Membership Minute


Vol. 5 No. 1
April 2015




This issue of TESL Ontario's Membership Minute newsletter will provide you with updates on various TESL Ontario initiatives and items of interest for English language training professionals including: National Volunteer Week, changes to ESL Week activities for 2015, new resources available on and Affiliate Chapter updates.


This is your newsletter and we encourage you to contact us with any ideas you may have for the Practitioners' Corner, the Member Spotlight or the TESL Tidbits sections by emailing me at



Best Regards,

Allison Keown
Member Services Manager
In This Issue
National Volunteer Week
ESL Week Activity Changes
TESL Ontario Publications
TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Updates
What's Happening on
Career Corner
National Volunteer Week 2015



TESL Ontario celebrated National Volunteer Week April 12th - 18th. We spent the week publicly recognizing the almost 300 members who volunteered with TESL Ontario and its Affiliate Chapters throughout the past year.


During National Volunteer Week TESL Ontario conducted daily gift basket draws and sent out Certificates of Appreciation to all of our volunteers.


Also as part of our volunteer week activities, we asked our Volunteers to share highlights from their volunteer experiences in the past year. Here are some of the many responses we received.






"For the TESL Niagara fall conference, I proposed a theme of enlisting "home grown" Niagara TESL members to be our presenters. I approached those who I knew had presented at other conferences. Almost everyone was happy to be a part of the conference, and I was thrilled. I was able to coordinate a wide range of topics and the presenters were pleased that they'd been approached. It was a very satisfying experience for me." Francine B.



"The highlight of my volunteer experience has been being a part of the TESL Ontario Webinar Team. With a dedicated group that includes Christina Cole, Francine Kalogris, Allison Keown and Lynn Doherty, we were able to create the TESL Ontario Webinar experience from scratch using the Tutela/BBB platform.


This project was a fantastic collaboration of like-minded individuals working together to develop a PD tool that will benefit its members with relevant, useful and thought-provoking online seminars that encourage interaction between presenter and attendees.


Thank you to TESL Ontario for including me in this ground-breaking experience." Jennifer A.



"Connecting with experienced webinar administrative personnel and getting a behind-the-scenes look at the processes and what it takes to make a webinar successful to presenters, moderators and participants." Yvonne M.





"The highlight of the year for me was realizing how much has been accomplished through the Social Media Committee in terms of progress through cooperation and individuals contributing at a very professional level. These dedicated folks have put together a series of blogs, webinars, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and represent these within Tutela and other media such as the TESL Ontario website." John A.




"Helping to organize our ESL Week contest and our annual TESL conference has been a great learning opportunity. I've learned many new transferable skills. It is a pleasure to work with my fellow executive members, who are always ready to share their ideas, experiences and provide support." Agnes K.





"When volunteering to put events together, it can be so easy to focus on the people who don't come to conferences, who don't enter the contests, attend the events etc. and my highlight has been learning to focus on those who do.


Our ESL Week contest was a perfect example. We didn't have a million entries, and most came from students of committee members, but that didn't change the fact that being recognized for achievements in English learning had an impact on the winners. Seeing those learners accept their prizes at our small awards reception made me realize that if you stop to look closely, some things are a much bigger deal that they might appear at first glance." Brett B.


2015 Volunteer Week Gift Basket Winners

  1. Adrainna Semerjian - Niagara Affiliate Chapter Executive
  2. Robert-Paul Smith -Windsor Affiliate Chapter Executive
  3. Laura Waters - Webinar Team
  4. Jana MacMillan - Ottawa Affiliate Chapter Executive
  5. Robyn German - Kingston Affiliate Chapter Executive
  6. Christine Stanley - Windsor Affiliate Chapter Executive
  7. Linda Davis - Ottawa Affiliate Chapter Executive

Winner of the draw for the $50 Chapters gift card for sharing highlights of volunteer experiences is Yvonne Marshall - Webinar Team volunteer.


