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Press Release

TESL Ontario Members Share New Ways to Transcend Multiple Boundaries in Professional Development Training

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 24, 2014) - TESL Ontario (Teachers of English as a Second Language Association of Ontario) recently concluded its 42nd annual conference in Toronto where the theme conveyed the perspective from the viewpoint of both instructors and learners.

"The 2014 Conference theme -- Integrating Language and Transcending Boundaries -- aptly describes the current thinking in the world of ESL," says Barb Krukowski, Conference Chair. "If the goal of our programs is to help immigrants settle into their communities then we must accept that language is but one step along the pathway. In striving to meet their goals they will most likely need to transcend multiple boundaries along their path," she explains.

And multiple boundaries are also what the 4,600+ English language training professionals, members of TESL Ontario, must transcend in their professional development. The recent conference offered participants more than 160 presentations, interactive workshops, technology labs, keynote/feature speakers, a panel discussion and research symposia to enable them to become better at not only teaching language but also at being a community resource to newcomers to Canada. TESL Ontario instructors are often among the first contacts that immigrants make. Highlights of some of the new skills, techniques and tips presented include:

  • How to use mobile devices to increase language practice outside the classroom with the many applications that already exist (both free and without need for connection) e.g. voice recorder, camera, web browser, dictionary, voice activated surfing, etc.
  • Technology workshops on use of and practice with a wide variety of technology tools such as Moodle, wikis, podcasts, online dictionaries and many more
  • Teaching Canadian idioms and expressions using video clips from CBC news stories, Breakfast TV segments and Sitcoms
  • Integration of health content into language instruction with a series of lesson plans, in collaboration with a city public health department, on healthy eating topics to help combat the previously researched "healthy immigrant effect" (the phenomenon of the deterioration of immigrants' health within 10 years of arrival in Canada)
  • Use of cultural arts activities such as Screenplay Writing (creating stories, improvisation, videotaping), Song Lyrics (to help teach verb tenses), Music & Movement (aids language retention)

At the Ninth Annual Panel Discussion, a key highlight of the Conference, presentations from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities identified current trends, updated initiatives and shared recommendations. An overview and summary of the Panel Discussion will be published early in the New Year.

TESL Ontario will hold its 43rd Annual Conference November 12 -14, 2015 in Toronto.

TESL Ontario, established in 1972, is a non-profit organization serving the needs of teachers of English as a Second Language. It represents more than 4,600 language training professionals working in immigrant serving agencies, school boards, publicly funded sites across Ontario, colleges/universities, elementary/secondary and private language training schools. TESL Ontario's expertise is in teaching, advocacy, accreditation and professional development. The organization is instrumental in influencing the success of many thousands of English language learners throughout the province. 

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Lynn McGregor
Renate Tilson
416.593.4243 Ext.203

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