2013 Spring Conference

112866961_24b61b7cf5_zThe TESL NS Spring Conference will be held Saturday, May 11, at Mount Saint Vincent University.

The session will be held in rooms 304, 305, and 306 of the Seton Academic Centre. Click here for a map of the MSVU campus, and here for driving directions to the university. Parking is free on Saturdays.

The schedule will be as follows.

8:30 am – 9:00 am Registration
9:00 am  – 10:00 am Workshop 1 (Seton 304): Panel Discussion: The Educational Cultures of Saudi Arabia and China (Moderated by Hong Wang) Workshop 2 (Seton 305): Humour in the Classroom (Dr Rory Leitch)
10:00 am – 10:15 am Coffee Break (Seton 306):15 min
10:15 am – 11:15 am Workshop 3 (Seton 304): Digital tools for EAP Reading and Listening (Jennifer MacDonald)
Click to download slides: Digital Tools for EAP_TESL NS 2013
Workshop 4 (Seton 305): Update from the TESOL International Conference (Fe Leonor Baculi)
11:15 am – 11:45 am Coffee Break (Seton 306): 30 min
11:45 am – 12:45 pm Workshop 5 (Seton 204: EAP Vocabulary: Beyond Just the Meaning(Shazia Nawaz Awan and Oksana Shkurska)
Click to download slides: ESL NS 2013-EAP Vocabulary-Beyond just the meaning
Workshop 6 (Seton 305): Action Research (Dr. Esther Enns)
12:45 pm – 13:45 pm Lunch + Networking (Seton 306)

Lunch will include wraps and sandwiches with vegetarian and halal options, and dessert.
Registration for the conference is now closed.

For those who are not TESL NS members and who will be paying the $20 conference fee on Saturday, remember it will be cash or cheque only–credit/debit cards cannot be accepted.

Descriptions and bios:

Session 1: Panel Discussion: The Educational Cultures of Saudi Arabia and China (Moderated by Hong Wang)

This presentation will give an overview of the Chinese and Saudi Arabian education system in teaching English as foreign language through students’ experiences. It points out the role of the teacher and students in the classroom.

Arwa Altamimi, a MAEd student at the Educational Psychology at Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada. Currently she is working on her thesis and her research interests is “Potential Challenges Saudi Female Students Encounter when Verbally Interacting in Canadian Pre-academic ESL Settings”. She holds a BA in Psychology from King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.

Sarah Ibrahim is a curriculum studies Master candidate at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax She received her Bachelor degree in English language in 2005 from Taibah University in Saudi Arabia.  She finally moved to do her Masters degree in Halifax. She is in her third semester now and working on issues related to the Saudi English educational system for her thesis. She can be contacted on Sarah.Ibrahim@MSVU.CA

Weifang Liu (Ivy) grew up in a small village in Canton (Guangdong Province), China.  She attended South China Normal/Teacher’s University graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in English-Education and International Business.  After 2 years of teaching ESL in two of the most renowned universities in Canton – South China Normal University and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, she immigrated to Canada in 2008 and spent one successful year teaching elementary school in northern Ontario.  Ivy started doing her Masters in Education-TESL in 2010 and she is proud to obtain her degree in 2013.

 Hong Wang (Ph.D.) has been a language teacher and language teacher educator for 28 years and is currently an Associate Professor in Teaching English as a Second Language at the Faculty of Education, Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada. Her research interests include teacher education and professional development, teaching English as a second or foreign language, second
language acquisition, language policies, and curriculum implementation and evaluation. Some of her studies have been published in Teaching and Teacher Education, Asian EFL Journal, TESL-EJ, and Curriculum Journal.

Session 2: Humour in the Classroom (Dr Rory Leitch)

In this workshop, we will look at the concept of humour as a discursive “safe house” within the ESL/EFL classroom. Drawing upon some important recent work by Anne Pomerantz and Nancy D. Bell, we will look at some traditional ideas about the place of humour in the classroom and then we will reconsider humour from the perspective of the emergent participatory classroom and critical pedagogy. In the workshop, we will have a chance to reflect on the place of humour in our classrooms in theory, in practice, and in terms of our own professionalism.

Rory Leitch has been teaching ESL and EFL in various capacities and contexts since 1993. He is currently teaching in the EAP program at the SMU TESL center and he teaches the Curriculum and Instruction course in the M.Ed in TESL program at MSVU/SMU.

Session 3: Digital tools for EAP Reading and Listening (Jennifer MacDonald).

