Membership Minute


Vol. 6 No. 1
January 2016



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, refugee information, short term job opportunities, new resources available on, affiliate chapter updates and upcoming PD events.


This is your newsletter and we encourage you to contact us to let us know what information you want included in the newsletter by emailing



Best Regards,

Allison Keown
Member Services Manager
In This Issue
2015 Conference Wrap Up
Short Term Employment Opportunities
Refugee Information
TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Updates
What's Happening on
2015 Conference Wrap up

Conference Videos

At this year's annual conference, a number of volunteers recorded videos of attendees comments about their conference experiences.  All of those videos were posted to the conference Twitter feed using the hashtag #TESL2015.  However, with the wonderful editing talents of video volunteer Enrique Guzman, we were able to make these short videos.

TESL Ontario 2015 Conference
TESL Ontario 2015 Conference

Canadian ESL professionals express the joys and rewards of teaching ESL.
Canadian ESL professionals express the joys and rewards of teaching ESL.

2015 Conference Photos

The images created by our official conference photographer, Wolf Kutnahorsky were posted on the TESL Ontario website in early December. We hope you enjoy reliving some of the memorable moments from the 2015 conference as much as we did.
Please feel free to download the images of your choice for your personal, non commercial use.
The photo galleries can be accessed on our website at:     

Panel Discussion Presentations Posted 

The presentation files from 10th Annual Panel Discussion have been posted to the TESL Ontario website.

The panel discussion presentations from the following ministries are available for download.

 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

 Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade

 Ontario Ministry of Education

 Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities


Click here to access the presentations. 


Presenter Handouts

More than 85 documents and presenter handouts have been uploaded by presenters from the TESL Ontario 2015 annual conference.

Please use the following is the username and password to access the documents:

Username: TESLHandout
Password: handout
The handouts are filed by day and the 3-digit session code.
Click here to access the presenter handouts.

We hope to see you at the 2016 Conference at the Sheraton Centre Toronto November 24 - 25, 2016.
Short Term Employment Opportunities

TESL Ontario was contacted by Statistics Canada to inform us of short-term employment opportunities related to the 2016 Census which might be of interest to your learners. 

There are three posters that can be printed, posted or published within your organization to promote the job opportunities. The information also contains a 2016 Census Adult Education Kit which might be of interest to you.

Click here to access the posters and the 2016 Census Adult Education Kit.
Refugee Resource Information 

In response to the many requests for detailed information on the Syrian refugees we have posted some currently available resource documents from various sources on our website.

We hope the documents will assist you in orientation sessions and general planning activities.

Click here to access the documents.

Refugee Information Webinar

In addition to the posted documents, the TESL Ontario Webinar team has organized an information webinar titled: "Understanding the Syrian Refugee Experience" presented by Bayan Khatib. The webinar is scheduled for February 24th at 7:00 p.m.

Click here for more information about the webinar and how to register.
TESL Ontario Website Spotlight

TESL Ontario Webinar Series
Learn more about accessing TESL Ontario's free bi-monthly webinar series. 
The Webinar Series page of the TESL Ontario website features a video tutorial on how to access live TESL Ontario webinars through

The webpage also features information on how to access archived webinars and lists our upcoming webinar line up. 
Earn PD credits for every webinar watched, both live and archived.  

TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Updates
TESL Peel/Halton/Etobicoke
TESL PHE welcomes Anna Bartosik and Maryse Prazuch as new members to our Affiliate Chapter executive.
TESL PHE is hard at work planning the annual Spring Conference to be held on Saturday May 28th, 2016. 

TESL Toronto

Join TESL Toronto on Thursday, March 3rd as we hear from the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture on mental health issues of victims of war and how to respond to them in class. Visit for details closer to the date.

The call for speakers is now open for TESL Toronto's annual conference (TOSCON16).  Please apply here, if you're interested in leading a session - we'd love to have you! 

