Membership Minute

Vol. 2 No. 2
May 2012




This issue of TESL Ontario's Membership Minute newsletter will provide you with updates on the recent TESL Ontario member survey, plans for the 2012 Annual conference, ESL Week, local TESL Ontario affiliate benefits, new and upcoming publications related to the field of language instruction and much more. 
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 TESL Tidbits sections by emailing me at [email protected].


Best Regards,

Allison Keown
Member Services Manager
In This Issue
TESL Ontario Member Spotlight
ESL Week Contest & Poster
LearnIT2Teach Project
Member Benefits & Savings Programs
TESL Ontario Website Spotlight
TESL Ontario Affiliate Updates
Member Q & A
Member Survey
2012 Conference Update
Practitioners Corner
TESL Ontario Member Spotlight 


 13-Year Veteran Language Instructor

Shares Teaching Insights 


Kim Henrie 

  "Whoever teaches learns in the act of teaching, and whoever learns teaches in the act of learning." Paulo Freire 

This quotation may sum up Kim Henrie's teaching philosophy. She's a 13 year veteran in the ESL field with a M.Ed. in Teaching, Learning, and Development. Kim's background stretches from her work volunteering with victims of torture with Wesley Urban Ministries to the LINC program. Also, she has studied German and Russian in university including a year abroad in Germany. Here are some of her insights into teaching that she shared over a coffee at Starbuck's.


Tell me about your style in the class-room.
"It is learner-centred, but with every group it is different. I try to put the students' experiences at the centre and to build on their needs and wants. I'm not only using a communicative teaching style as I feel the classroom at times requires more dynamic or task-based work."

How do students/other teachers describe you?
"Crazy. [laughs] My students often say that I am patient, but it always surprises me as I don't see myself as patient. I listen and try to find out about them".

When do you know a student has developed in their language studies?
"What the funders want is one aspect, but what I am looking for is that they can do what they want, like going to the store and getting the coffee exactly the way they want it or getting into that course."


What advice do you have for new teachers or experienced teachers?

"One has to give a lot, especially of your own time. Be aware of when you are getting burnt out or pressured and get help from your colleagues to get you through. Be aware that you can often find yourself being a social worker, among other things, and not just a teacher."




Written By: Ed Cowan, ESL Instructor & Freelance Journalist

Photo Credits: Tracey Azlyn

2012 ESL Week Contest

On March 19th TESL Ontario announced the opening of the 2012 ESL Week contest. Last year's contest was a great success and building on that success we have made some improvements to the contest for 2012 - including altering the opening and closing dates of the contest to better fit with class calendars, and dividing last year's single contest into two separate contests this year for instructors and learners.


We hope that you will encourage your learners, colleagues and staff to participate in TESL Ontario's ESL Week contest by showcasing their creativity and talents in a variety of categories that include writing, photo and video entry options. The contest entry submission deadline is: July 15th, 2012.


ESL week is a significant part of our efforts to raise the awareness of the importance of English language learning opportunities in Ontario. All individuals involved with learning, teaching and organizing ESL in Ontario are invited to participate.
ESL Week Contest Prizes & Winner Recognition:
This year, learners and instructors will participate in separate contests, each contest will include the following prizes: 

  • A $250 grand prize will be awarded to the winner overall categories of each contest. 
  • First place winners of each category will receive a nominal Chapters/Indigo gift certificate
  • All grand prize and first place winners will receive a certificate of accomplishment in their category
  • All grand prize and first place winners will receive an invitation to the opening reception at the Annual TESL Ontario conference in Toronto on November, 8th, 2012. Travel and accommodation expenses will be paid for by TESL Ontario where required.
  • All winning entries will be published or displayed in TESL Ontario publications, on the TESL Ontario website or social media applications where appropriate.


Please be sure to carefully read the contest guidelines before beginning work on your ESL Week project to ensure that your entry meets all of the contest requirements.


The final deadline for contest submissions is July 15, 2012.  For complete details about the 2012 ESL Week contest and entry guidelines please visit our website at:



Print and display the ESL Week Poster

in your learning centres, schools, classroom, staff rooms and communities!