2015 ESL Week Activity Changes

TESL Ontario is changing the face of the annual ESL Week activities for 2015. The creativity contest that was launched in 2011 will be discontinued and in its place we will be implementing a new exciting activity format for this year.


TESL Ontario members and English Language learners will be invited to share inspirational moments from their experiences as language training professionals and language learners. The shared moments will be posted on a special ESL Week section of the TESL Ontario Blog, and can be submitted in either written or video format.


This new activity is designed to focus on the rewards and significant impact of this proud profession. The inspirational moments will serve to highlight the successful efforts and dedication of language training professionals, as well as how language learning opportunities make a difference in the lives of English language learners across Ontario.


  Click here to view detailed submission guidelines. 



2015 ESL Week Poster Concept Voting
Below are all three draft ESL Week poster concepts. We hope that you will take a moment to let us know which one you like the best by submitting your vote.  
The poster with the most votes will have the photos finalized and will then be made available for download on the TESL Ontario website for learning centres and institutions who wish to print it for display in support of the 2015 ESL Week.


Click here to cast your vote.


Member Benefits & Savings Programs

New Membership Benefit: 



TESL Ontario members can access a member discount for admission to Legoland Discovery Centres.

The discount is available for purchase online at: using the offer code: TEON-2742XX   



Summer Attractions:


The finalization of discount offers from the popular summer attractions, including Canada's Wonderland, Centreville and Wild Water Kingdom is currently being arranged and will be posted on the TESL Ontario website as soon as they are available. 



Click here for complete details about these member savings program and more.   


TESL Ontario Website Spotlight


TESL Ontario Publications  


Missed an issue of Contact Magazine? Want to read about what government representatives presented about in the annual panel discussion? Missed the AGM and want to read the TESL Ontario annual report?


The TESL Ontario website has archives of all past issues of:


  • Contact Magazine,
  • Research Symposium,
  • Annual Reports,
  • Annual Panel Discussion reports,
  • TESL Ontario News Briefs and
  • Membership Minute Newsletters.

Visit the Publications section of the TESL Ontario website to view all current and past issues of all TESL Ontario publications.


Post-TESL Certificate Training (PTCT)

PTCT Flyer 2013  

Spring is a great time to take a PTCT course!  Some of the most popular courses have upcoming start dates and new courses are being offered for the first time.  Training fee reimbursement will be granted to eligible instructors who complete courses by March 31, 2016.
For more details, please visit the TESL Ontario website at or go to the PTCT Fee Reimbursement Administrative System at    

If you have any questions, please contact TESL Ontario at 416-593-4243, ext. 201 or at     

TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Updates
TESL Peel/Halton/Etobicoke
The TESL PHE Spring full day Conference will be held on Saturday May 2nd. The event will offer 6 PD hours to the participants with 19 workshops to choose from, 2 keynote speakers, free lunch and parking. Cost is $25.00.

Visit the PHE website for further information:


TESL Toronto

TESL Toronto has had a great year so far!

On January 31st we held our annual T4T (Technology for Teachers) Conference, a sold-out event!  Review your sessions or peek at sessions you missed by clicking HERE to view the full T4T Program Guide, which includes links to available session materials.
We held an employment Carousel on April 1st where attendees learned about a day in the life of teachers and instructors in a variety of settings where ESL is taught.
TOSCON15 is on May 22-23 at Heart House and Sidney Smith Hall, at U of T.  You can earn up to 10.5 PD hours for attending, network with colleagues, listen to talks by Jeremy Harmer, Russell Mayne and many others, and also check out the exhibitor's display.  Our gala dinner (for those who pre-register only) is on Friday the 22nd and we will be providing breakfast and lunch on the 23rd. Registration for TOSCON15 opens on April 27th.  Click here for more details.
TESL Toronto is looking for new members to join the TESL Toronto Executive for the 2015-16 season. If you're interested in professional development, collaborating on language teaching industry projects, and feel you could bring specialties to group, please apply by May 31, 2015.  Click here to read about our current Executive and apply.