TESL Hamilton

Executive Openings: We are looking for new members to join the TESL Hamilton executive committee.  If you are interested, please contact us at

Annual General Meeting and Spring Conference: Join us on Saturday, April 23rd at the Courtyard by Marriott, 1224 Upper James St, Hamilton, ON. Enjoy two workshop sessions, a delicious brunch as you network and peruse great publishers.  Watch and our Facebook page for more details closer to the date

Call for Submissions:  If you are interested in presenting at our Spring Conference, please contact us at

TESL Northern Region
TESL Northern Region held its first online Webinar in December, 2015. The focus of this Webinar was to introduce ourselves and highlight areas of interest in professional development. We are hopeful that this will be the start of many! Members are encouraged to become more involved with our affiliate chapter by facilitating online presentations and/or volunteering. A recent survey was released to members inviting them to provide their input for future PD opportunities.

TESL Niagara

TESL Niagara is always looking for interesting and innovative presentations to share with our members. As we begin planning our spring PD event, we welcome any recommendations or suggestions for all sectors of ESL education.

Please contact TESL Niagara at 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

Language Companion Search Activity & Answer Key - All Levels This Language Companion Search activity can be used with any CLB level. The Answer Key provides differentiated responses depending on the version of the LC.

Expressing Unexpected Result In this SCORM, students will learn how to distinguish between coordinating/subordinating conjunctions, transitions and prepositions/prepositional phrases in order to learn hot to express unexpected result in different ways. CLB 5-8

PBLA Instructor Tracking Grid A basic tracking grid for instructors to track their artifact list. Easily edited or duplicated to make student versions. Multi-skill tracking with all competencies indicated with a macro check/uncheck box. Manual totaling at the bottom of the grid.

Diversity at Work: Web-based Simulation Activities The Diversity at Work Simulation Activities provide resources to support newcomers to practice making adaptive decisions in workplace communication. The resources are designed to support both teacher-directed and self-study. Resources include 3 online simulation activities, a guide for instructors, an activity card, a document outlining the curriculum outcomes as they relate to the Canadian Language Benchmarks, Essential Skills and the ATESL Intercultural Communicative Competence frameworks. There is also an introduction video to explaining the resources and how they can be used.

  Critical Incidents for Intercultural Communication in the Workplace The project, Critical Incidents for Intercultural Communication in the Workplace researched and developed 19 critical incident videos based on authentic communication challenges from culturally diverse Alberta workplaces. The videos and guides support instructors to teach intercultural communication and ESL language to newcomers. The project is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Popular Resources

PBLA Instructor Tracking Grid A basic tracking grid for instructors to track their artifact list. Easily edited or duplicated to make student versions. Multi-skill tracking with all competencies indicated with a macro check/uncheck box. Manual totaling at the bottom of the grid.

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, but 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.

Stage I_Competency Checklists These checklists are taken from the CLB and are used to track student progress.

PBLA - About Me Inventory PBLA inventory for About Me section.

Portfolio Contents - Monitoring Tool This is a tool teachers can use to monitor their students' portfolio contents throughout the term.

  Essential Skills Activities(ESL Literacy and Stage I) All the activities listed are for embedding Essential Skills within a lesson plan using an Adult EAL teaching methodology. These activities were designed with the expressed purpose of embedding Essential Skills in classrooms to empower our learners in the community and the workplace.

Upcoming Webinars

Four Frameworks for Selecting and Adapting Tasks for Multilevel Adult ESL Classes
Feb 8th, 7-8pm Eastern
Presenters: Marilyn L. Abbott Marian J. Rossiter

Need to quickly adapt CLB tasks for your multilevel adult ESL classes? We present four practical, easy-to-use frameworks for modifying tasks and provide examples corresponding to each.

ELT Technology: Trends and Evaluations
Friday, Feb 12th, 4:30-5:30pm Eastern
Presenter: Tony Rusinak

Not having technology in today's ELT classrooms is like riding a bike with one wheel. On the other hand, technology can often be confusing, bungling, and unpredictable, for both teachers and students. This session will explore the following: What is the current state of technology in ELT today? How can we identify and implement technology that works for ELTs? How can we spot a mediocre app from a great one? How can we overcome our students and our own reluctance to use it as planned? The session will also allot time for software demonstration, discussion, comments, and sharing. Bring your ideas and devices.

