Membership Minute


Vol. 4 No. 3
December 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: accessing TESL Ontario webinars, TESL Blog articles, creating a resource download area on, conference wrap up information 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 Recipients
2014 ESL Week Creatvity Contest Winners
TESL Ontario Webinar Series
TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Updates
What's Happening on
Career Corner
TESL Ontario Recognition Awards
TESL Ontario offers congratulations to the recipients of our two TESL Ontario recognition awards. These awards are designed to celebrate the excellence, commitment, dedication and compassion of individuals involved within the field of English language training.  All award recipients were honored at the TESL Ontario Annual Conference in October of this year.

 TESL Ontario Distinguished Contribution Award:

The TESL Ontario Distinguished Contribution Award recognizes and honours significant long-term achievements and contributions to the advancement of English Language educators, the English Language training sector and/or TESL Ontario. Three members were honoured with this award this year.

2014 Recipients

Sheila Carson, Thames Valley District School Board

Joanne Hincks, Toronto Catholic District School Board

Velma Lang, YMCA of Niagara

Click here to view the Distinguished Contribution Award recipient profiles.

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.  Two members were honoured with this award this year.

2014 Award Recipients

Suma Balagopal, Caledon Community Centre

Susan Richarz, York Region District School Board

Click here to view the Sparks of Excellence Award recipient profiles.

Once again, congratulations to all of the award recipients for the recognition of their professional achievements.

ESL Week Contest Winners Celebrated
The 2014 TESL Ontario ESL Week Creativity Contest winners were honoured at the Welcome Reception at the annual TESL Ontario Conference in Toronto on October 16, 2014.

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. 

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


Congratulations to all of the 2014 Contest Winners.



2014 ESL Week Contest Winners 




 Click here to view the winning entries from the 2014 Creativity Contest. 

Member Benefits & Savings Programs

New Membership Benefits Added: 


TESL Ontario has secured special pricing for a number of new benefits for TESL Ontario members:








For complete details about these member savings program and more visit the TESL Ontario website at  


TESL Ontario Website Spotlight


TESL Ontario Webinar Series 


Looking for a way to obtain your required Professional Development hours?  Try TESL Ontario webinars.  


TESL Ontario now offers members exclusive access to live webinars twice a month through


Can't make a live webinar? All webinars are recorded and archived and made accessible to members through the TESL Ontario private group on   


The webinar series is FREE professional development for all TESL Ontario members.
*** All webinars are offered through You must be a member of in order to access the webinars. accounts are free. 


Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to access TESL Ontario live and archived webinars and for detailed information about upcoming events. 



Are you reading the TESL Blog?

The TESL Blog was launched in October 2014, and has quickly become a valuable resource to many TESL Ontario members with almost 2000 visitors to the site last month. The TESL Blog offers a selection of informative posts focused on a variety of interest areas for language training professionals.

A new blog post is published every Monday morning, to help kick start your week with knowledgeable articles that are sure to grab your interest.

Find out what you're missing. Click here to access the TESL Blog.


Post-TESL Certificate Training (PTCT)

PTCT Flyer 2013  

Sign up for a PTCT course this January!  Training fee reimbursement will be granted to eligible instructors who complete courses by March 31, 2014.
For more details, please visit the TESL Ontario website at  or go to the PTCT Fee Reimbursement Administrative System at    

If you have any questions, please contact TESL Ontario at 416-593-4243, ext. 201 or at [email protected].

TESL Ontario Affiliate Chapter Updates

TESL Kingston


TESL Kingston is launching its new website on December 10th,  Our new webmaster, Hanna Stanbury has built the website on a Wordpress platform, which will now have a feature where members can leave comments. Ulrike Bender is responsible for all the content on the site. Ulrike and Hanna have really been working hard on the new website this past summer and fall.  We hope you enjoy our new look!   
TESL Kingston has had a few changes to our affiliate chapter executive. Our president, Karen Scott-Murray, has moved on to take a job at Conestoga College, and one other member has resigned. We welcome two new members-at-large, Christine Adams and Scott Murray.    


TESL Peel/Halton/Etobicoke

TESL PHE Executive Committee news: October 2014

New Members: Klara Frasheri, Lisa Mc Faul, Atika Nadaf.
Newly elected Executive Members:
Alexander Harchenko-President
Valeria Shutova-Membership Secretary
Tasneem Anjum-Treasurer

Biographies of the newly elected Executive Members:

Alexander Harchenko - President
Alexander Harchenko has over 15 years of experience in the LINC and ESL field in Canada and in the USA. He is a member of TESL Ontario and TESOL.  Alexander's teaching career includes work at some of the leading colleges and universities in North America.  In addition to his Bachelor of Political Science and International Law degree, Alexander is a Certified Canadian immigration and settlement specialist. Mr. Harchenko brings over 10 years of Board operations experience.

Valeria Shutova - Membership Secretary
Valeria Shutova has extensive experience teaching English as a Second Language on both sides of the ocean. She has worked as an English instructor at Kherson State Pedagogical University in the Ukraine as an Adult ESL instructor with the Toronto Catholic School Board and with CICS in Scarborough. Currently she is an ESL Teacher with the Peel District School Board. Valeria has served as a recording secretary on the North York TESL Committee and the P.D. Chair for the PHE TESL Committee/Chapter. Currently she is a Membership Secretary.

