Membership Minute

Vol. 4 No. 2
June 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 a Nomination Deadline for the TESL Ontario recognition awards, details about the 2014 ESL Week Creativity Contest, 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
TESL Ontario Recognition Awards
2014 ESL Week Creatvity Contest
TESL Ontario Free Webcasts
TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Updates
Popular Resources
TESL Ontario Recognition Awards

TESL Ontario appreciates the importance of public recognition for those members who bring a passion to their profession and leave a lasting impression with everyone they encounter.
By recognizing these individuals we are acknowledging the difference they have made in the lives of their students and colleagues, as well as inspiring others in their professional community to do the same.



TESL Ontario Distinguished Contribution Award
There are a number of people in each professional community who spend their entire career employing ingenuity, initiative and drive to make significant advancements to their chosen profession.  If you know someone like this, we encourage you to take the time to nominate them for the TESL Ontario Distinguished Contribution Award.
The TESL Ontario Distinguished Contribution Award is designed to recognize and honour the significant long-term achievements and contributions to the advancement of English language educators, the English language training sector and/or TESL Ontario.  Previously known as the Silver Pin Award, it has been renamed to better reflect the purpose of the award.
If you would like to nominate a colleague for this prestigious award please review the nomination guidelines and nomination submission requirements on our website at:  
TESL Ontario Sparks of Excellence Award
Do you work with someone who goes the extra mile to provide his/her students with the best possible educational experience, or who has demonstrated leadership by mentoring colleagues or student teachers in their workplace? Help us recognize them for their dedication and commitment, nominate them for the TESL Ontario Sparks of Excellence Award.   


The TESL Ontario Sparks of Excellence Award is designed to recognize and acknowledge the excellence and commitment of TESL Ontario members who provide outstanding educational experiences to their students or who demonstrate exceptional leadership/mentoring expertise towards their colleagues and student teachers in a manner that goes above and beyond the day to day duties of their job.

Detailed information regarding qualifications, nominations and the award process can be found on our website at:      


The nomination deadline for both awards is August 15, 2014.    

ESL Week Creativity Contest Deadline Extended to July 11th

The 2014 TESL Ontario ESL Week Creativity Contest is well underway and we have recently extended the deadline to July 11th to provide participants with more time to complete their entries for the 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. 


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 




The creativity contest offers separate divisions for both learners and instructors with 3 cash prizes for each division.


For each division, 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 division 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.


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 July 11, 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] 


Member Benefits & Savings Programs

Summer Fun!


Once again TESL Ontario has secured the corporate pricing for admission to a number of seasonal attractions including:


CNE wonderland Bird kingdom   

  • Canada's Wonderland
  • SeaWorld
  • Wild Water Kingdom
  • Bird Kingdom
  • CNE


The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)


CNE Tickets can be purchased at a the TESL Ontario corporate discount rate ahead of time using the online ticket purchasing site.   


To purchase your CNE tickets:

**Please note the TESL Ontario Access code will not be posted on the TESL Ontario public website.

2014 CNE Ticket Pricing  


Before August 14:

Ride All Day Pass: $34

Admission Pass: $11


August 15 - September 1:

Ride All Day Pass: $36

Admission Pass: $12





Ticket purchasing instructions for the above summer attractions are posted on the TESL Ontario website at:  


TESL Ontario Website Spotlight


TESL Ontario Free Webcasts


Looking for a way to obtain your required Professional Development hours?  Try TESL Ontario's extensive library of free webcast videos of past conference presentations. 
There are close to 250 hours of recorded conference sessions from the past five annual conferences to choose from.
In order to access the free webcast sessions you will need your unique membership number and the password: 27carlton
To Access the webcast system click on the link below: 

  • Select the year (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013), then select the category, choose a session, and click on "Watch Now".
  • Complete the Registration Form and click on "Submit"  
  • First and Last Name
  • Your member number as it appears on your membership card
  • The Password: 27carlton
  • After viewing the session, click on "Yes" and "Submit" to indicate you have completed the session.
  • Click on "Download PD Certificate" to receive your PD certificate and print it.

If you cannot register or log in, have any issues with downloading your PD certificate, or if you encounter any other technical issues, please email Kevin O'Brien, the TESL Ontario Webmaster, at [email protected].

If you have any questions about TESL Ontario professional development (PD) requirements for accreditation renewal, please email the TESL Ontario Accreditation Coordinator, at [email protected].





