Tag Archives: ESL

The complex situation with prepositions in the English language: A tiny word with much importance

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Introduction

It is known that the English language is one of the most spoken languages in the world. With a large population speaking it as their L1, it has also become one of the learned languages as L2.  Whether it is for pleasure or need, the English language has acquired a high place on the podium of most spoken languages. Some people may learn it to be able to read their favourite English writers, or they may have been influenced by North American culture. Others may come to learn English due to having moved to an English speaking country. Whatever the case may be, there is no doubt that learning English is both a need and/or a desire to most.   Continue Reading →

Categories:
ESL, Grammar
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Teaching the pronunciation of vowels on Zoom

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The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted many previously in-person ESL classes to online learning.  Many of these online classes are taught synchronously using video conferencing software such as Zoom.  The exclusive focus in this article is on teaching ESL classes using Zoom, since that is the software that the author uses to teach with and am thus most familiar with. However, the same points that are made with regard to synchronous video teaching with Zoom could presumably also be made for Zoom’s competitors such as Microsoft Teams.

The use of video conferencing software such as Zoom for synchronous ESL classes has the obvious advantage of enhancing the safety of students and teachers from the COVID-19 virus.  The advantages of using Zoom appear to be particularly evident for ESL pronunciation classes.  Continue Reading →

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Lessons learned during COVID-19: Towards blended learning and teaching in LINC and ESL

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ESL and LINC teachers and programs were shifted abruptly to online and blended teaching as COVID-19 closed physical classrooms in March 2020. In this article, we look back at some of the resulting changes in ESL/LINC teaching and learning due to COVID-19. We examine the growing shift towards blended learning that occurred because of pandemic restrictions, as well as its significance for blended delivery and implications for ESL and LINC teachers, teacher training and education, students, programs, and further research. 

These findings were first presented and discussed with ESL and LINC teachers during our presentation (Cummings & Fayed, 2021) at the TESL Ontario Conference in November 2021. The findings came to light during our development of a publication project which led to the handbook Teaching in the Post COVID-19 Era (Fayed &  Continue Reading →

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The application of word meaning expansion for teaching vocabulary

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The following essay is a condensed summary of a completed thesis for achieving a degree of Master’s of Art in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

If we imagine language as a living entity framed and supported by structure/grammar and fleshed with words, this organism requires both to function. It is impossible to learn a language without vocabulary. There exists at least 500,000 words in English, while the average native speaker only knows about 30,000 words receptively and 3000 words productively (Allen, 1983). Teaching every last word to English language learners is out of the question. Still, a more sustainable and feasible approach to helping students develop their vocabulary repertoire is by teaching them techniques of self-learning.  Continue Reading →

Categories:
ESL, Vocabulary
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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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Thou shalt not speak English at home

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Abstract
In this paper, I will explore various reasons why English may be endorsed to be spoken at home by English language learners. There is a strong consensus by second language teachers that learners of a second language (L2) should focus on developing their first language (L1) in a more academic means, adding that solidifying their foundation in their first language, would also support second language learning. Furthermore, language skills are interchangeable from one language (L1) to another (L2). However, the point of this article is to entertain and even to support a continuation of learning the L2 at the student’s home for reasons explained in further detail. In addition, the notion is not to weaken the argument that speaks of the continual development of the L1,  Continue Reading →

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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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English for Academic Purposes in Ontario: Results from an exploratory survey

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*For all footnotes, refer to the PDF version of the article.

Abstract
The on-going “internationalization” of Canadian post-secondary institutions has resulted in significant demographic changes in these institutions’ student bodies, creating a need for more effective support of students using English as an additional language both during these students’ transitions to university and during their degree programs. Currently this type of support is offered across a wide range of contexts in Canadian institutions of higher education, often embedded in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programs. Given the increasing demand for EAP, investigation of the features of existing programs and the experiences of EAP practitioners is necessary for improving equity and efficacy within the field.  Continue Reading →

Categories:
EAP, ESL, Research
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Creative assignments to help students connect English to the outside world and build confidence

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Abstract
Instructors at the Real Institute’s ESL Foundation Program are continuously working on designing assignments that allow their students to practice the language skills taught in class while at the same time engaging with technology and connecting with life outside of the classroom. Through careful consideration and research, two assignments were designed and successfully achieved these outcomes. The assignments were adapted to a virtual teaching context and were equally successful. This article includes a detailed explanation of the projects that were created, the steps taken for students to accomplish all tasks, and the outcomes that resulted from their completion. Further to this is a description of the success achieved from their adaptation to an online learning environment.

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