Membership Minute

Vol. 4 No. 1
March 2014




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: resources and an announcement of a new award, details about the 2014 ESL Week Creativity Contest and Poster Poll, the 2014 National Volunteers Week 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 the TESL Tidbits sections by emailing me at [email protected].



Best Regards,

Allison Keown
Member Services Manager
In This Issue Award
2014 ESL Week Creatvity Contest Now Open
2014 ESL Week Poster Poll Resources
TESL Ontario Conference Resources
Call for Research Participants
TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Updates
Member Q & A
From Passion Comes Best Practices




Call for Submissions for The Margaret Pidlaski Award



When we share best practices, we all benefit. This is the goal of The Margaret Pidlaski Award.


Submit your best practice by March 31, 2014 for a chance to be recognized amongst your peers for your engaging and innovative approach to adult EAL/ESL.


In addition to the well-deserved accolades, your resources will be given the professional finishing touch - from a production standpoint - before being shared as a valuable resource within the Tutela community.


Submission Deadline: March 31, 2014


Click here to learn more about The Margaret Pidlaski Award as well as her story and motivation.


ESL Week Creativity Contest Now Open

We are pleased to announce the opening of the 2014 TESL Ontario ESL Week Creativity Contest. 
contest Word cloud Each year, the unique works of art, literature and multi-media that are brought forward by our talented contest participants clearly depict the successful efforts and dedication of language training professionals in Ontario, as well as highlight how language learning opportunities make a difference. 


Since the contest was expanded in 2011, instructors across Ontario have been encouraging their learners to try their hand at entering in the Creativity Contest and learning centres have been working to promote ESL Week and the Creativity Contest to both their learners and language training staff as a great way to help celebrate achievements in language learning.

The joyfulness and pride of the winners, especially from the learner contest, is infectious and inspiring and also helps to serve as a reminder to all language training professionals of the rewards of this remarkable profession.


2013 ESL Week Contest Winners 


For each contest, TESL Ontario will award one $250 grand prize for a single winner across all entry categories. In addition, a $50 cash prize will be awarded to each of two selected runner up winners.


The grand prize winner and the two runner up winners from each contest will be recognized at the TESL Ontario Annual Conference in Toronto. TESL Ontario will cover the cost of travel and accommodations for the individual winners residing 50 kms or more from Toronto.


The Creativity Contest consists of two separate contests; one for learners and one for instructors/administrators. There will be three winners announced from each contest (learner and instructor).


All winning entries will be published or displayed in TESL Ontario publications, on the TESL Ontario website or on social media applications where appropriate. 


The final deadline for contest submissions is June 15, 2014. For complete details about the 2014 ESL Week Creativity Contest and entry guidelines please visit our website at: 


If you have any questions regarding the contest please feel free to contact Allison Keown, Member Services Manager at [email protected] 


ESL Week Poster Concept Poll

Last week we invited TESL Ontario members to help us choose a poster to represent the 2014 ESL Week.
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 2014 ESL Week.


 Option A                       Option B                     Option C 


Click here to access the online poll.


Poll closes March 14, 2014.


Popular Resources from National Repository for ESL Professionals



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).


TESL Ottawa Winter 2014 Plenary  (recorded webinar)


Prof. David Wood, Associate Professor from Carleton University, gave the plenary speech on Formulaic Language and Speech Fluency.

In recent years in second language teaching there has been a growth in research and applications of knowledge about formulaic language - combinations of words which have single meanings or functions, and which appear to be mentally processed and produced as if single words. These collocations, phrasal verbs, formulaic expressions, lexical bundles, and so on appear to be essential to spontaneous speech. Clearly, ESL students can benefit from exposure to and experiences with formulaic language in order to improve speech fluency. This presentation will introduce the phenomenon of formulaic language and how it can contribute to speech fluency. It will also outline some principles and sample activities which can help students acquire and use formulaic language.


The plenary was presented in webinar format and is now available for viewing on at:    



Financial Literacy Resources 

It's tax season again! Here are some resources to help you support students' learning about financial literacy.

Financial ESL Literacy Toolbox  
The Financial ESL Literacy Toolbox, developed by Bow Valley College, assists ESL literacy instructors in the delivery of numeracy and financial literacy content to their adult learners.

