2019 TESL Sask/SKTEAL Conference


Friday Break Out Session Information

Friday 11:00-11:50

Cultural Math Bins – Kirsten Kobylak

Cultural math bins combine the importance of students’ identity with curricular outcomes
in math. Recognizing that language and cultural tools are crucial for learning
environments bridges the gap between home and school as it honors the home and
acknowledges that children learn from their own culture first. There are many ways to
share tradition and culture through making mathematical connections and establishing a
community of practice. This session shares some practical ways to invite culture into
math and demonstrates how students’ identity combined with curricular outcomes to
build on the concept that ‘Math is Everywhere’.


A Closer Look at Academic Vocabulary – Cari Pankewich, Vanessa O’Malley,
Kirsten Cavanaugh

The language of school and the demands it places on learners when engaging in
reading and writing tasks make academic vocabulary a critical piece for success. The
development of CALP-level proficiency is a long and uneven process. English Language
Learners (ELLs) are continually chasing a moving target to close the gap between
themselves and their native speaking classmates to compete academically. Since this
vocabulary is often termed rare or sophisticated, it is difficult to learn from exposure
alone. By examining pedagogical approaches, educators can ensure that language and
content is more accessible to their learners. This workshop will provide educators with
the opportunity for exploration into instructional strategies, classroom tools, and
assessment techniques for teaching academic vocabulary to ELLs. Participants will be
given the opportunity to explore some of the tools provided for use in their own

Building TESL/TESL Research Network: Rethinking Teachers as Knowledge
Producers - Hyunjung Shin, Darren Gordon, Shawna Jurgens

In this open brainstorm session for EAL/ESL research topic ideas and research network
building, we will discuss the importance of teachers’ knowledge and (re)conceptualizing
teachers as knowledge producers rather than the consumers of research knowledge in
EAL/ESL education. The purpose of this discussion is not only to support EAL/ESL
teachers and practitioners for their professional development but also to enhance the
learning experiences of the English language learners (ELLs) in their classrooms. With
the growing population of ELLs as well as increasing multilingualism and multiculturalism
in the province, broadening the scope of EAL/ESL research and perceived research
needs deserves a better attention to make teacher research engagement a more
feasible activity in EAL/ESL education. We will begin with a brief discussion of the
applicability of EAL/ESL research to teaching, the need for teachers’ conducting
research as a means of critical reflection on their practices, and the challenges
practitioners face as emerging researchers. We will then solicit potential ideas for both
long-term purposes and short-term purposes for research network building among the
researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. We will explore how to create an on-going
social space for research network as well as how to work together on potential research
partnership for specific projects. The session will conclude with a brief discussion of how
research on the social and political context in which teachers find themselves has the
potential to be a major component in the continuing struggle to improve EAL/ESL

Building Bridges: Self-Reflection and Language Outcomes PART 1 – Kaia Anderson,

Melissa Enns, Greg Smith

This workshop outlines the development of a reflection-based approach to language
training in an academic preparatory high school in Regina and provides participants with
an opportunity to build assignments or lessons for their own classrooms that encourage
and assess development in reflective thinking and language skills simultaneously. To
begin, we provide a brief overview of the language benchmarks guiding our program and
a very short review of the literature that supports the roles of reflection (Kunitake, 2006)
and noticing (Schmidt, 1990; 2001) in language learning. Next, we describe the
development of two assignments that we have built into our classrooms. These
assignments integrate reflection with written production and consist of two components –
a language self-evaluation designed to stimulate self-reflection on language use and a
reflective essay that is assessed according to specific language benchmarks, thus
meeting both reflective and language-based objectives. During the remainder of the
workshop, participants are invited to work alone or with a group to conceptualize and
construct an assignment or lesson plan that combines reflection and noticing with oral or
written language outcomes relevant to their contexts. At the ends, there will be time to
exchange ideas and content generated through the workshop.


Friday 1:20-2:10

Applications of corpus techniques in teaching English grammar and vocabulary –Dr. Zhi Li

A corpus is a collection of naturally occurring language data stored in computer-readable
formats. The availability of a diverse range of corpora and corpus tools has prompted
new approaches to teaching language. This workshop will start with a brief introduction
of corpus linguistics. Some useful resources will be used in hands-on activities for
teaching grammar and vocabulary. 


Knowing Me, Knowing You: Autoethnography in TESL and ESL Classrooms
(Research) – Heather Donnelly

Reflective writing is commonplace in TESL/ESL. Autoethnography is reflective
writing/research that connects personal experiences to wider social, political, and
cultural contexts. This presentation will discuss how autoethnography is being utilized in
TESL/ESL classrooms to assist learners in making meaning of their teaching/learning
experiences and relating those experiences to others.
Intercultural Competence – Laurie Anderson
This session will focus on culture, identity, and intercultural competence. We will
describe the facets of culture, develop an awareness of culture and identity, and explore
ways to develop intercultural competence. Throughout the session, we will discuss our
own personal culture as well as that of our EAL students and their families.

