the pronunciation of the target consonants and the classroom practice activities are applicable for ESL lessons conducted on an online video-based synchronous platform,  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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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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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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