Post-TESL Certificate Training (PTCT)

PTCT Flyer 2013  

Sign up for a PTCT course this summer!  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    


Pan Am Games Volunteers Needed



In the summer of 2015, communities across Southern Ontario will host the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. This will be the largest multi-sport event ever held in Canada, with 41 countries and over 10,000 athletes and officials participating in 51 different sports.


With more than 20,000+ volunteers needed to successfully deliver the Games, TORONTO 2015 will be one of the largest requests for volunteers in Ontario's history, and is guaranteed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Volunteer selection starts this summer!


Apply* at 


*To help TORONTO 2015 recognize members of TESL Ontario in the application system, please use the volunteer code VOLEDUTESLONT  


TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Updates

TESL Niagara


TESL Niagara is planning to have its Fall mini conference on November 14th at Brock University






TESL Waterloo-Wellington


On Saturday, May 24, TESL Waterloo-Wellington held its conference and AGM at Conestoga College in Kitchener.



Our keynote speaker, Katherine Barber of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, regaled members and others with fascinating stories about the roots of the English Language. Members had the opportunity to peruse the publishers' display and attend two rounds of workshops.



TESL WW Executive Committee Members -  June 2014
  • President -  Adrienne Horvath Cortez
  • President Elect - Raveet Jacob
  • Past President  - Pauline Shore
  • Secretary - Agnieszka  Wolczuk
  • Treasurer - Pompea Cardone
  • Membership Secretary - Lindsay Ingraham
  • Newsletter Editor - Maggie Heeney
  • Affiliate Representative - Ron Champion
Members at Large
- Adewale Shamonda Gordon
- Alicja Tamowski
- Denise Redmond
- Dianne Dick
- Giselle Scanlon
- Ivanna Douglas
- Rochelle Knox



TESL Hamilton

TESL Hamilton hosted their 25th annual Conference and AGM on Saturday, May 3. It was a great success! We had two sessions of speakers, a delicious brunch, and five publishers. We treated our attendees to a customized TESL Hamilton 8-GB USB drive, and lovely pens donated by thePersonal. Congratulations, TESL Hamilton!
Our next Conference / AGM is booked for Saturday, April 25, 2015.
TESL Hamilton would also like to acknowledge the efforts and success by our affiliate chapter member and teacher Julianne Burgess. Julianne was the first runner up for the Margaret Pidlaski Award, recognizing best practices in teaching ESL in Canada, which was awarded through Your presentation is an inspiration to us as a way to engage all learners in developing multi-literacy awareness and skills. Congratulations!
TESL Hamilton is hosting their third annual learners' ESL Week Contest. All entries were submitted by June 30, and our affiliate volunteer judges are gearing up for a busy few weeks of evaluating the submissions. Winners will be notified in the fall.

TESL Toronto


Thank you to everyone one joined us for TOSCON14 - TESL Toronto's annual spring conference.  It was a great two days filled with great speakers, great ideas, and great company. Special thanks to all of our presenters for providing remarkable 30 sessions, and in particular to our key speakers who flew in for our event.  Thanks also to our volunteers who helped keep things running smoothly.  Our wheels are already spinning for TOSCON15!

Reading and writing conference, August 8 - 9

Something new:  TESL Toronto is very excited to be teaming up with BELTA (Belgium English Language Teachers Association) for a free online conference with a focus on reading and writing skills.  This is European-Canadian venture is a first for us as we continue to find ways to provide our members with professional development opportunities.

Proposals for sessions have already been submitted, and we are currently putting together the line-up.  More information will be available in July.

ESL Week

The TESL Toronto executive is taking a short summer break to recharge our batteries, but we will be back in October with an event to celebrate Ontario's ESL educators and learners as part of ESL Week.  Please keep an eye on our website for details (

Happy summer! 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).

Supporting Task-based Programming Related to Using Digital Technology

The tasks in these instructional resources are intended to be sample tasks to support using digital technology in Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) programs within the context of the Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF). They aim to provide tasks developed for LBS practitioners to use and adapt, expand, or build on. They also can be used for second language training. 

The National Placement and Progression Guidelines
This document is intended for language assessors, instructors and coordinators in CIC-funded language training programs, to ensure a common understanding and interpretation of assessment results based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB), and to establish national guidelines for placement and progression in language classes. 

Canada Day Resources

Check out these useful Canada Day resources and teaching ideas for CLB 1-4 and 5-8!

For CLB 5-8 there is a list of resources with some fun project ideas just in time for Canada Day. 

For CLB 1-4 watch the silent film the Railrodder and explore the list of Canada Day websites. 