The long-standing tradition of the ESL Week poster contest has evolved into a more dynamic competition with activities designed to appeal to a variety of creative strengths including writing, photo and video entry categories. With this in mind, we have discontinued the poster contest as of this year, and have decided to have a poster professionally designed to help promote ESL Week across Ontario.
In early April, TESL Ontario members were invited to vote on 3 poster concepts, based on those votes a winning poster design was chosen and is now available for download on our website.
We hope that you will take the time to download and print the poster for display in your learning centres, schools, classrooms, staff rooms and communities to help TESL Ontario bring the importance of ESL instruction and learning opportunities into the spotlight, and to promote the 2012 ESL Week contest.
ESL Week is also an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate Ontario`s English language instructors and learners. It is designed to show support of your profession and honour the commitment and daily efforts of your students, colleagues and employers.
Please note that there are standard and high resolution versions of the poster available for download on our website at:

The LearnIT2teach Project:
Modernized Settlement Language Training Through E-Blended Delivery


A new kind of "digital literacy" has emerged, putting demands on all of us, no one more than the immigrant to Canada. If you want to understand why IT matters in immigrant lives, consider the impact it has had on yours. Need a recipe, a definition, or a biography? The information is now available in seconds. People pay bills and manage their money online. Grandparents video-conference (for free!) on Skype with distant grandchildren. IT is pervasive in workplaces and even enables people who never meet face-to-face to collaborate. The Internet now represents a connection to the world that many of us cannot live without.

IT is part of how Canada works, lives, and learns. Making a successful adaptation to life in Canada increasingly means adapting to IT challenges and striving to take advantage of its potential. In response, the world of immigrant settlement and language instruction in Canada is changing at the same wild pace as other fields, and information technology is having a big impact on how newcomers learn English or French and adapt to life in Canada.



The LearnIT2teach project aims to enable technology integration into programs delivering settlement language training to new Canadians. Through a contribution agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC Ontario Region), in January 2010, New Media Language Training, Inc. launched a project under the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program that creates and distributes free e-learning materials and courseware, and provides free training to Ontario teachers on how to use them.


Teacher training began in September 2010. As of January 2012, more than 800 instructors have participated in the teacher training. Stage 1 is a face-to-face workshop in a computer lab. Only a basic knowledge of computers is required. Stages 2 and 3 prepare teachers to use the courseware with their own students and modify it to their own purposes. Those who choose to continue to Stage 4 will learn the basic skills to create original digital learning objects and online courseware for their own learners, programs, and locality or to share digitally with other ESL teachers and programs in Ontario and Canada. 

LearnIT2teach offers Ontario LINC instructors four stages of mentored training, as well as access to just-in-time training resources on the project portal,  such as help files, podcasts, and e-mail support. In addition to the instructor training, a manual and a workshop have been prepared to ensure that program administrators understand the project and the important role they play in supporting this initiative.


Most ESL teachers did not specialize in language teaching because of a love of technology. Learning to use the courseware with students requires extra effort at the beginning both to master the courseware functionality, and to supplement or adapt the learning tools and resources that are available in courses. However, teachers are reporting a high degree of satisfaction with the courseware and a very positive reception among students. Both teachers and learners are mastering IT concepts and making technology serve them in fresh ways. Newcomers and teachers are meeting the challenge of living and working in the information age.


These days, you don't need to be a code writer or a techie to work with information technology.  Adapting the LearnIT2teach courseware to your needs requires some up front effort, but this is paid back several times over when you are able to deploy your courseware with a new group of learners with just a few mouse-clicks.


Teachers who are already using the courseware recognize the rewards. A sampling of teacher comments points out specific benefits: "The students benefit because they have better communication with me and with each other," "I benefit because I know I am doing the best I can for my class and I am learning about new technology and new ways to interact with the students." "It's been a really good experience for me and the students." "It takes a little extra time getting started with Edlinc but it has definitely improved my teaching." "On the creative side, I look forward every week to putting together each week's theme. Links to web sites, all those CLB activities, lab assignments and instructions. The possibilities are endless."


Because of CIC support, the LearnIT2teach Project represents a real opportunity for Ontario ESL and LINC teachers to use the courseware and the free professional development training to meet the learning technology expectations of their learners AND to improve their credentials and employability.  TESL Ontario has recognized the value of completing Stage 4 in the training by making it one of the first credentials available under the Post TESL Certificate Training Framework project.


