Profile: Crossing Borders is a group of newcomer and Canadian-born students and alumni of Waterloo Collegiate Institute who raise awareness about newcomer issues. They break down barriers between people one story at a time. The team tours a multi-media performance in which youth share their stories using slides, spoken word, film, drama, documentary, dance and music. Many of the students in Crossing Borders are not who you would typically see on a stage. Some are newcomers who have joined only weeks after arriving to Canada. Yet, getting involved and being valued helps them gain confidence and take leadership in community-building. Their goal is to continue to make Canada a better place for all. The team has been generously sponsored by Speak-Up, the Laidlaw Foundation, and theKitchener Waterloo Community Foundation. The team has been touring 100 shows per year and has been awarded a World Refugee Day Award of Distinction by CCORIC, a Ken Spencer National Education Award for Innovation, and a Harmony Movement Social Changemakers Award.
Workshops: Session 1 (Choose one of three):
1.1 Fauzia Anis and Petra Middleton "Our Journeys: How we use stories to build language skills"
Abstract: In this presentation, Fauzia and Petra will be sharing their personal stories and how they incorporate their experiences of language acquisition into their teaching. They will also share activities they have used with their learners to help them tell some of their own stories.
Profiles: Fauzia and Petra both started their careers teaching English as a Foreign Language before moving to Canada. In the past 10+ years, they have both been teaching in the Conestoga College LINC Program. Fauzia teaches Literacy; Petra teaches CLB 5/6. Fauzia also teaches Literacy learners at St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres.
1.2 James Corcoran and Xiaoxiao Du: "Student Digital Autobiographies: Expressing self evolving identities"
Abstract: In this presentation, we will guide attendees through the rationale for and potential of using digital autobiographical identity texts in our EAP / ESL classrooms. First, we will present a rationale for focusing on students' evolving identities. Next, we will introduce examples of digital identity texts, followed by a "how to" session for producing / guiding students' production of these "texts". Finally, we will answer any questions about how to most effectively use this type of pedagogy to improve our students' academic production skills. This pedagogy leads to an academic product - which can be shared with instructors, peers, family, etc. - that positively reflects students' identities and competence in the target language as well as the evolution language(s) use over time and space. This workshop presents the theoretical and practical considerations for a Needs Analysis (NA) and the findings in all four skill areas of an NA completed for an EAP program in southern Ontario. Participants will be tasked with analyzing their current EAP practices by applying the findings to learning activities, assessments, and program outcomes at the intermediate and advanced levels. This workshop presents actual curricular changes made to an EAP program, based on the findings of the study, for open discussion.
1.3 Patrice Palmer: "Why We Need to Care about Teacher Self-Care"
Abstract: “Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel” (Eleanor Brownn). Teaching is a profession that requires giving of oneself to make a difference for students. The chronic use of empathy and depletion of emotional resources are strongly associated with exhaustion and/or professional burnout (Maslach, Schaufeli & Leiter, 2001). Also, challenges such as precarious work/multiple workloads, administrative responsibilities and unreasonable expectations of ourselves can add to the pressures of this demanding profession. Teachers are among those professionals with the highest levels of job stress and burnout across many countries so self-care is key to sustaining the joys and rewards of one's teaching practice. Self-care is defined as the skills and strategies used to maintain personal, familial, emotional, and spiritual needs while attending to the needs and demands of others (Newell & MacNeil. 2016). Without self-care, teachers are at risk of emotional exhaustion and/or professional burn-out. This workshop will define self-careand discuss its importance, provide examples of simple self-care strategies, discuss how to best adapt self-care strategies at an individual and organizational level.
Profile: Patrice Palmer has more than 22 years’ experience as an ESL teacher (OCELT), teacher trainer and writer in Canada. She spent seven amazing years teaching in Hong Kong. Patrice has taught students from 8 to 80 in a variety of programs such as ESP, LINC, ELT, OSLT and EAP. Patrice has a M. Ed. from Brock University, and a M.A. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto. She completed two certificates at Wilfred Laurier – Positive Psychology and Positive Education. Patrice’s personal experience with professional burn-out in 2015 prompted her to reflect on her own lack of self-care and adopt positive psychology interventions which she now shares with educators and administrators.
Session 2 (Choose one of three):
2.1 Plamen Kushkiev: "A critical self-exploration towards fostering teacher well-being"
Abstract: Even though teacher well-being has come to the forefront of contemporary research topics and areas of academic interest, there is still a dearth of research into exploring ESL teachers’ perceptions of their own well-being and maintaining a positive attitude to the ever-increasing demands of the profession. In this session, we will therefore discuss the need to engage with the concept of teacher well-being. The presenter will employ elements of autoethnography to invoke self-reflection and self-analysis of their career path as an ESL professional. In doing so, it is hoped that such a critical self-reflection will lead teachers to insights and a deeper understanding, capable of informing their professional practice. The presenter hopes that the introspective look into their own professional experience will resonate with the participants’ perspectives, which will facilitate a fruitful discussion.