Atika Nadaf - PHE Communications Executive
Atika has an extensive background in managing LINC programs, teaching LINC, ESL and Citizenship classes, and developing content for online and print media, editing and writing. She is passionate about building community partnerships and helping newcomers integrate into Canadian society.

She holds a Master's degree in Economics and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Journalism and Mass Communication. She also holds a Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Certificate from Humber College, Toronto.

Tasneem Ahmed - Treasurer
In addition to her extensive experience of teaching English in two countries - Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - Tasneem Ahmed has taught LINC at the Newcomer Center of Peel and ESL at Sheridan College, Davis Campus. She is also an International Language Instructor (Urdu) at Branksome Hall, Toronto.

She holds a Master's degree in English from Pakistan and is currently an M.A. candidate in Language and Literacies Education at OISE, University of Toronto. She also holds a TESL certificate from Woodsworth College, University of Toronto.

She joined TESL-PHE in 2011 as a Member at Large and has served the affiliate chapter in many different capacities. Initially, she worked as a member of the PD Committee. In 2013, she joined the Communications Committee and moved on to managing communications as a chair in early 2014. She was nominated as the new Treasurer at the end of 2014.

  • No openings at this time
  • Call for Proposal: will be sent out after January 5th, 2015 with a deadline of January 31st to submit. Selected candidates will be notified by the middle of February 2015


TESL Toronto

TESL Toronto stayed active this past summer co-hosting our first Web Conference with BELTA (The Belgian English Language Teacher's Association) August 8-9.  Sound interesting?  Access recordings of conference sessions here:

We then then kicked off the school year on October 7th with Community Matters: A TESL Toronto Members Exclusive Event.  In addition to networking, nibbles and our AGM, attendees learned about TESL Toronto Executive member Lynda Chubak's project "Informed Vote Toronto" to bringing about clear election messaging for students in ESL classrooms.  All those present were then inspired by storytelling about everyday activism and civic engagement by a panel of dynamic community builders.  
Our T4T (Technology for Teachers) Mini-Conference is our next event, taking place on January 31 at OISE.  Those attending can look forward to a full day of workshops and presentations related to the use of technology and web resources to facilitate language learning.  
We are currently planning a workshop for next February, an employment event for April and last but not least, TOSCON15, our annual conference that is being held on May 22-23, 2015.  Be sure to check out our site for further information about all of our exciting events.

TESL Hamilton-Wentworth

TESL Hamilton Wentworth held our third annual ESL week writing and poster contest. We celebrated the winners with a reception on October 7 at the Freeway Cafe. Winners, contest participants, instructors and family members had a chance to look at the entries, enjoy a cup of tea and celebrate the awesome work of our local learners. Check out to view the winning entries.

TESL Hamilton Wentworth held a TESL Ontario Conference contest to support one of our members in attending the conference. Congratulations to Ian Yacobucci! We hope you enjoyed the conference.

Our annual general meeting and spring conference and will be held on April 25 at the Courtyard by Marriott. We are currently looking for workshop presenters. If you are interested, please contact us at [email protected]. Watch and our Facebook page for conference details closer to the event.

TESL London

The next TESL London event will be our Mini-PD  which will be held on January 21, 2015 from 6:00p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Wheable.  The topic is Tutela. Create your Own Resource Download Area

Sharing resources with students is easy with 

Tutela's Resource Download Areas


By creating your own Resource Download Area, you can centralize and share resources with specific individuals. And since it's a dedicated area with no access to the rest of the Tutela community, you can easily grant access to say, your students, without any concern. Once you've set up the Download Area, you input the people you wish to grant access to and they'll be sent a special coded link via email. 


Setting up your area is easy and the benefits are many!

  • All you need is a name and description to get started
  • Easily add or remove users and files from your Download Area at any time
  • Share Tutela resources, external links and/or files uploaded from your computer
  • Users conveniently get 24/7 access - all they need is the emailed link and internet access
  • You save time and printing costs

Check how the How To page for more tips to help you get started and to access the video tutorial!  **You will need to login into to access the video tutorial. 






TESL Ontario Member Q & A
 question mark

Q: How do I get PD certificates for my participation in TESL Ontario webinars?  



A:  Live Webinars: PD Certificates are automatically emailed to all participants of a live webinar following the event. If you do not receive the PD certificate, please check your junk folder or contact our Office Coordinator, Kevin Gamble at [email protected] to request a copy.


Recorded / Archived Webinars: To obtain a PD certificate for watching a recorded webinar, please email Kevin Gamble at [email protected] to request a PD certificate be sent to you by email. Please include the following information in your email request: your full name, the title of the recorded webinar and the date that you watched the webinar.  



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2014 Conference
Wrap Up


We would like to thank the more than 825 ESL Professionals who were able to join us for the 2014 Annual Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in October.

Conference Photos

Conference Photos are now available for download on the TESL Ontario website.

Click here to access the 2014 Conference photos.