New PBLA Progress Reports

The new PBLA Progress reports can be found under the TOOLS tab in The PBLA guide can also be found there to assist administrators and instructors in understanding the PBLA guidelines and protocol.  The previous versions of the progress reports are no longer available in the RESOURCE section.


TESL Ontario Member Q & A
 question mark

Q: Can you offer some suggestions on what I can do to obtain 10 hours of Professional Development for my renewal next year?



A:  Ongoing professional development is an important aspect of TESL Ontario accreditation as it stimulates the circulation of creative ideas, innovative techniques and new research among instructors.  The PD activities that you choose should increase your knowledge of ESL or related subjects and enhance your teaching skills.  They may include: 


  • Participating in or presenting at TESL related conferences, workshops or webinars
  • Viewing TESL webcasts (from previous conferences or Tutela)
  • Completing TESL courses such as PTCT, LearnIT2Teach, etc.
  • Volunteering in an ESL classroom
  • Editing or publishing ESL articles or books 

For a more comprehensive list of suggested activities, please refer to the PD section of our website:   


Remember to keep a copy of your PD hours on file and submit it to TESL Ontario when requested.



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Download your ESL Week Poster Today!


Help TESL Ontario raise awareness about English language training in Ontario.


ESL Week is an annual occasion to celebrate Ontario`s ESL educators and learners. ESL Week is designed to show support of your profession and honour the commitment and daily efforts of your students, colleagues and employers.

Click here to download your copy of the ESL Week poster and display it in your classrooms, staff rooms, community centres, learning institutions and communities. 



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!



Cover Letter Writing Tips
Whether the job ad asks for a cover letter or not, always include one. It's better to err on the side of caution. Here are 5 helpful writing tips:

1. Use the same letterhead, font and style as your r�sum�. Most people carefully format a r�sum� and then surprisingly, neglect to give the cover letter the same attention.

2. Address it to a person, selection committee or HR contact. Research names. Never use the archaic "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sirs".

3. Briefly indicate the role you are applying to along with the basis of your application. (e.g. relevant experience or qualifications).

4. The body should focus on your relevant skills and credentials. Draw as many parallels as possible between your background and the school's needs. Finish off the body with a unique selling point such as fluency in other languages, or specialized interest in working with those from a specific country or societal sector.

5. Form the closing paragraph with a "call to action". Let the reader know you are eagerly interested in attending an interview with the aim of helping the facility to meet its staffing needs. End with a "thank you".

Best Success,



Practitioners' Corner

Frequent Flyer: An Activity to Practice Adverbs of Frequency  


Find out how blogger Jennifer Recio Lebedev  

reinforces the patterns in word order with this lesson that  focuses on always, usually, often, sometimes, rarely, and never.  



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.

Research Symposium Issue of

Contact Magazine




The Research Symposium issue of Contact magazine focuses on the three themes of the 2013 Research Symposium from the TESL Ontario Annual Conference.

This issue is edited by Hedy McGarrell and David Wood and contains the following theme-based papers:
Theme 1: Task-based Language Learning and Teaching


  • Teacher perceptions of task-based language teaching and learning across Canada by Scott Douglas
  • ACCESS-TBLT and adult ESL learners' noticing of corrective feedback by Eva Kartchava
  • Using structural priming tasks in an EAP context by Kim McDonough

Theme 2: Canadian Language Benchmarks, Evaluation and Assessment


  • Portfolio based language assessment (PBLA) in Canadian immigrant language training: Have we got it wrong? by Janna Fox
  • Interactional competence: Can it be tapped on CLB-based tests? by Carla Schnitzler Hall and Amelia Kreitzer-Hope

Theme 3: Blending Technology with Traditional Technology Techniques for Learning and Teaching


  • Collaborative tasks for beginner-level language learner: Issues and Implications by Iryna Kozlova
  • A call for human feel in today's increasing blended world by Geoff Lawrence

Click here to download the Research Symposium 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

Joint Web Conference with BELTA 

August 8 - 9, 2014 


TESL Niagara

Fall Mini Conference 

November 14, 2014


TESL Hamilton

Spring Conference & AGM

April 25, 2015


 For details on these Affiliate events click here 



Free Webinars Webinars


Teaching English Online: Tools & Skills to Help You Succeed  

Presented by: Elena Maggio July 24th, 2014 10 am EDT  


Login into and check out the Professional Development section for more 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 



Recognition Awards Nomination Deadline is  

August 15, 2014 


Nominate someone for a TESL Ontario recognition Award.



Click here to find out more.




ESL Week Creativity Contest Deadline Extended to July 11th

Click here for more information the about the contest




TESL Ontario News Brief


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