Cross-cultural competence in the ESL classroom
Our understanding of theories of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and more speci cally teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) has traditionally been grounded in linguistics, psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, and more recently in pragmatics and speech acts. I would like to argue that in order to do the most effective teaching of ESL, especially in light of the many recent newcomers to Canada, we must also have a stronger sense of the theories and best implementation of cross-cultural communication1.
How often have we been in a classroom, intent on being as helpful and constructive as we can, only to nd that some students are resistant or silent or respond in totally unexpected ways? Even when we fully intend to respect the diverse cultures of our students, Continue Reading →
Supporting blended learning at a college with a face-to-face classroom model can be a challenge, particularly in an EFL learning environment. Faculty need clear guidelines about the institutional definition of blended learning, a strong sense of why they should “blend” technology and face-to-face methods, as well as the know-how for tools and resources amongst a range of other considerations. In order to better support faculty, our Learning Technologies team offered a Blended Learning Workshop Pilot Series to support a culture of learning starting with basic technology tools and resources freely available to faculty. The following describes how we went about creating and delivering the series, and provides insights into what we learned from the experience and feedback from faculty.
We have decided to use the definition from the University of Central Florida’s Blended Learning Toolkit for the purposes of our pilot series, Continue Reading →
Critical thinking (CT) is a fundamental defining concept of a Western university education (Barnett, 1997) and it lies “at the heart of EAP” (de Chazal, 2014, p. 12). However, there is a discrepancy between the findings of several experimental studies that show CT to be particularly suited to a content or theme-based approach, and how it is currently conceptualized and taught in many English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programs. Some EAP foundation programs tend to regard it as a discrete transferrable skill- one not necessarily embedded within a particular theme or subject.
This article aims to answer one question: how can CT best be taught to EFL/EAP students? It will argue that integrating the teaching of CT within a discipline or subject is particularly effective for EFL learners. Continue Reading →
Arms laden with Food Basics groceries, we trudged south west across snowy Victoria Park Avenue and Sheppard Avenue East and took shelter kitty corner in the iconic Johnny’s Burgers in Scarborough before heading for Round Two of grocery shopping, a multicultural one at Hong Tai Supermarket.
Just one of dozens of field trips in recent years to places far and near to help my students not only to learn and use the language but also to settle in their new home of Canada. Looking back, it’s hard not to notice how different field trips have become in the post- funding world. Gone are end-to-end, fully paid for rides in yellow school buses and padded seats to subsidized tourist destinations up the CN Tower or over at the zoo. Continue Reading →
My father is a fan of an Italian-dubbed, German soap opera called Tempesta D’Amore, saga television at its very best. Set in a five-star hotel with characters who cheat, lie, and connive like cousins at a Trump family-reunion picnic, it would occasionally pull me into the vortex of daytime viewing, spending the entire episode trying to figure out the Byzantine plotlines of complicated relationships.
“I don’t get who these people are.”
“They brother and sister-in-law,” my father would explain, “but his wife, her sister, was die. Now she’s love him and she’s pretends she sick so he’s no leave.”
“But why is she ‘remembering blood’? I don’t get what they’re arguing about.”
“They was kill and bury somesbody together.”
“I can’t believe you called this a ‘family’ show.”
In the end, Continue Reading →