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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Spotlight — Najwa Rahmani

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Who is Najwa Rahmani?
My name is Najwa Rahmani (she/her), and I am a meticulous, systematic, and personable being. My greatest fulfilment comes from my commitment to lifelong learning and passion for education. My commitment and passion have incentivized me to pursue a career at the intersection of adult education, digital technology, and social justice. Currently, I am completing my Master of Education in Interdisciplinary Studies online and part-time at the University of Calgary. The topic for my first year is Leading and Learning in a Digital Age. Thus far, I have examined the implications for designing and leading interdisciplinary and technology-enhanced learning experiences in addition to strengthening competencies in technological and digital literacies. I have completed a diploma (Assaulted Women’s/Children’s Counsellor/Advocate),  Continue Reading →

Categories:
Interview, Spotlight
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Supporting online language education during the COVID-19 pandemic: Insights into language teachers’ use of action-oriented, plurilingual scenarios in Northern Italy

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Abstract
The shift to remote classes due to COVID-19 required teachers to reimagine their pedagogical practice and develop new strategies for providing quality language education in online environments. The sudden transition also meant teachers had to intentionally create affordances for online interaction or risk reverting to methods that ignore the interactive and socially-mediated aspects of language learning. Given this, and considering the especially devastating impact of the early pandemic across the Northern region of Italy, this article reports on an intervention that supported language teachers in Lombardy in selecting and adopting research-informed, online pedagogical resources in their teaching contexts. These included fully developed plurilingual and action-oriented scenarios, a social engagement platform, and an e-portfolio with reflective and interactive self-assessment tools.  Continue Reading →

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Inclusive online course design: Lessons from a pandemic

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Abstract
Curriculum developers for the ESL Foundation Program at the Real Institute at Ryerson University adapted programming for in-person learning to virtual formats in response to COVID-19. An important consideration when developing the online program was the establishment of an inclusive online environment. Curriculum developers responded to challenges and fostered inclusivity through UDL, flexibility, digital tools, and demonstrating personal interest in students. Overall, a strong sense of community was achieved, and students responded positively.

Introduction
With the onset of COVID-19, language programs across the country had to shift their mode of delivery from the traditional face-to-face classroom setting to virtual learning environments. Designing a virtual learning experience in any subject area requires significant time, care,  Continue Reading →

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Learning technology in LINC – Beyond the pandemic

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Abstract
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 →

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The Early Language Learning (ELL) curriculum supports newcomers with low levels of English

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Abstract
The article provides information on the Early Language Learning Curriculum (ELL) curriculum, which is a set of documents to guide and support the delivery of real-world task-based English language instruction for adult newcomers with low levels of English (literacy to CLB 3) from Mothers Matter Centre. Designed as a service enhancement to the long-running Multicultural HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) Program for immigrant and refugee mothers of young children, ELL can also be used on its own to provide structured, informal English training in a classroom and/or with one-on-one English practice tutorials.  Materials designed for the tutorials can also be used to support conversation circles. The curriculum was designed through the support of Immigration,  Continue Reading →

Categories:
Curriculum, ESL, Language
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COVID-19 infecting global vocabulary: Implications for EFL/ESL teaching and learning

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Abstract
Language is dynamic and keeps changing due to the influence of a number of factors, including global pandemics. COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, has affected not only people’s health around the world but also their vocabulary. Focusing on the English language, one can see that many Corona-related medical words have entered the daily vocabulary of its speakers, and interestingly, many languages have been using those words to broadcast the news about the disease. The outbreak has also spawned new words, corona coinages, and new uses of old words in the language. This article intends to raise EFL/ESL teachers’ awareness of the word-formation processes evident in the new COVID-19 vocabulary and to teach learners how words are created.  Continue Reading →

Categories:
COVID-19, Vocabulary
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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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Pedagogical lessons for remote/blended online classrooms

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Abstract
An English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Pathway Program of a major Canadian university suddenly pivoted to remote teaching and learning, as did so many other university programs across the country in the 2020–2021 academic year. The Pathway Program, took the opportunity of this “pivot” to research how students and instructors fared with the new technology-mediated curriculum and found key practices as useful for instructors. In this article, we describe the Community of Inquiry framework that underpins our study and the insights gained for instructors who retain at least some remote teaching activities in their classrooms. Implications of this study indicate that there are five ways in which instructors can potentially alter their pedagogy to further student satisfaction for online study.  Continue Reading →

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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 →

Categories:
culture, ESL, Uncategorised
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