Creating Inclusive Classrooms: How to Support Students who have Experienced Trauma
Friday, Feb 26th 2-3pm Eastern
Presenters: Dr. Amea WIlbur and Diana Jefferies

This webinar explores how trauma may present in a classroom and impact learning. It also looks at how to create a more inclusive classroom. The presenter will discuss strategies that instructors can use to support students inside and outside the classroom. Relevant resources and referrals will also be discussed

Igniting Learner Potential Through Project-Based Learning Modules
Saturday: March 5th 11am Eastern
Presenter: Shafaque Mulla

Attendees will discover innovative ways to activate learner potential and help learners develop language skills exponentially through project-based learning modules. Attendees will also receive useful tips and tools on selecting compelling project topics, aligning RWT goals with the CLB, designing effective modules and conducting authentic assessment.
Contact Magazine

Inside the Fall 2015 Issue of Contact Magazine:

How to draw learners' attention to form in communicative contexts
By Hossein Nassaji

What explains low proficiency in a second language?
By Katy Borodkin

A Research-based Argument for Maximizing Linguistic Resources in the ESL Classroom
By James Corcoran

Finding an English Environment and Networking at an English-medium Multicultural Church in Toronto
By Huamei Han

Pop Culture
TED Talks and Critical Literacy in the EAP Classroom
By Jeff Brown

Choosing and Teaching Films in the L2 Classroom
By Kathe Geist

Why Justin Bieber Does not Belong in the EFL Classroom
By Stephen Roney & John Allan

The LINC Courseware in Blended Learning
By Pamela Manson

10 Ideas for TESL Online Course Design
By Patricia Glogowski & Lara McInnis

Where I belong
By Layla Guse Salah

Passing The Cultural Hot Potato 3
By Eufemia Fantetti
Click here to download this Issue of Contact Magazine.
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 Member Q & A
  question mark
Q: Why were the annual membership renewal fees reduced in November 2015?       
A:   As of November 4, 2015, renewals of TESL Ontario memberships no longer include the TESL Canada membership fee of $16 plus HST. As a result all of our membership fees have been reduced by that amount.
New Reduced TESL Ontario Membership Fees are as follows:
  • Standard Membership: $74 plus HST
  • Volunteer/Student/Friends of TESL Membership: $48 plus HST
  • Accredited Membership: $154 plus HST
Q: If I renewed my membership before November 4, 2015, do I still have a valid TESL Canada Membership?
A: Yes, if you had already renewed your TESL Ontario membership prior to November 4, 2015, your TESL Canada membership will remain valid until your TESL Ontario renewal date.
Following your next TESL Ontario renewal date, your TESL Canada membership will lapse. If you would like to continue to maintain a TESL Canada membership, in addition to your TESL Ontario membership, you may choose to apply for a Direct Membership with TESL Canada.
Click here for more information about TESL Canada Direct Membership.
Q: If I renewed my membership after November 4, 2015, how do I maintain a TESL Canada membership?
A: If you renewed your TESL Ontario membership after November 4, 2015 your fees did not include TESL Canada membership fees. If you wish to remain an active member of TESL Canada as well, you may choose to apply for a Direct Membership with TESL Canada.
Click here for more information about TESL Canada Direct Membership.
Q: As a TESL Ontario member, do I have to maintain a TESL Canada Membership as well?

A: No, you don't. TESL Ontario membership is independent from TESL Canada membership.
Q: I hold a TESL Canada certification, what happens now?

A: If  you would like to maintain your TESL Canada certification, please contact TESL Canada directly to find out how.  

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2016 National Volunteers Week
Are you a TESL Ontario volunteer?