Learners with interrupted formal education (LIFE) are likely to have gaps in their numerical and financial understanding. The Financial ESL Literacy Toolbox aims to help ESL literacy practitioners deliver instruction in these two areas. The financial content is divided into themed areas and further into materials and resources for Literacy Phases I, II and III.

English for Financial Literacy: Online Resources  

English for Financial Literacy is an interactive resource for teaching financial literacy concepts and skills in LINC and adult ESL programs at CLB levels 1 to 5. The main objective of English for Financial Literacy is to help instructors incorporate financial literacy content into their program planning and teaching, and support them in learning about key topics and concepts related to financial matters.

The ABCs of Practical Literacy: Economic Literacy 

This resource book, developed by Bow Valley College, contains content-based literacy activities based on Canadian Language Benchmarks 2000: ESL for Literacy Learners. The ABCs of Practical Literacy is divided into three sections: Economic Literacy Activities, Employment Literacy Activities and Personal Management Literacy Activities.

The Economic Literacy Activities section of this resource book contains sixteen ready-to-use activities related to financial literacy and numeracy.

Newcomer's Finances: Banking Worksheets 

This booklet is part of the Newcomers Finances series produced by the Ottawa Community Loan Fund (OCLF). The worksheets cover a range of banking matters, including opening an account; cashing a government cheque; making deposits and withdrawals; direct deposit; preauthorized debits; Internet and telephone banking; banking fees; and dealing with banking problems. Each section includes step-by-step descriptions of each banking activity.

There are also real-life examples of banking matters. For instance, one section outlines the steps someone takes to cancel a preauthorized debit for a monthly gym membership once he decides to quit the gym.

** Be sure to check out the Related Resources: Credit Worksheets and Instructor's Manual 

Member Benefits & Savings Programs

National Home Show Savings


TESL Ontario members are entitled to a $6 discount off the regular price of tickets to the National Home Show at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto March 14 -23, 2014.  


Your ticket to the National Home Show also gains you access to the Canada Blooms show.


Members can purchase tickets online using the promo code: TESL2014.


Click here for complete details about the National Home Show and all of the TESL Ontario member benefits and savings programs.


TESL Ontario Website Spotlight

Conference Resources


The TESL Ontario Conference section of the website contains many useful resources both for individuals who attended the Conference and are looking for 'take home reports and presenter handouts' as well as for individuals who were unable to make it, but would still like to access information about sessions and presentations that they may have heard about from their colleagues.


The Conference section of our website currently offers resources including:



Post-TESL Certificate Training (PTCT)

PTCT Flyer 2013 Try an online or on-site Post-TESL Certificate Training (PTCT) course this Spring! 13 TESL Ontario approved courses are available now, and three more will be added to the list in 2014. Training fee reimbursement will be granted to eligible instructors.


For more details, please visit the TESL Ontario website at or go to the PTCT Fee Reimbursement Administrative System at 

Call for Research Participants


abstract-comp-mouse-sm.jpg What do you think about the use of technology in your classroom? Researchers at Carleton University would like to understand what ESL teachers believe about the use of digital technology in their classrooms.


Click here for detailed information about the study and how to participate.


Study closes March 30, 2014.

TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Updates

TESL Hamilton-Wentworth



TESL Hamilton held its Annual General Meeting on Friday, November 1st at the Courtyard by Marriott. The evening included the presentation of the President's Report, voting on the new Executive Committee slate, acceptance of the new operating procedures and an informative and entertaining talk on professional development from TESL Ontario Accreditation Coordinator, Carolina Zuza.

Going forward, the Annual General Meeting will take place at the Spring Conference instead of being a separate event. The upcoming Conference and AGM is booked for Saturday, May 3, 2014. It will offer participants a choice of two workshops, networking opportunities, brunch and publishers displays. Watch for conference updates.


Announcing the TESL Hamilton New Executive Committee

TESL Hamilton is pleased to announce their new Executive Committee for the term of January 2014 to August 2015.  


Click here to view the list of TESL Hamilton Executive Committee members.  



TESL Waterloo-Wellington


It is that time again! Time to mark your calendars for our annual AGM and PD event! Your Affiliate Chapter team has been working hard to put together another day PD event.  Here is the Save the Date information, with more details to follow.

