It was in high school that I started toying with the idea of pursuing teaching as a career. Having not known much about what I needed to pursue for this career path initially, I assumed my plan to earn a university degree in literature would be enough. When I found out that teacher’s college was a necessity as well, I was somewhat surprised. I wondered, what about teacher’s college would make me a teacher per se, was not simply knowing the subject matter that I would be teaching enough? This is a topic which I continue to ponder to this day: What makes a teacher? To be more precise, what makes a competent teacher? Is knowing the subject matter simply enough or is there something more? Continue Reading →
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 →
This article is based on observations from a workshop conducted at the 2021 annual TESL Ontario conference presented by language training professionals and experts in learning technology solutions from the Avenue–LearnIT2teach Project. The onset of COVID-19 in March 2020 was a crisis in immigrant settlement language training. Many teachers and learners were forced to rapidly pivot from conventional face-to-face learning to remote learning. Teachers and learners who had previously practiced blended (or hybrid) learning were well positioned with technology and skills. Teachers and learners who had not were forced to rapidly respond with Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT). Observations from the workshop panel and the participants uphold the need for continued sector engagement with learning technology to support the development of digital skills among newcomers, Continue Reading →
The article introduces the application of Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model (1984) in a four-week Business English program at the University of Guelph. The authors explore how the stages of Kolb’s experiential model informed the design of experiential activities in a Business English program. In addition, the authors discuss how experiential learning contributes to raising students’ language proficiency and cultural awareness and to furthering understanding of business concepts studied in class. The article concludes with the description of some challenges of the application of the model as identified by the students and the teachers, as well as highlights pedagogical implications of the use of the experiential learning model in a second language classroom.
Experiential learning is an important component in higher education learning models found in co-ops, Continue Reading →