Click to download slides: Digital Tools for EAP_TESL NS 2013

Text annotation and note-making from readings and lectures are academic skills commonly taught in EAP courses.  This presentation outlines how instructors can update their teaching of these skills to prepare students for an increasingly digital university environment.  Programs for Windows, Mac, and iPad that support academic text annotation and note-making will be demonstrated.

Jennifer MacDonald is Acting Head Teacher, ESL Programs, at Dalhousie University. She has taught English to adults and youth in secondary, university and corporate environments in Quebec, Argentina, Slovakia and Spain and is also an ESL materials writer.  Her research interests include sociocultural approaches to second language acquisition, as well as educational technology. She holds an MA in TESOL from the Institute of Education, University of London.

Sessions 4: Update from the TESOL International Conference (Fe Leonor Baculi)

Some of the highlights of the recent TESOL  Inc. Convention/Dallas  will be presented, followed by a workshop, a sort of sharing-your-ideas type. The summaries include plenaries, current scholarly research work, and tips for the administrators, teacher educators, and teachers. All told, the convention was a professional development for everyone involved in the teaching of languages.  As the theme of the convention suggests “Harmonizing Language, Heritage, & Culture”, the topics and activities of the convention not only deal with professional expertise in the teaching and learning of languages but also celebrate and embrace the “histories, contributions, and vitality of many cultures” in our classrooms.

Ms. Fe is the current president of TESL Nova Scotia and has been a member of the board since 1999.  She was a teacher educator and professor of various disciplines in Asia, Africa, The Middle East, and Europe before she finally settled back in Canada. Coming from a multicultural and multilingual background herself, she loves teaching adult classes of different races and nationalities. Though an avid traveler at heart, she is staying put in Halifax now and has been teaching at the TESL Center, Saint Mary’s University since 2000. She has a flair for languages.

Session 5: Workshop 5: EAP Vocabulary: Beyond Just the Meaning (Shazia Nawaz Awan and Oksana Shkurska)

Click to download slides: ESL NS 2013-EAP Vocabulary-Beyond just the meaning

Introducing new vocabulary and helping students get familiar with unfamiliar words to understand texts or questions in assessment or exam papers is challenging, so ESL/EAP teachers use different techniques and methodology in their classrooms to teach vocabulary. This presentation will outline methods and techniques that are being used with EAP students at Dalhousie University. These techniques have not only helped students enrich their vocabulary, but have also enabled them to use these vocabulary items in practice while developing productive skills. This presentation demonstrates why it is important to teach vocabulary in context and let ESL/EAP students discover meaning and use on their own with practicing productive skills.

Shazia Nawaz has extensive experience of teaching English internationally and in Canada. When teaching in the Middle East, she decided to specialize in TESOL, and completed her Master in TESOL from the University of Manchester in 2008. She taught ESL to new immigrants and conducted her research with them.  Shazia is currently working with Dalhousie University ESL program and teaching EAP to university bound students. She has been using blended teaching with both in-class and online methods of delivering language learning instructions.

Oksana Shkurska is an ESL instructor for Dalhousie’s ESL programs. Holding a Ph.D. in Linguistics, she has been working in multicultural classrooms in Canada and abroad for over 10 years, teaching undergraduate and graduate students the English Language as well as lecturing on Culture Studies of English-speaking countries and supervising graduate students writing research papers and theses. She has conducted research on the problems of intercultural communication and barriers of communication, in particular, for the last four years.

Session 6: Action Research (Dr. Esther Enns)

Esther E. Enns serves as Dean of Arts and Dean of Education at Saint Mary’s University
in Halifax. Her current work focuses on advancing internationalization of student
learning, and she has taught in the M.Ed/TESL program that is offered by Mount Saint
Vincent University in association with Saint Mary’s. Holding a PhD in Education from the
University of Toronto/OISE, her own scholarship is in the related fields of educational
linguistics, curriculum studies and teacher development. Previously she was on faculty
at the University of Calgary for twenty years in the Dept. of Germanic, Slavic and East
Asian Studies. She taught German language and culture, did curriculum development
and research, collaborated closely with the language teaching community in Alberta,
and was also active as a translator and interpreter. At the U of Calgary she led campus-
wide initiatives in support of teaching development and curriculum renewal, and was
the founding director of the CFI-funded Language Research Centre for the advancement
of language education. In a ten-year international research collaboration with teacher
education institutions in Switzerland, she built a school-based, peer-mentorship system
for teacher development. In 1998 she named a 3M Teaching Fellow in recognition of
her teaching excellence and educational leadership, and currently serves on the national
Executive of the 3M Council. She is a Past President of the Canadian Association for
Teachers of German, the Canadian Society for Studies in Higher Education, and was
Editor-in Chief of its research publication, the Canadian Journal for Higher Education.

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