Professional Development
2020 Conference is Going Virtual
We are happy to announce some exciting changes to the TESL Ontario 48th annual conference this year including new conference dates!

The 48th annual conference will be held virtually November 5 - 7, 2020 with three days of interactive online education and networking.

We are excited to offer an interactive, virtual conference to the TESL community that will include many of the components of our face-to-face conference in a virtual environment. The conference will be held on a user-friendly, accessible virtual conference platform that will allow us to continue to offer key conference elements including:

  • Three days of education and networking with Saturday sessions and some repeat evening sessions
  • Keynote presentations
  • A substantial selection of concurrent conference sessions - now with significantly larger audience capacity than our physical conference previously allowed.
  • Virtual AGM and Awards ceremony on Wednesday evening - open to all members, with prize give-aways!
  • Annual Panel Discussion
  • Career Booster Forum
  • TechKnow Session
  • Interactive networking capabilities that allow you to text chat and video chat with other conference attendees
  • Enhanced exhibitor experience that allows you to text chat and video chat with exhibitors, individually or in groups.

Stay tuned as more details are confirmed.
Affiliate Chapter Events
TESL Toronto

Saturday June 6
9 AM - 12 PM
Virtual Spring PD Event

Sunday June 21
6 PM - 8:30 PM
TESL Waterloo-Wellington
Virtual Spring PD Event

Thursday June 11
7 PM- 8 PM

Saturday June 20
10 AM - 11 AM
TESL Windsor
Virtual Summer PD Event

Saturday July 18
9 AM - 11:30 AM
Upcoming TESL Ontario Webinars
Free Online Learning Platforms 2020: A Critical Look at What's Available
Sunday May 31 @ 7 PM

Presenter: Jen Artan, OCELT
Reading and Presenting Circles
Thursday July 16 @ 8 PM

Presenter: Sherry Hejazi, OCELT
Creating Digital Classes Using Google Classroom
Sunday July 26 @ 7 PM

Presenter: Rabia Rashid, OCELT
Crossing the "Rubricon": Designing and Using Effective Rubrics
Wednesday August 19 @ 7 PM

Presenters: Donna Pearce, OCELT & Eldon Friesen
Using Sociodramatic Play in ESL Development
Sunday August 30 @ 7 PM

Presenter: Fernanda Batista, OCELT
Task-Based Language Teaching: From Tasks and Beyond
Sunday September 27 @ 7 PM

Presenter: Leo Gomez & Michael Landry
Career Development
Volunteer Opportunities
The TESL Ontario Board of Directors are looking for three TESL Ontario members with a passion for the field and a wealth of experience to serve with us on TESL Ontario's Board of Directors.

We are looking for candidates who:

  • are TESL Ontario members
  • have served on a TESL Ontario affiliate executive or have board experience on a not-for-profit board
  • are strategic thinkers who are committed to the vision and mission of TESL Ontario
  • demonstrate leadership qualities
  • work well in a collaborative environment
  • are comfortable making decisions and delegating
  • are comfortable with electronic communication and social media
  • are disciplined and have creative problem solving skills
  • have a wide range of experiences in the field of English as a Second Language
  • have 10 hours per month to commit to the Board-related activities
  • are actively involved in the ESL/English language teaching profession in Ontario
Join us in expanding this supportive online community that shares knowledge, resources, lesson plan ideas, teaching techniques and technology finds with the TESL community.

What's in it for you?

  • Receive credit for professional development that will cover the entire PD requirement for one year
  • Enhance your writing experience.
  • Excellent exposure for your written work - posts promoted on social media networks
  • Share your knowledge and expertise with the language training community
  • Grow your personal learning network
With online education becoming a staple during the Covid-19 pandemic, what better time to join this innovative volunteer team, to become comfortable in a virtual environment and learn about:

  • webinar production
  • moderating and recording live webinars,
  • troubleshooting technical difficulties
  • working with presenters

What's in it for you?