DATE: Saturday, May 24
WHY: TESL WW Conference and AGM
WHAT: 5 hours of PD
WHERE: Conestoga College, Doon Campus, Kitchener



TESL Peel / Halton / Etobicoke


The TESL PHE Affiliate Chapter is planning our first full day Spring PD Event called 'i3 Conference' on May 3rd, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sheridan College, Hazel McCallion Campus, at 4180 Duke of York Blvd., Mississauga.

Online registration for the Spring PD Event will be open from April 3rd to April 22nd.


More info and links will be available on our new website in late February or early March. Our new website, run by our Communications Committee, was launched in October 2013 a little before the Fall 2013 PD Event.


In October, 2013, TESL PHE also launched our Facebook page   which is administered by a volunteer. Anyone is able to post comments on the Facebook page; however, those who wish to post pictures can forward them to TESL PHE so they can be added to the page.


At our Fall 2013 PD Event, we also unveiled the Fran Marshall Memorial Library on our website,, which has 9 ready to download books with lots of lesson tips, ideas and worksheets.   



TESL Toronto 


Save the date!  Please join us for our upcoming professional development event, 'Market Yourself to Employment', on April 17, 2014.  The event will be held at Lillian H. Smith Library, 239 College Street. Networking and registration from 5:30 - 6:00pm, presentation from 6:00 - 7:15.  Come out and learn valuable tips for your job search and career management in the new employment reality.  An event announcement will be sent out my email shortly, and information will be available on our website.



TESL Toronto Annual Spring Conference



What better way to bring an end to this cold winter than the TESL Toronto Spring Conference 2014?   Please join us for two spectacular days of professional development and networking on Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24 (the weekend after Victoria Day long weekend.)

Friday evening workshops and dinner will be held at Victoria College, and the Saturday events at New College, both on the University of Toronto's downtown campus.  We welcome our special guest speakers, Jamie Keddie and Jim Scrivener for what promises to be a great event. 

Our call for session proposals is open until March 30, and general registration will open online in April.  For more information and for links to social media, please visit the TESL Toronto website

We hope to see you there. 




NEW! Affiliate Service Award

In early February we announced the new TESL Ontario Affiliate Service Award, which is designed to acknowledge the vital contributions of the volunteers who are instrumental in the success of their local TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter groups.
Sharing their time, expertise and commitment, TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter volunteers make it possible for our members to connect in their local communities.  The significant contributions of these dedicated members allows for TESL Ontario members to access local professional development and networking opportunities in communities across Ontario.


Participating TESL Ontario Affiliates Chapters will each honour one individual annually with an Affiliate Service Award.  Award recipients will be selected based on each Affiliate Chapter's unique award guidelines and nomination evaluation process. 


To access the Award Guidelines from your Affiliate Chapter please click here.
The award nomination and recognition process for the Affiliate Service Award is carried out entirely at the Affiliate Chapter level.


As the nomination process and deadlines will be unique for each Affiliate Chapter, each participating Affiliate Chapter will communicate directly to their members any information about nomination deadlines for their Affiliate Chapter region.


If you have any questions or concerns about the nomination process in your Affiliate Chapter region, we encourage you to contact your Affiliate Chapter representative directly.
You can also find contact information for your Affiliate Chapter representative on the TESL Ontario website at:   


TESL Ontario Member Q & A
 question mark

Q: How can I obtain a copy of my 2013 tax receipt for membership and accreditation fees paid to TESL Ontario?  


A: Your official tax receipt is mailed to you with your membership card approximately 2 -3 weeks after your renewal is processed.


If you have misplaced your tax receipt you can request a copy by contacting our Office Coordinator, Kevin Gamble at [email protected]


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National Volunteers Week
April 6 - 12, 2014


National Volunteers Week is April 6 -12, 2014 and TESL Ontario will once again be taking this opportunity to recognize our many dedicated volunteers.


We consider our volunteers to be our most valued community resource, and we recognize that the innovative contributions from our volunteers help to facilitate improvements to TESL Ontario, TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapters and to the profession of English Language educators in Ontario.


We are busy making plans to celebrate the successes of our volunteers and will be communicating about that to the membership and our many volunteers throughout National Volunteers Week.