Increasingly, job ads for ESL teachers include technology skill requirements. The opportunity to work from home with distant learners also has a lot of appeal. After all, Dr. Ray Clifford might have said it best in 1983, "Technology will not replace teachers but teachers who do not use technology will be replaced."


For more information about the courseware or the training, or to schedule an event in your organization or area, contact [email protected] or visit the portal web site at


Written By: Rob McBride

Photo Credit: Wolf Kutnahorsky


 CIC funding

Member Benefits & Savings Programs


TESL Ontario is happy to welcome MarineLand to our list of member savings program partners, as well as welcome back Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Detailed information is listed below:



TESL Ontario members will now receive special online corporate pricing on one day tickets to MarineLand in Niagara Falls. The park opens on May 12th, 2012. Ticket Prices are:

  • Adult - $38.95
  • Youth & Senior - $31.95

Members will be required to enter the following information in order to receive the discounted ticket prices when purchasing tickets on online at:

  • Corporate code: 7a03b778
  • AccessCode: TESL Ontario


For detailed online purchasing instructions click here. 




We are pleased to announce that Stratford Shakespeare Festival is offering TESL Ontario members special pricing on select performances once again this year.
In the same fashion as last year, Stratford Shakespeare Festival will send us updated offers throughout the seasons which we will post on the TESL Ontario website as we receive them.
The current offer, for select performances between April 18th to May 30th is accessible by using an online promo code. The special pricing includes $39 for play tickets and $49 for musical tickets.
To view the list of available performances and dates, and for access to the promo code visit the TESL Ontario website at:




TESL Ontario members can save up to 40% off performances of Bring it On playing at ED Mirvish Theatre in Toronto. The offer is valid until June 3, 2012. Bring It On is a musical comedy about the world of competitive cheerleading.
Click here for complete details and promo code for ordering tickets online at or by phone at 1.800.461.3333.


Great Wolf Lodge


Great Wolf Lodge is offering TESL Ontario members a special rate for the Victoria Day weekend.  The exclusive rate of $229 per night on select room types is valid from Thursday May 17th to Sunday May 20th.


Click here for complete details.



Insurance Programs 

In addition to these new benefits, TESL Ontario has two partners that offer TESL Ontario members a variety insurance products at special association member rates: 

TESL Ontario Website Spotlight


TESL Ontario's website features a section for the 12 TESL Ontario affiliates, including links to websites that contain local TESL information.
TESL Ontario Affiliate membership is included with your TESL Ontario membership, and provides you with a connection at the local level. 


As a Provincial association, one of TESL Ontario's main focuses has always been to provide our members with access to regional TESL communities. For this reason, TESL Ontario Affiliates have been a part of the association from the very beginning.
In conjunction with the benefits that you receive on a Provincial level from TESL Ontario, an affiliate membership benefits you in a number of ways including:

  • Local professional development (PD) events
  • Access to connect with peers in your community
  • Volunteer opportunities at the local level


If you haven't already activated your affiliate membership we encourage you to do so and take advantage of all that the free affiliate membership has to offer.
The following is a list of the available TESL Ontario Affiliates: Durham, Hamilton/Wentworth, Kingston, London, Niagara, North York/York Region, Northern Region, Ottawa, Peel/Halton/Etobicoke, Toronto, Waterloo/Wellington and Windsor. 


To add an affiliate membership to your file contact our Office Administrator, Peg Chornenki at [email protected]

TESL Ontario Affiliate Updates
 TESL Hamilton - Wentworth


New Executive Board Equals New Initiatives!
The 2012-13 Hamilton-Wentworth Executive Board took over on Jan. 1 2012, and with its mixture of "seasoned/ experienced" and new executive members, the next two years will be exciting ones in the affiliate.
We have added a "Webmaster" (Brett Basbaum) to our Executive roster and together with the Newsletter editorial team (Kim Henrie and Audrey Beaulne) all are working to update our web-based and social media presence. Our new website will be launching soon, so please keep checking our website ( to see what we have new to offer you.  

Spring Conference a Great Success!