  • Receive credit for professional development that will cover the entire PD requirement for one year
  • Develop new technical skills
  • Be recognized as part of a team that brings new and innovative content to the TESL community
  • Improve your comfort level in virtual learning environments.
  • Grow your personal learning network

Full training and mentoring will be provided to successful applicants.
TESL Niagara Executive
TESL Niagara is urgently looking for new members to join the executive to assist the Affiliate Chapter in key roles. 

Volunteering with your Affiliate Chapter provides you with:

  • Excellent management and leadership experience
  • Professional Development (PD) credits toward your PD requirements for accredited membership renewal
  • Valuable networking opportunities to connect with your peers and make new connections
  • The opportunity to make new friends and enjoy the camaraderie that is shared amongst a community of volunteers.

For more information, email
TESL Toronto Executive
TESL Toronto is looking for new members to join the 2020-2021 season. If you're interested in giving back to your community by organizing and running professional development events and conferences, we encourage you to apply.

Application deadline: May 30, 2020

For more information, email
TESL Northern Region Executive
TESL Northern Region is looking for new members to join the executive and offer fresh ideas and contribute to building the region's community. In particular, TESL NR is seeking someone willing to become a social media director to facilitate connecting Northern Region members through online communities.

For more information, email
TESL North York / York Region Executive
TESL North York / York Region urgently needs new members to join the executive to assist with key initiatives including event planning.

For more information, email
TESL Kingston Executive
TESL Kingston is looking for new members to join the executive as some current members retire. Our main goal is to organize professional development activities for our members and interested members of the public.

Being part of your TESL Kingston executive is not a huge time commitment (3-4 meetings/year) and has several benefits, including:

  • You get credited with 10 hours of PD each year you serve
  • You have input on workshop topics
  • You get to network with your colleagues.
  • You'll be more aware of what is happening in your area.
Presenting Opportunities
TESL Ontario is accepting presentation proposals for virtual concurrent sessions that focus on practical information and useful tools for language training professionals in Ontario.  

Not Familiar With Virtual Presentations?

Not to worry - all presenters will be receive full training, information guides and support including a guided practice run-through of your session. In addition, each presenter will be paired with a moderator who will provide support during their live session.

Interested presenters can choose from a variety of session types to deliver live or pre-recorded, including:

  • Presentations
  • Publisher's Presentations (If you are presenting on/about published materials, you MUST select this category)
  • Technology Presentations
  • Papers

All sessions types will have the ability to use audience engagement features such as polling, hands-up, Q&A and screen sharing.

Essential Tech Requirements:

  • Broadband wired internet connection (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Desktop or laptop - presenters CANNOT use tablets or smartphones for presentations
  • Headset with built-in microphone (earbuds not recommended)
  • Webcam or HD webcam - built-in or USB plug-in

Session Recording:

All sessions will be recorded and made available to paid registrants following the conference.
Proposal deadline is June 26, 2020.
The TESOL Teacher of the Year Award
TESOL is now accepting applications for the TESOL Teacher of the Year Award.

The award, presented by National Geographic Learning, was created by TESOL and National Geographic Learning to recognize and pay tribute to exceptional English language teachers at all levels.


Any English language teacher who:

  • has been a classroom teacher for a minimum of three years
  • is not a previous recipient of this award

Note: Applicants are not required to be members of TESOL International Association.

The winner will receive:

  • US $1,000
  • Free 1-year TESOL membership
  • Free registration for the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo the year of the award, plus 3 nights hotel and round-trip airfare
  • A session as an invited speaker at the annual convention
  • An invitation to the Leadership Luncheon at the TESOL Convention​
  • A profile and a published article in TESOL Connections
  • US $250 voucher for the TESOL Bookstore

Application deadline is July 19, 2020.
Contact Magazine - Spring 2020
The Spring 2020 Issue of Contact Magazine is available online .

