Tag Archives: online

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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Benefits and challenges of a hybrid flexible EAP Program

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Introduction
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 →

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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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How to manage expectations in online classes: Guidelines and requirements

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Abstract
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become incumbent upon teachers to transfer courses to an online environment. However, because of the abrupt transition, many in-service teachers might feel poorly prepared for this change of modality, and therefore need to have a better grasp of the expectations and requirements of an online class. This paper attempts to (1) present certain challenges students and teachers may encounter in an online environment as opposed to face-to-face classes, (2) provide relevant guidelines as well as strategies informed by the findings of previous research studies to address the issues, and (3) present a reflection checklist.

Introduction
Before the strike of the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning was considered optional,  Continue Reading →

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