Profile: Plamen Kushkiev is a doctoral candidate in educational studies, University of Sheffield, UK. He also holds a TEFL certificate, CELTA and a TESL Ontario diploma. He has taught ESL, EAP, exam preparation, business communication and soft skills in various contexts in Europe, the Middle East and Canada. Plamen has a rich experience as a practicum supervisor and mentor, teacher trainer and TESOL course instructor. His research interests lie in teacher professional development, judicious use of L1 in second language acquisition, the role of positive emotions in SLA, and teacher resilience.
2.2 Lynn Schulze and Crossing Borders Youth: "Crossing Borders: How are we as educators really doing? And how can we do better in our classrooms and institutions?"
Abstract: This workshop includes activities and a student panel about ways to meaningfully break down barriers in a school or organization. The workshop will provide direction on how to replicate some of the work Crossing Borders has done around personal story and inclusion and will address some of these questions: How do we create accidental intentional meetings between disparate groups in a building? How do we raise the profile of those who begin with less privilege? How do we capitalize on the diversity in a building or organization in real ways? We will also hear from a panel of students who will share their insights. You will see how students can be your guiding light to innovation.
Profile: Lynn Schulze is a secondary teacher of ESL at WCI and the teacher facilitator of Crossing Borders. In her 29th year of teaching including a year teaching in Haiti and one in Peru, Lynn maintains that listening to students, especially to their frustration and pain, has driven every important teaching initiative throughout her career both in the classroom and in the community. Afterall, she says, “students and not policy makers are the ones who really know what changes are needed in their school community.”
2.3 Agnieszka Wolczuk: "Student self-reflection tasks in different EAP classes - Are they still meaningful exercises?"
Abstract: As educators, we are likely to regularly reflect on our teaching practices. We might also believe that having our students complete a self-reflection task will help them in improving the skills we are trying to teach. Hence, we ask our students to consider how they prepared for an assignment, a presentation, or a test, or how they performed during such a task and why. These are short exercises through which students “narrate” for us what happened before, during, and, possibly, after the assigned task. However, do student self-reflections really serve their purpose? During this workshop, I’d like to share my experience of using self-reflections in EAP classes and engage the participants in a discussion about methods of making such tasks meaningful.
Profile: Aga Wolczuk is a senior instructor of English Language Studies at Renison University College, at the University of Waterloo. She has taught EAP for over 8 years and has experience of teaching both oral and written communication classes in Renison College and Conestoga College.
We will begin the day with light refreshments. Lunch will be catered by Renison's Food Services.
Registration will be $35 for TESL Ontario Members, $25 for TESL/ACE TESOL Students, and $40 for Non-Members. This fee includes lunch and the opportunity to win two TESL Ontario Memberships and other door prizes. To register go to: Registration.
Renison University College is part of the University of Waterloo and is located at 240 Westmount Road North, Waterloo, ON.
2018 Spring AGM and PD Event: Conflict in the Classroom
Thank you to everyone who presented and attended our Spring AGM and PD event on Saturday, May 26th. Enjoy the pictures below taken from the event and check out the linked presentation from the TESL Ontario workshop.
Thank you to everyone who attended the mini-PD event on Nov 16th from 6-8pm at Del Dente's restaurant in Kitchener. The format of the evening was informal small table discussions on ESL topics with the option of buying dinner and/or drinks from a select dinner menu. This event provided attendees with 2 Professional Development hours and was enjoyed by all.
TESL WW SPRING AGM & PD EVENT 2017: THINKING CRITCALLY
Thanks to everyone who presented and attended our Spring AGM and PD Event on Saturday, May, 13.
Click here to read Beth Beardall's reflection on some of the strategies discussed during Tyson Seburn's keynote address.
TESL WW SPRING AGM & PD EVENT 2016: TRANSITIONING
TESL WW March Mini-PD Event - Recap
The mini-Professional Development event held at Del's Enoteca Pizzeria in Kitchener on March 3, 2016 was a great success.
21 TESL-WW members gathered for food and sociability from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tables were divided up into five colour-coded conversation groups, and every 25-30 minutes we changed our discussion groups. Different topics included teaching techniques to understanding PBLA to the future of TESL, with many interesting thoughts shared between ESL teachers of all varieties.
Thank you to everyone who attended for making this event such a success. Please send us your feedback and preferences so we can continue to meet the interests and needs of our affiliate members.
TESL WW SPRING AGM & PD EVENT 2015: LISTENING AND SPEAKING VOLUMES
On Saturday, May 25, 2015, TESL WW hosted a successful AGM and PD event at Renison University College. Participants learned and shared strategies for teaching listening and speaking in the ESL/EFL classroom. Thanks to everyone who presented and attended the event!
A successful PD morning was held on Saturday, September 27, 2014 @ Conestoga College in Kitchener. Attendees learned how to easily access the online PD learning opportunities, and watched a selected video. This was followed by presentations, discussion and activities. Scroll down to see the photos. To see our PowerPoint slideshow on how to access your own online sessions, download the file below.