TESL Ontario will be celebrating National Volunteer Week April 10 - 16, 2016 to pay tribute to the many volunteers who are an essential part of the success of this organization and its Affiliate Chapters.
In preparation for National Volunteer Week, we would like to hear from you, our volunteers:
Tell us about the highlight of your volunteering experience with TESL Ontario or TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapters in the past year.
Everyone who submits their comments will be entered into a draw to win a $50 Chapters gift card! (winners will be announced during National Volunteers Week)
Click here to share your volunteering experiences with us.  The submission deadline is April 16, 2016.
Once again this year, during National Volunteer Week we will be doing daily draws for gift baskets. A volunteer's name will be drawn each day and winners will be notified by email and announced on social media.

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!
5 Tips for an Effective LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn profiles should be considered a work-in-progress. Here are some baseline "musts" to experience the benefits of the world's largest, online, professional network.

1. Have a clear, professional photo. This makes your profile 9 times more likely to be viewed by others.

2. In your headline section, opt for a marketing title in lieu of your current job title.

3. Change happens quickly. Use your personal email for communication preferences and not your work email.

4. Select meaningful and job-specific phrases in the "Skills & Expertise" area. This is how others will find you and your core attributes.

5. Engage with others in groups and on company pages in a meaningful, helpful way.

Click here to read Audrey's detailed LinkedIn article "What's the big deal about LinkedIn?"

Happy networking!

What's Happening 
 on the TESL Blog
By:Laila Al-sbeinati

By:Maria Margaritis

By:Greg De Luca

By:Ruth Yu

By:Tamsin Cobb

By:Gwen Zeldenrust

By:John Allan

By:Laila Al-sbeinati

By:Suzan Bartholomeusz

By:Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna

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.


TESL Ontario Volunteer Board
Need to Build Work Experience & Peer Networks?
Volunteer opportunities play an important role in the career development of new teachers, helping them gain valuable experience and build peer networks.
In addition, volunteering is a great way for retirees, and other language training professionals to contribute to their communities in their spare time.
Click here to view recent posted volunteer positions.
Have a Volunteer position available? 
Post your openings on TESL Ontario's Volunteer Job Board.
Click here for more details.

TESL Ontario

Quick Links



Upcoming Professional Development Events

TESL Ontario
 Annual Conference
Sheraton Centre Toronto
November 24 - 25, 2016
Affiliate Chapter
TESL Toronto
Technology for Teachers
January 23, 2016  
TESL Ottawa
Winter PD Conference 
February 6, 2016
TESL Hamilton
Spring Conference 
April 23, 2016   
TESL Peel/Halton/Etobicoke
Spring Conference
May 28, 2016
TESL Ontario Webinars
Draw Me a Picture: Pronunciation Tools for Visual Learners

January 20th, 2016

Adaptable Vocabulary Teaching Techniques
January 24th, 2016

Understanding the Syrian Refugee Experience
February 24th, 2016

Developing E-Materials for Your Classroom With "Hot Potatoes"
February 28th, 2016

Using OneNote for Building e-Portfolios
March 20, 2016

Creating Authentic Conversations
March 23rd, 2016 
Click here for complete details and access instructions for all TESL Ontario webinars. Webinars
Four Frameworks for Selecting and Adapting Tasks for Multilevel Adult ESL Classes 
February 8, 2016

ELT Technology: Trends and Evaluations 
February 12, 2016

Creating Inclusive Classrooms: How to Support Students who have Experienced Trauma
February 26, 2016

Igniting Learner Potential Through Project-Based Learning Modules
March 5, 2016 
For more information about webinars, login into and click on the main Professional Development tab.  
TESL Tidbits 
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.

A Newcomer's Introduction to Consumer Protection

This guide contains information that newcomers to Ontario should know when buying goods and services, and gives many examples of questions you can ask to help you become a smart consumer.

Click here to access the Guide.

Want to be more Involved? Grow you PLN?
Why not volunteer with your Affiliate Chapter?

Volunteering with a TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter
allows you to grow your personal learning network (PLN), provide vital input and to be a voice for the members in your community. In this capacity, you can make
a difference and help shape the direction of your association.

If you are interested in volunteering with your local Affiliate Chapter, please contact the Affiliate Chapter representative for your region directly to express your interest.

A complete contact list of Affiliate Chapter representatives can be found here.

Click here to view the volunteer information brochure.