SOURCE: TESL Ontario

TESL Ontario

October 27, 2015 10:30 ET

Yesterday's New Immigrants Are Today's Proud Learners Thanks to ESL Week's Tech Twist

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - October 27, 2015) - Imagine yourself moving to a foreign country knowing only a few -- if any -- words of the local language, being tasked with writing or telling a story about your experiences in that new language and having it posted online to be judged by a 'People's Choice' vote.

This is what many ESL adult students enrolled in language learning programs across Ontario have been doing recently, encouraged by their instructors who are also themselves eligible to submit written or video versions of their own inspirational moments to be similarly judged in the Instructor's Division of the TESL Ontario ESL Week Contest.

Through to the end of October, TESL Ontario members and social media followers are being asked to visit the special section of the TESL Ontario Blog and vote by clicking the "Like" button for any number of entries they believe achieve the goal of sparking inspiration and motivation.

This new format for the annual ESL Week activity, November 8 - 14, 2015, is indicative of today's technology-based English language teaching methods for newcomers to Canada. Use of the internet, mobile devices, social media and integration of digital technology are now widely used by instructors to help make learning English easier and more practical for learners, many of whom are well into their senior years.

"Encouraging learners as well as instructors to share their experiences by creating and uploading videos or written stories helps TESL Ontario raise the awareness of the importance of language training professionals as well as ESL education for Ontarians and newcomers during ESL Week and throughout the year," says Renate Tilson, executive director of TESL Ontario.

Examples of "inspirational moments" of contest entries by learners range from a 70-year-old Asian woman who, through photography and encouragement from her instructor, went from feeling 'deaf', 'blind' and 'mute' in her newly adopted country to having a dream and a purpose; to new immigrants who, prior to enrolling in a LINC (Language Instruction to Newcomers to Canada) or other English language class, found it difficult to care for their childrens' needs in the community or to be happy, confident and independent citizens and employees.

ESL instructors have also shared their motivational moments with both students and other instructors to provide inspiration, encouragement and a better understanding of the joys of their profession by their family and friends. Sample entries from this sector of the ESL Week contest describe "Joys of Teaching" and "Four Words that Make Teaching Worth It".

The ESL Creativity Contest is a feature of ESL Week November 8 - 14, 2015, an annual celebration of ESL education and learning that is endorsed throughout Ontario by more than 30 communities, thousands of ESL educators, students of all ages, and many learning institutions and school boards.

Winners of the Peoples' Choice voting will be honoured on November 12 at the Welcome Reception of TESL Ontario's annual conference, a key highlight of ESL Week.

The 43rd annual conference of TESL Ontario titled: "Expanding Horizons: Drawing on Experience and Knowledge" -- #TESL2015 -- takes place at the Sheraton Centre Toronto, November 12 - 13, 2015. It is amongst the largest conference of its kind in Canada, hosting more than 800 delegates. A variety of interactive workshops, presentations, technology labs, panel discussion, research symposia, poster sessions and more will be offered to language training professionals from public and private sectors, academics, researchers and government representatives. Recognition Awards will also be presented to deserving TESL Ontario members acknowledging their excellence, commitment and long-term achievements.

TESL Ontario, established in 1972, is a non-profit organization serving the needs of teachers of English as a Second Language. It represents more than 4,600 language training professionals working in immigrant serving agencies, school boards, publicly funded sites across Ontario, colleges/universities, elementary/secondary and private language training schools. TESL Ontario's expertise is in teaching, advocacy, accreditation and professional development. The organization is instrumental in influencing the success of many thousands of English language learners throughout the province.

For more information visit www.teslontario.org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

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