Presenter Handouts

Presenter handouts from the 2014 TESL Ontario Conference can be downloaded from the TESL Ontario website. 

You will be required to enter the username: TESLHandout and the password handout in order to access the documents.

The handouts are filed by day and the 3 digit session code.

Click here to access the presenter handouts.

Conference Media Coverage

Access local news articles and radio interviews about the TESL Ontario Conference, recognition award recipients, and ESL Week Contest winners on the TESL Ontario website.

Click here to access media coverage from the 2014 Conference and ESL Week.

2015 Conference

The 2015 TESL Ontario Conference will be held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto November 12 - 13, 2015.


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 to Make the Best Use of your PD Initiatives
"Education and Professional Development" is a broad area to be used in your r�sum�s, LinkedIn profiles, and to be shared during job interviews and performance reviews. Review these 5 suggestions to ensure you are reaping the gains you are aiming for in your career.

1. Be a "copy cat". Plot any upgrading or new qualifications just like someone (maybe even a mentor) in a position that you would eventually like.

2. Each time you complete any sort of workshop, course, webinar etc. get a tangible. Take and keep any hard or soft copy certificates that track the program name, date, and who presented the material so you can prove it or show it later. Ask for one if you weren't given one.

3. Keep all of your certifications (and other marketable items such as your r�sum�, reference letters, newspaper articles about you, TESL Ontario credentials, professional memberships and any awards) in a portfolio to showcase for interviews, to share during possible promotions, to record CEUs, and to track your overall professional journey to date.
4. Don't forget the value in adding conferences (such as TESL Ontario's own annual conference) to your professional development repertoire. Select unique or specific presentations in your particular area of interest (e.g. accent reduction) to broaden your understanding and to heighten your marketability in that category.
5. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date with all of your workshops in the "courses" section.

Here's to life long learning!
Best Success,



What's Happening
 on the TESL Blog




Come and Moodle With Me!
By: Andrew Shedden

"And When you Finally Fly Away, I'll be Hoping that I Served you Well."
By: Suma Balagopal

My Annotated Web Resource List
By: Laila Al-sbeinati

Good Habits to Consider When Creating Accessible Documents
By: John Allan

Lost In Translation
By: Gwen Zeldenrust

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.

Upcoming Issue of

Contact Magazine



In the next Contact Magazine issue, along with our usual diverse mix of articles, we have two--TWO--themed sections: one on learning phonology, and one on the effects of machine translation on our profession.

When we think "phonology", we often think "accent", and I've often been told by students that they like the Canadian accent. But-which one? The pronunciation of English, as of any language, is not fixed. Rebecca Roeder introduces us to two vowel changes that are in progress in Canada right now. Two papers on the sound system in this issue relate the ability to perceive speech sounds to their acquisition. John Archibald discusses the challenges that consonant clusters present to the learner and also the strategies the learner may use to overcome them. Perception is also central to the paper by Annie Tremblay, on how perceiving prosody correctly can help learners recognize words. In the fourth sound system paper, Alene Moyer lays out for us a number of individual factors that affect the acquisition of accent by adult language learners. One noteworthy finding here is that some learners are quite happy sounding "foreign".

On the topic of machine translation, many language teachers are not happy with students using websites to translate things into or out of English. This issue includes three articles on machine translation and language teaching that should help us stop worrying and learn to love the machines. There is a good deal of potential there, the authors argue, that we may not have recognized. And language teachers are unlikely to be replaced by computers any time soon.


Look for this issue of Contact Magazine in early December. 

As usual, I'd like to thank all our contributors and strongly urge you, the reader, to become a contributor or at least let us know what you think of Contact, and what you'd like to see in future issues.  


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 Sheraton Centre Toronto
November 13 - 13, 2015

TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo Metro Toronto Convention Centre 
March 25 - 28, 2015  
Affiliate Chapter


TESL Toronto

PD Event

T4T Mini Conference 

January 31, 2015


TESL Toronto

Annual Conference

May 22-23, 2015  


TESL London

Mini-PD Event

January 21, 2015 



 For details on these Affiliate events click here 





TESL Ontario Webinars


Empower your teaching with PowerPoint 2013 - Dec 7, 2014


Advanced Infographics - Dec 10, 2014


Introduction to Excel: More than Numbers - Jan 18, 2015


An Introduction to Smartboards - Jan 21, 2015


Click here for complete details and access instructions for all TESL Ontario webinars. Webinars


Teaching English Online: Exploring Language in Context   

Presented by:Tiffany MacDonald & Yuliana Bagan December 6th, 2014 11 am EST  


In Class Assessment & Progression using the National Language Placement & Progression Guidelines 

Presented by: Shurla Charles-Forbes - December 17th, 2014 10 am EST. 



For more information about webinars, login into and click on the Professional Development tab.  


TESL Tidbits 



Webinar Team Volunteers Needed


The TESL Ontario webinar team is looking for more volunteers to fill a variety of positions.


Click  here for more details.




PTCT Needs Assessment Survey

Your input is very important to us. Fill out the PTCT Needs Assessment Survey by December 9th, 2014

Click here to access the survey.



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.