Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation

In 2017, Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary. The following online resources must be useful to instructors in order to teach Canadian English and skills-integrated English language activities on this particular theme when the Wi-Fi is supported.

  1. Canadianism: 55 Canadianism you may not know or are using differently: https://geekdad.com/2013/12/55-canadianisms-1/ GeekDad offers this one page information about 55 Canadianism that can be asked with if the class is familiar. This webpage includes the information about different vocabulary used in the United States and in Canada. Writing up a short quiz for a warm-up activity would be a good idea.
  2. Ancestry Project: https://www.ancestryproject.ca/ Ancestry Project (Sharing Canadian Culture Creating Digital Stories) is a blog a team of two authors started writing in January 2017 celebrating Canada’s 150th Their courses and educational content will be continuously added throughout this year. For ESL instructors, Famous Canadians, Immigration Stories, Canadian Songs have been posted up until now.
  3. Chris Hadfield (YouTube videos): https://www.youtube.com/user/ColChrisHadfield/featured Christ Hadfield is the first Canadian astronaut to operate Canadarm, walk in space, and command the International Space Station. He also sings and records the videos of the songs that he writes and sings on YouTube. His videos can be good audial/visual materials for interactive or cooperative activities using songs, interviews, speeches or content-based lesson subjects.
  4. Canadian English, by Dane Jurcic (2003): http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/courses/6362Jurcic2.htm This short article would be great for Stage 2 or 3 learners to learn Canadian Vocabulary, Canadian Pronunciation, Canadian Style and Syntax, and some more food for thought. It was written more than a decade ago but is still useful for ESL/EFL learners to learn which features in the English language make ‘Canadian’.
  5. Alone in Canada; 21 Ways to make it better; A self-help guide for single newcomers (PDF): https://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/Documents/english_alone_in_canada.pdf This is a kindly reminder that this resource can make a good reading material or for an activity as information gap, quiz, discussion points, presentation, or debate on the theme.
  6. Not to mention these two booklets:

          Discover Canada (PDF) http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/pub/discover.pdf;

          Welcome to Canada (PDF) http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/pub/welcome.pdf

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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. It is the leading trend in distance education/open education and distance learning domain as a consequence of the openness movement. (Wikipedia)

The following resources are great examples of OER. With funding from Alberta Open Educational Resources, Bow Valley College and NorQuest College collaborated to create Open Educational Resources (OER) in the form of e-textbooks for both English language learners. They are designed to be facilitated by an instructor either in the form of an interactive e-textbook or of a printable textbook. The interactive e-textbook includes FREE audio, video, and interactive practice activities. The website provides absolutely in-class applicable Fillable PDFs (worksheets) under ‘Multimedia Files’. If it is too much learning for some, the textbook can be simply printed and used in class (downloadable and savable FREE).

  1.  In the Community: An Intermediate Integrated Skills Textbook (NorQuest College, 2016)

This CLB 5-6 appropriate integrated skills textbook consists of five chapters helping learners notice, learn, and practice English in their community: Reception, Respect, and Relationships; Requests and Responses; Permission, Prohibitions, and Obligations; Apologies and Excuses; Opinions, Clarifying, and Filtering. Each chapter includes four skill activities, intercultural skills, some important essential skills, discussion, reflection, and vocabulary list. It is highly recommended for ESL instructors. Check this out.

  1. In the Workplace: An Intermediate Integrated Skills Textbook (Bow Valley College, 2016)

This is also appropriate for CLB 5-6. It focuses on the workplace in Canada (Canadian workplace culture) and offers five objectives: Workplace Environment; Personal Management; Workplace Communications; Clients and Customers; Career Management. On top of all features mentioned above, Extension has been added to each chapter so that instructors can extend the lesson depending on her learners pace and needs.

Awesome e-textbooks!

TED 4 ESL; English Lesson Ideas

I’ve come across this fantastic website today:

http://ted4esl.com/

It started this year on January 23 2017. The contact person’s info is Contact us here:
stan@ted4esl.com

In terms of levels, they use CEF Levels:

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF or CEFR) was put together by the Council of Europe as a way of standardising the levels of language exams in different regions. It is very widely used internationally and all important exams are mapped to the CEFR. (Source)

Currently, B1, B2, C1 level lessons are covered. These lesson plans organized by 4 themes: Business, Technology, Global Issues, Life. Worksheets are provided in 2 different versions: Student’s Version; Teacher’s Version.

A Fascinating work they’ve been putting online in terms of using TED Talks for ESL lessons. Worth clicking on them to print out useful worksheets for intermediate and advanced level ESL learners!

http://ted4esl.com/

Learning by Doing (Gibbs, 1988)

Learning by Doing

Graham Gibbs

Oxford Brookes University

(Oxford Center for Staff and Learning Development)

  • What is Experiential Learning Theory?
  • What does it mean in a lesson, in terms of an individual difference in learning and a curriculum?
  • What does it imply in support staff development?
  • How can it improve a program?

Will come back with my reflections soon.

learning-by-doing-graham-gibbs

Gibbs 1988 reflective cycle

1. The Four Agreements

by Don Miguel Ruiz, amber-Allen Publishing (1997)

A great book to reflect on the following areas:

  1. Don’t take anything personally.

  2. Don’t make assumptions.

  3. Always do your best.

Words are a little vague by looking at the word itself as ‘Domestication’. What is it? Then, I realize it is so true once I understand what the author meant and how powerful education can be. Not only in the positive aspects that we know and also in a different way that impacts our lives.

The second chapter ‘Be impeccable with your word’ also doesn’t tell much by reading the word ‘impeccable’ but covers an important thing too: Tell the truth.

This is a think small book and a very easy-read but reminded me of very important truths.

I like simple but impactful stuff nowadays.

I highly recommend this book.

https://www.amazon.ca/Four-Agreements-Practical-Personal-Freedom/dp/1878424319