This issue features articles that highlight the practices and research of presenters from the 2019 TESL Ontario Conference.
TESL Ontario Blog

Written by - Mandeep Somal

Written by - Sherry Hejazi

Written by - Paula Ogg

Written by - Guest Contributor - Dr. Kasia Kasztenna

Written by - Guest Contributor - Gonul Turkdogan

Written by - Guest Contributor - Dr. Milica Radisic

Written by - Martina Finnegan
Online Resources
Resource Collections

Includes webinar videos and classroom resources.

Includes classroom resources, quick guides, webinar videos and reference materials.
Please note: you will be required to log into Tutela to access these resources.
Free Resources Available During Covid-19
Newsela is providing free access to their website until the end of the school year. This American news website is designed for mainstream classrooms, but is adaptable for English learners (5 reading levels) and designed for distance learning; it allows teachers to assign learning activities to classes. News stories range from the latest news, law, science, sports, opinion and arts and culture. Support for educators is offered.
Oxford Learner’s Bookshelf : for a limited time, teachers and students can access Oxford University Press’s etexts for free. An access code is required. Free samples are available. Teachers can use the Bookshelf to create classes and monitor student progress, assign e-books, use presentation tools, set up Reading Circles, and provide materials for independent study. 

Spelling City is offering free access for a limited time to assist teachers and students to learn vocabulary and practice spelling through interactive games. Use the code: VSCFree90. Spelling City allows teachers to create and customize their own spelling lists for classes, which are turned into enjoyable learning activities for students. The website also has customized lists and games.
Wellness Moment
A Serious Conversation about Self-Care

While we often take a light-hearted approach in these Moments, the ongoing stress of the pandemic calls for a more serious conversation.

During COVID-19, even those of us who take pride in our ability to ‘keep calm and carry on’ have had our resilience tested. In differing degrees, most people have experienced sadness, depression, anxiety, possibly anger at the stress and disruption, and many are dealing with serious loss and chaos. Angus Reid Institute recently reported that nearly half of Canadians said their mental health is suffering and has worsened during COVID-19, more than 1-in-10 say ‘worsened a lot’.

Mental health IS health. Along with the physical risks of the pandemic, taking care of our mental and emotional well-being is our number one job. That means doing what we need to do for ourselves to manage stress. Every one of us. Now. Clearly more difficult when you’re taking care of others too but putting on ‘your own oxygen mask first’ is not selfish. It is Self Care. Essential for you and those who depend on you in your household, neighbourhood or business.

While attitude and gratitude, exercise and extra sleep can all help, sometimes we need more. There’s strength, not shame in looking beyond the usual coping tactics when necessary. If this is a time when you could use support, we recommend a few excellent resources available to all.

Visit the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and find your local or provincial branch to learn what resources and support programs are available in your region, including crisis and peer support helplines and referral services.

One such program is BounceBack a free program from CMHA for ages 15+, offering online tools and coaching to build skills to manage mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry.

In addition to its regular programs, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has developed a resource site specifically to provide information, stress relief and coping tools during the pandemic.

Your local pharmacist is always a good source for health knowledge. In addition, Shoppers Drug Mart is currently providing online resources on meditation, healthy eating, and stress relief.

We encourage you to take a moment to check in with yourself to assess how you’re coping and what you need for your health (not what you think you ‘should’ be able to handle). Stick to the habits you know work for you, use tools you’ll find online and please, don’t hesitate to call someone if that’s what you need.

When health is at risk it’s frightening and sad, certainly no laughing matter and it’s okay to cry. But as we work to regain equilibrium, there is a place for laughter. In fact, experts say it helps heal and protect us. We hope you find something in your day to make you smile , chuckle, or laugh right out loud, even better if you can share the moment with someone who needs the lift too.

This Wellness Moment is from Health Plus Insurance. From our family to yours, take care and stay safe. If you have a comment on these ideas or more to suggest, send us a note. Always glad to hear from you.

If you’re a Health Plus Plan member, remember you have access to free, professional Wellness Resources .
Member Benefits
Health and Dental Benefits
TESL ONTARIO | ph: 416.593.4243 | fax: 416.593.0164 | Email |