TESL London


The TESL London full-day conference and AGM will be held on May 2 at Kings College and the annual awards banquet will be held on May 25 at Bellemere Winery.


Visit the TESL London website for more details.

TESL Durham

TESL Durham introduces their new executive:


Past President: Sarah Sinclair

President: Brad Griffen

Affiliate Representative: Rod Cooper

Treasurer: Sajida Aaron

Membership Secretary: Diane Christie

Recording Secretary: Donna Jean


The Members at Large are:  

Lori Chown, Tracy Gill, Matthew McGravey, Declan Nolan


TESL North York / York Region

The TESL North York/York Region Spring Conference will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at James Cardinal McGuigan C.H.S. 1440 Finch Ave. W.


Keynote Speaker: Mary Ritter, New York University, "Best Practices in Teaching"


Visit the TESL NYY website for more details. New and Popular Resources

Below are several popular resources currently on All of these resources can be accessed by logging in to (you must create a free account if you are not already a member).

Most Recent Resources

Tutorial: Searching More Effectively on Tutela This Tutorial goes through the 3 different search tools on Tutela and gives tips on how to search more effectively.

Canadian Language Benchmarks Lesson Plan 1 - 2 This document is a lesson plan on Canadian Language Benchmarks for students who are CLB 1 and 2 when orienting ESL and LINC learners about Canadian Language Benchmarks.

Recreation Centre Tour SCORM CLB 5 + The activities in this learning object provide students with a chance to preview new vocabulary, watch a video of a recreation centre tour, check their understanding by completing a quiz and completing a gap-fill activity.

Literacy/CLB 1 Video: Parts of the Body This video is suitable for Literacy/CLB 1 students. It helps students learn and review the parts of the body.

Literacy/CLB 1 Video Daily Activities This video is suitable for Literacy/CLB 1 students. It is a photo story (with captions) of daily activities.

Popular Resources

Portfolio Inventories BLANKS Sample 2 Inventories are important in PBLA. This is another example of inventory forms that could be used in ESL Literacy and CLB 1-4 classes. They were developed by an ESL Literacy teacher and used with Ph 2 and Ph 3 students.

PBLA Progress Report Generator Report Card Tool.

Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA): Guide for Teachers and Programs (2014 Edition) Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA): Guide for Teachers and Programs is intended to assist teachers and administrators to implement PBLA effectively.

Portfolio Checklist for Students This resource/teaching tool is intended to help students conduct their own portfolio review and clean-up.

Introducing PBLA and the Language Companion This is an example lesson plan to introduce PBLA and the Language Companion. It is probably appropriate for CLB Stage 1 students and some ESL Literacy, and it will give teachers some ideas of learning activities they might do to introduce these items. The ideas are not intended to be prescriptive - every teacher has his/her own way of teaching.

Module Plan SAMPLE - CLB 3 - Introducing PBLA This is a sample module plan that can be adapted for your own use. You can modify it for another level, change the tasks or the language focus, etc.

Premier Wynne's acceptance speech for TESOL Outstanding Advocate Award

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was presented with the TESOL Outstanding Advocate Award at the 2015 TESOL Convention in March.
In her acceptance speech, Premier Wynne talks about her own career as an English Language instructor and how she recognizes that the work of ESL educators is critical in building the fabric of our society.
View Premier Wynne's inspiring acceptance speech.

Premier Wynne's Greeting for Teachers of English as a Second Language
Premier Wynne's Greeting for Teachers of English as a Second Language



TESL Ontario Member Q & A
  question mark

Q: What is the relationship between TESL Ontario and my local TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter?     