The TESL H-W Spring Conference was held this year on April 21st, and thanks to the participation of great presenters, interested and committed attendees, and wonderful exhibitors and vendors in our Marketplace, it was again a great success!
Our Conference Organizers (Maria Crapsi and Brett Basbaum) succeeded in putting together an excellent group of workshops from informative ones such as Fascinated by the Brain or What Are Multiliteracies?, to more hands-on, practical ones such as Photography for Multi-level Classes or Dictionary Activities for the ESL Classroom. The comments by the numerous attendees were all very positive and all involved said they are looking forward to our next one.
The Conference ran smoothly also thanks to the volunteers from the Executive Committee who helped with set-up, registration and prize drawing! 


TESL London


Annual Spring Conference Award Winners
TESL London held its annual Spring Conference and Awards Banquet on April 20th at Fanshawe College. Over 100 members joined in the day of breakout sessions, Springing Forward plenary presentation by Judy Thompson, AGM and Awards Banquet. The award winners include:
Shirley Hill, Lifetime Achievement - submitted by Felicia Goldstein and Debby Donato from TVDSB
Ismail Qaznili , Adult International Student - submitted by Jennifer Jones, Paula Medina and Valeeta Bennett from the London Language Institute
Nelida Forero Acero, Adult ESL Student - submitted by Sheila Chick from Fanshawe College
Rotary West of London, Volunteer Agency -submitted by Carolyn Murray from TVDSB 

TESL Ontario Member Q & A
 question mark
Q:  The cost of the TESL membership is quite high. Could the cost of it be frozen next year.  It has really gone up in the last 2 - 3 years.  


A:  The cost of a TESL Ontario standard membership has gone up only $11 in the past 12 years, and not at all since 2009.


In 2010, when TESL Ontario accreditation became subject to annual renewal, the cost of this renewal was set at $166 ($86 for membership + $80 for accreditation) this amount has not been increased since the new fee structure was introduced in 2010. 


Q: My accredited membership renewal amount is prorated this year, and the amount that I owe does not appear on the list of price options on the online renewal system.
A: If your accredited membership renewal amount is prorated you must print off a renewal form and mail it into the TESL Ontario office with your payment.  The online renewal system is no longer set up for prorated renewal amounts.

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Member Survey


We want to thank those of you who participated in the recent TESL Ontario Member Survey.  We are very pleased that approximately 30% of TESL Ontario members took the time to fill out the survey, and provide us with your valuable feedback.

The TESL Ontario research committee is now analyzing the results. We will carefully consider the suggestions, concerns and input that you have shared with us and will do our best to use the information to enhance member benefits, address issues and concerns and to help us determine the future direction of the association.


A draw for a FREE one-year TESL Ontario membership was available to all individuals who submitted a completed survey.

We are happy to announce that the winner of the free membership is:


Jennifer Tong

2012 Annual Conference Update
conf pic 2

"TESL Ontario at 40: Thriving, Excelling, Sharing, Leading"


November 8th, 9th and 10th
Sheraton Centre Toronto


Excitement is growing among your conference committee members as we continue planning for our annual conference. 


40 Years to Celebrate


Part of our recognition of TESL Ontario at 40 includes a call out for any members or former members who were involved in TESL Ontario in 1972 to contact us. We'd love to hear from you please fill out an online form by clicking here to see how you can be involved in our celebration. If you know someone who was involved at that time, please pass this message along to them.


Theatre Options


Most of you will have heard or read the rave revues for "War Horse", a Mirvish production playing at the Princess of Wales Theatre. We have obtained a limited number of tickets at special group rates for that and also "La Cage aux Folles" playing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Details and ordering information will arrive with your conference package in September, but in the meantime why not get your friends, family or colleagues organized for night out?


Learning Experience


While our 40th anniversary celebration will be a part of each day, we aren't forgetting the purpose of the conference: professional development. Plenary speakers have been confirmed and submissions for workshops, the technology fair and poster sessions are arriving daily.Why not share your good ideas? There are amazing things happening in the classrooms and computer labs; but think beyond the classroom too. Can you share your best practices for work/life balance?  How do you de-stress when you are juggling the demands of family and workload? We welcome your ideas; click here  to complete the Proposal Submission.


