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 →
English is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is the most commonly taught, learned, and used L2 worldwide. English is sought out as a valuable commodity. Parents want their children to learn it because of potential job and personal gains, and people worldwide seek to learn it for these exact reasons. It reigns supreme within the seemingly invisible pyramid of languages. English is king. As a lingua franca, it is the dominant language of international business, science, and technology (Lüdi et al., 2010, p. 57). Whatever the context, the rule of thumb seems to be, “When in doubt or when in a communicative bind, resort to speaking English.” Tourists who visit foreign countries can rest assured that they will be understood if they have knowledge of English. Continue Reading →
An extensive and growing body of research affirms the value of using students’ home language (L1) in both second language (L2) and content learning in the classroom. In spite of this, instructional policy and practice continue to operate as though English-only approaches are axiomatic and essentially common sense. This article appeals for action at the classroom and program levels to close the gap between research and practice in relation to the use of home language in learning. This shift aligns with a move toward rejecting deficit narratives that focus on what students are lacking rather than what they bring to the classroom. If we recognize that our students possess rich cultural and experiential funds of knowledge, we must also begin to value the language(s) in which that knowledge is encoded. Continue Reading →
The use of learner L1 in TESOL contexts has emerged as an effective, if controversial, teaching strategy. This strategy is validated by the notion of plurilingualism. Plurilingual practices serve a variety of classroom aims and offer a range of pedagogical and intercultural benefits. However, there are several challenges impeding the adoption and application of plurilingual pedagogy. In response to these challenges, I draw on a postmethod framework and my own teaching experiences to offer several ideas for plurilingual classroom activities, developed with Spanish and Portuguese-speaking students. A plurilingual perspective can help ESOL teachers to recognize, respect, and make use of their learners’ diverse linguistic and cultural resources.
Views of monolingualism, native-speakerism, and subtractive language acquisition still dominate TESOL learning and teaching contexts. Continue Reading →
Within three years of immigrating to Canada, I was fortunate to be hired in a GTA community college teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP). I enjoyed the camaraderie of my colleagues and students as I progressed in my new job, but I also began to experience uncomfortable incidents which propelled me on the journey towards Translingualism.
Having been born and bred in Singapore, the formal English variety I learned in school was Singapore English, which was essentially based on British English, and the informal variety I spoke at home was Singlish, a melange of English, Mandarin, Hokkien, Malay and Tamil. Therefore, I tend to pronounce words differently from Canadian English and rely heavily on the British lexicon. Continue Reading →
This is a poster from a poster presentation at TESL Ontario, 2017. We apologize for the HTML formatting. (ed.)
- Last year, more than 18,000 workers came to work on Canadian farms as part of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP)
- Of these workers, more than 3,000 are working on farms in the Niagara region
- The majority of these workers come from either the Caribbean or Mexico
- Although the SAWP is not without its problems, it provides Mexicans with a legal means to
enter and work in Canada and the opportunity to earn significantly more than they could in
their home country
- Nevertheless, such opportunity comes at a price,
Continue Reading →