A:  Your local TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter is one of twelve affiliate chapters that are part of the TESL Ontario Association. TESL Ontario sets out operating guidelines for the affiliate chapters. TESL Ontario disperses a portion of each member's membership fees to the affiliate chapters whose primary purpose is to provide professional development activities for members within the boundaries of the affiliate chapters.


Q: What is the relationship between TESL Ontario and TESL Canada?


A: TESL Ontario is one of the provincial associations which make up the TESL Canada Federation. TESL Ontario and TESL Canada have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which stipulates the rights and obligations of each organization. The most recent agreement was signed in 2012. Under this agreement, TESL Ontario is responsible for administering a joint membership application process and for collecting TESL Canada fees from TESL Ontario members. TESL Ontario provides a provincial representative to sit on the TESL Canada Board of Directors.  



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2015 Conference
Call for Presentations


Call for Presentations

The 2015 TESL Ontario Conference will be held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto, November 12 - 13, 2015.

TESL Ontario's Annual Conference is widely anticipated as the place to learn about the latest research in the field, attend informative workshops and of course, network. You are invited to submit a proposal for a presentation on:
  • Classroom activities & strategies
  • Classroom & community support
  • Electronic classroom / technology
  • Employment related
  • Life / work balance
  • Pan-Canadian initiatives & activities
  • Program administration / direction
  • Research

Click here for more information about submitting your presentation proposal.  

Career Corner


The Career Corner will bring you hints and tips on career related topics such as: 

  • Resume writing
  • Job interview skills
  • Job search techniques
  • Career advancement
  • Using social media in your job search
  • and much more!



Resum? Achievement Statements
For many people, it is uncomfortable to brag about their professional performance. The notion of "I was just doing my job" is a common one. In order to create interest and earn a job interview invitation, it is critical to share your achievements in your r?sum?.

In the field of education, it is not always easy to pinpoint marketability in a tangible context like it is in number-driven roles such as sales or engineering. Don't make the assumption that the selection committee will know what you did. Competition is extremely tight for ESL instructional opportunities so it is essential that you "toot your own horn". Nobody else is going to do it for you.

Here are some sample phrases to give you a frame of reference for teaching-related success. These are not to be listed with duties. Day to day functions are listed before achievements in a brief paragraph. Hopefully these will help spur recollections of your own accomplishments.

  • Extended learning beyond the classroom. Capitalized on interesting and language-rich community outings and field trips.  
  • Took the time to train and support peers during the launch and integration of the <XYZ software program>.  
  • Used personal lunch hours to assist students one-to-one with challenging concepts.
  • Created and emailed a weekly newsletter for parents which relayed classroom news, shared online curriculum support resources and notified about up-coming units and outings.
  • Sought out by families to provide private tutoring sessions for both children and adults outside of regular school hours.
  • Submitted a proposal and gained approval to speak at the annual TESL Ontario's Conference about <topic>.
  • In tandem with full time LINC Instructor accountabilities, volunteer twice weekly at the <ABC Newcomer Centre> to tutor up to 10 ESL adult learners.
  • Successfully programmed for a full capacity, split grade, cross division class comprised of 75% ESL students and 30% with formal exceptionalities.
  • With fluency in <language>, frequently translate for parents.
  • Approached by the Dean to participate on a curriculum writing committee. With a group of 12 peers, updated all of the faculty's programming specifications in sync with Canadian Language Benchmarks.

Any time you do something extra to help others - that was neither asked of you nor expected - could be an achievement.  Think about why you are an effective educator and then let others know to heighten your marketability.

Best Success,



What's Happening
 on the TESL Blog




Facebook Club
By: Andrew Shedden

Read Your Way Across Canada
By: John Stevens

Teaching EAP: What do Students Need?

By: Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna

Is Two Better than One?

By: Laila Al-sbeinati

Today Wasn't Great

By: Eve Mazereeuw

Images with Impact: Accessing Images (Part 3)

By: John Allan

To Err is Progress

By: Gwen Zeldenrust

What is EAP?