Watch for our member email about National Volunteers week in early April.




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 Value-Building Resum� Writing Tips
Sometimes people mistakenly assume r�sum�s are lists of jobs and qualifications and not personal career
marketing documents. Here are 5 points to remember when writing your r�sum�:

1. Launch your document with a marketing title, not an objective. "Multi-lingual ESL Teacher" sounds a lot better
than "Objective: To secure an ESL teaching job" doesn't it?

2. Follow with a brief opening summary section that shares what you offer, not want you want.

3. Include a dedicated, industry-specific key word section.

4. Delineate between job functions vs. achievements. Keep the job description brief and follow with a list of
bulleted achievements.

5. Don't segregate education. Put all courses, degrees and certifications in one section called "Education &
Professional Development" to heighten the impact of all your training.

Write, edit, then proofread for an impact rich, error-free marketing document.  

Best Success,



View Audrey's new full article titled "Add the Wow Factor to your Resum�" and the growing library of career articles on the TESL Ontario website in the Career Development Resource Centre  

Practitioners' Corner

Finding Fluency through Oral Reading


Find out how blogger Jennifer Recio Lebedev suggests you go about composing oral reading texts and how to get students to work with them.


Click here to access this post on the 'English With Jennifer' blog.





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.

Conference Issue of

Contact Magazine



The Conference issue of Contact Magazine is now available for download.
As always, the Conference presented us with an overwhelming number of presentations, which were generally well received. Here we present nine articles derived from those presentations. I'd like to thank all the presenters, but especially those who took the time to share their work here with Contact readers.
First is a timely opinion piece by featured speaker Deep Saini, vice-president of the University of Toronto, who argues that "while the Canadian society must demonstrate a genuine receptivity at the level of sophistication that meets the sophistication of immigrants it seeks, a reciprocal expectation of a commitment from the immigrants to Canada is just as essential to the long-term success of this nation."
Next, we have a trio of articles on e-learning, beginning with an overview on the current situation here in Ontario and followed by two specific examples, one for literacy learners and one for workplace English. Following on the technology theme is another article about a pilot project for using biofeedback devices to reduce learner stress.
One interesting symposium at the Conference dealt with the perennial issue of plagiarism, and the three discussants have combined their thoughts into an article on the topic with a good deal of practical advice. Another practical article updates the idea of using graphs with thoughts on incorporating infographics into lessons.
The last two articles include a quantitative study on corrective feedback for pronunciation, and some vocabulary teaching activities for making receptive vocabulary productive.
Finally, this issue introduces what we plan to have as a regular column by author and teacher Eufemia Fantetti, which I know you'll enjoy.
Click here to access 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: [email protected] 

TESL Ontario

Quick Links




Upcoming Professional Development Events



TESL Ontario
 Annual Conference
October 16 - 18, 2014  
Affiliate Chapter


TESL Toronto

PD Event

Market Yourself to Employment

April 17, 2014



Toronto Spring Conference

May 23 & 24, 2014


TESL Windsor

Spring Workshop & AGM

April 25, 2014


TESL North York/York Region

Spring Conference

April 26, 2014


TESL Kingston

Annual General Meeting

April 30, 2014


TESL Hamilton

Spring Conference & AGM

May 3, 2014


TESL Peel/Halton/Etobicoke

Spring Conference

May 3, 2014


TESL London

Spring Conference & Awards Ceremony

May 3, 2014


TESL Waterloo-Wellington

Spring Conference & AGM

May 24, 2014



 For details on these Affiliate events click here 



Free Webinars Webinars has ongoing scheduled webinars on various topics related to language training instruction.


Click here for details. 


American TESOL Webinars


Shelly Terrel presents free webinars every Friday for American TESOL.


Click here for details of upcoming webinar dates and times.


Oxford University Press Webinars


Free webinars on topics related to ESL teaching.


Click here for more details.  

TESL Tidbits 



Technology in the Classroom Survey


We had a huge response to our Technology in the classroom survey and wish to thank everyone who responded.


We will be analyzing the results in the coming weeks and using the information to help us develop technology webinars for beginner users.




Visit the TESL


newly launched website




TESL Ontario News Brief


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