If you haven't already done so, mark your calendars for 3 days of learning and sharing and laughter; the entertainment has not been finalized, but I assure you, you won't want to miss the Friday night event; it promises to be very special!


Barb Krukowski

Conference Chair

Practitioners Corner

Beginner Activity to Practice Yes/No Questions


A simple guessing game can help beginner learners who are still limited to simple present tense.


Click here to view details and to print worksheet from blog site English with Jennifer.  





Click here to submit your ideas, questions or responses for the Practitioners Corner.

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.

Upcoming issue of CONTACT



The forthcoming issue of CONTACT, slated for release in late May, offers the refereed proceedings of the twelfth Annual Research Symposium, part of the 39th Annual TESL Ontario Conference held in Toronto in October 2011. The three themes that provided the focus of the Research Symposium were as follows:

  • L2 Students' Willingness to Communicate
  • Pronunciation in the ESL Classroom
  • Adult learners: are we meeting their needs?

The co-editors for this issue are Hedy McGarrell and Robert Courch´┐Żne.


Click here to access to past issues of CONTACT.


Send an email to CONTACT editor, Brett Reynolds with your article ideas and proposals for upcoming issues of CONTACT

[email protected]

TESL Ontario

Quick Links




Upcoming Professional Development Events



TESL Ontario Annual Conference


November 8 -10, 2012

Sheraton Centre, Toronto



TESL Ontario Affiliate Events


 TESL Kingston 

 Fall Workshop 

 October 27, 2012


 TESL Peel/Halton/Etobicoke

 Spring Workshop

 May 17, 2012


 For details of these Affiliate events click here 



Online Events 


Scheduled Twitter Chats




Wednesday's 4:00-5:00 PM


Join a weekly Twitter Chat using the hashtag #ELTchat.


The scheduled discussion has a chosen topic each week and is attended by language teachers, administrators and directors world-wide.



Every other Monday 1:00 - 2:00 PM join a scheduled twitter discussion using the hashtag #EAPchat and chat about topics important to instructors in English for Academic Purposes (EAP).
Click here for complete details and chat schedule.



  FREE Webinars



Friday's 4:00-4:30 PM


American TESOL Institute's Shelly Terrell conducts Free 30-minute webinars on various language education topics.


You can choose to "Enter as a Guest' or create an account.


Click here to access the webinars.


For more information about the free webinars click here


TESL Tidbits 




TESL Ontario Board Recruitment 


TESL Ontario is looking for committed, enthusiastic members to serve on TESL Ontario's Board of Directors. 


For detailed information and requirements click here.




2011 Conference Webcasts 


More than 40 hours of webcasts from the TESL Ontario 2011 Annual Conference now available to members for viewing.


Click here for access. 




TESL Canada Publications


TESL Canada has released two online publications in March 2012:


TESL Canada Journal:

A fully refereed journal for practicing teachers, teacher educators, graduate students, and researchers.


SHARE e-Magazine:
An e-magazine with a focus on practical teaching ideas for the ESL classroom, classroom technology, reviews of ESL teaching and learning online and print resources and opportunities across Canada for professional development.




Linked In to TESL Ontario


Did you know that you can follow TESL Ontario's Linked In Company Profile Page?

 Simply visit TESL Ontario's company profile and click 'Follow'




TESL Ontario Welcomes New Employee


We are delighted to welcome a new staff person in our Accreditation Department. Carolina Zuza, B.A., M.A, is TESL Ontario's new Accreditation Coordinator. Carolina has taught both internationally and in Canada.




New Affiliate Executive Appointments:


TESL Durham:

Sajida Aaron



TESL Kingston

Maria Haig

Membership Secretary


TESL Northern Region

Christine Smart-Wiseman

Affiliate President


TESL Hamilton

Brett Basbaum



TESL Toronto

Jennifer Harris

Membership Secretary




TESL Hamilton

Spring / Summer Newsletter


The recent issue of the TESL Hamilton newsletter includes articles such as: 'Teacher Feature' and 'Teacher Tool Box'


Click here to check it out!




'LIKE' TESL Hamilton on Facebook


Find out more about TESL Hamilton on Facebook at:




TESL Kingston Fall Conference Preview 


TESL Kingston has booked Judy Thompson (English is Stupid) for their Fall Conference scheduled October 27, 2012