By: Andrew Shedden

Click here to read more posts on the TESL Blog.

TESL Ontario Job Board

Looking for a job? 


The TESL Ontario Job Board is updated regularly with new positions.


Click here to view recent posted positions.



Have a position available? 


Post your openings on TESL Ontario's Job Board.


Click here for more details.

Spring Issue of

Contact Magazine



The Conference issue of Contact magazine starts with three incredibly practical classroom-focused articles. Sue Boudreau and Rhonda Newhook provide a clear framework and some useful activities, all based around collaborating with local public health offices. Brett Basbaum, Audrey Beaulne, and Jennifer Weiler also give us a helpful set of holiday activities for use with multilevel groups. Bringing these together, Kelly Morrissey and John Sivell share a thoughtful dialogue about getting the most from activities by returning repeatedly to the same language.


Kim Noels shares a write-up of her keynote address, showing the complicated ways that motivation and learning act on each other, and how teachers' motivation also comes into the mix.


Lea Westlake, Madeleine Nerenberg, and Bridget Glassco present an interesting model employed at the KEYS Job Centre, which brings together in one centre various resources for immigrants. Christina Cole introduces the TESL Ontario webinar series, which can be a great way to engage in PD. Pamela Barkwell tells the story about her journey with extensive reading. Marijke Wertheim helps us understand the idea of English as an international language. Brenda Lohrenz and Hanna Cabaj envision what LINC might look like in five years. And Judy Thompson outlines some useful steps for those interested in becoming online language coaches. 

Finally, Eufemia Fantetti brings us another installment of Viva La Lingua Franca, her unique take on English teaching

Click here to download the conference Issue of Contact Magazine. 


As usual, I'd like to thank all our contributors and strongly urge you, the reader, to become a contributor or at least let us know what you think of Contact, and what you'd like to see in future issues.  


Send an email to the Contact editor, Brett Reynolds, with your article ideas, proposals and letters to the editor for upcoming issues of Contact to: 

TESL Ontario

Quick Links




Upcoming Professional Development Events



TESL Ontario
 Annual Conference
Sheraton Centre Toronto
November 12 - 13, 2015 

Affiliate Chapter



TESL Toronto

Spring Conference

May 22-23, 2015  


TESL London

Spring Conference 

May 2, 2015  


Spring Fling Awards Banquet

May 27, 2015


TESL Hamilton

Annual Conference & AGM

April 25, 2015


TESL Kingston

Spring Workshop & AGM

April 18, 2015


TESL Niagara

Spring Conference

May 30, 2015


TESL North York /

York Region

Spring Conference

April 25, 2015


TESL Ottawa

AGM & Plenary Speaker

May 2, 2015



i3 Spring Conference

May 2, 2015


TESL Waterloo-Wellington

Annual Conference & AGM

May 23, 2015



 For details on these Affiliate events click here 





TESL Ontario Webinars


Tech Ideas to help you interact with your students in new ways - Apr 26, 2015


Mental Health in the ESL Classroom - May 20, 2015


SmartBoards Part 2 - May 24, 2015


Click here for complete details and access instructions for all TESL Ontario webinars. Webinars


How to be a Connected Educator 101 - Apr 30, 2015  

Teaching Pronuciation to ESL Students Part 2 - May 12, 2015 



For more information about webinars, login into and click on the main Professional Development tab.  


TESL Tidbits 



Blog Team Volunteers Needed


The TESL Ontario Blog Team is looking for more volunteers to fill a variety of positions.


Click here for more details.




Have an Inspiring Story from your classroom to share?


Submit a blog post for the Reflections from the Field section of the TESL Blog.


Click here to learn more. 



Need Help Accessing the TESL Ontario webinars?  


Watch an instructional video on how to access TESL Ontario webinars.


Click here to get started. 




TESL Ontario News Brief


Click here to view the latest issue of TESL Ontario's Bi-Weekly News Brief.