Building Bridges: Self-Reflection and Language Outcomes PART 2 – Kaia
Anderson, Melissa Enns, Greg Smith
This session is a continuation of the Part 1 session held at 11:00am.


Friday 2:25-3:15

"I Have Gained Expertise and Confidence to Support Diverse EAL Learners!" -
Highlighting The Positive Effects of New EAL Courses on Classroom Learning -
Nadia Prokopchuk

This workshop will highlight the academic strides being made at the College of
Education, University of Saskatchewan, to increase the professional knowledge and
expertise of PreK-12 educators working with EAL learners in Saskatchewan schools.
Testimonials from several teachers who have completed the college’s newest EAL
courses will be shared during the workshop. Collectively, teachers feel empowered by
newly-acquired academic knowledge and perspectives about best practices in EAL
education. Armed with an array of new ideas for instruction and assessment, and
backed by evidence from current research, teachers feel better-equipped to address
EAL issues within their current reality. This reality may be rural or urban, and may
involve local EAL learners, newcomers, or refugees. The new EAL courses, delivered
online, were developed to fulfill university requirements for the Post-Degree Certificate in
EAL Education and the SPTRB’s requirements for the Additional Qualifications
Certificate. Workshop participants will have opportunities to interact, comment, and ask

Strategies for Reading and Writing Non-Fiction – Gisèle Carlson

If you love reading and writing non-fiction with your students as I do, then this is the
workshop for you! Learn how to model non-fiction reading and writing strategies with
authentic texts using the gradual release of responsibility strategy (also known as ‘I do,
We do, You do’) that includes demonstration, prompt, and practice. The texts we will be
using for this workshop are from the Leaving My Homeland series. However, the
strategies demonstrated can be transferred to any text with strong non-fiction features,
and without a lot of teacher time spent in pre-planning.


Socio-cultural Aspects in English Grammar – Ricardo Arisnaberreta
Language is needed for interaction, but every interaction is a social construction of
power. Bias in language and race usually affect our interactions and perceptions of
others. Colonial constructed views of superior self and inferior other combined with
factors such as race, gender, ethnicity, class, and other affect us all (Pennycook, 1998).
This presentation address social linguistic discourses embedded in the language that
can affect or help learners reach their potential in the Canadian context. One of these
discourses is the use of grammar. Understanding that grammar is key but not the only
sub-skill (or skill) is important. This presentation aims to provide a platform for a critical
discussion regarding socio-cultural aspects embedded in language. In addition, this
presentation aims to help instructors easily identify level-appropriate grammar exercises.

Critical Pedagogies in Linguistically and Culturally Responsive Classrooms PART1

Hyunjung Shin, Anita Verlangen, Mimi Muynh

With continued increase in the number of linguistically and culturally diverse students in
Saskatchewan classrooms, there is a strong need to reorient EAL/ESL teacher
education around the goals of better serving the diverse needs of students. Yet,
mainstream teacher education perpetuates existing pedagogical practices and
Eurocentric knowledge, and pays insufficient attention to fostering affirming attitudes
toward diversity. Drawing from our experience as a university teacher-educator, an adult
ESL instructor, and a high school science teacher, we will facilitate hands-on
professional development sessions to create linguistically and culturally responsive
classrooms from critical pedagogical perspectives. Given that a critical understanding
linguistic and cultural diversity is an essential component of EAL/ESL teacher education
in today’s world, Shin’s session focuses on how to train EAL/ESL teacher to develop
their own intercultural understanding through an experiential learning activity, so they
can better develop critical intercultural competence among their students. Verlangen
highlights the social, cultural, and economic integration of immigrants and refugees into
Canada in LINC classrooms in response to TRC Call to Action #93 which calls for the
revision of information for newcomers to include information about treaties and
residential schools. She will share key elements of the modules she developed to teach
about Indigenous history and promote positive relationships between newcomer
communities and Indigenous people in Canada. Lastly, Huynh’s session will focus on
strategies science teachers can utilize to help EAL students overcome the
challenges/struggles which they face in high school science classrooms.

Friday 3:25-4:15

New Open Educational Resource! Sharing our Knowledge: Best Practices for
Supporting English Language Learners in Schools - Nadia Prokopchuk, Rochelle
Chambers, Michele Hudson, Victoria Oldershaw, Cari Pankewich

This workshop explores the current movement toward the use of Open Educational
Resources in academic settings. According to the U of S Library copyright policies,
“Open Educational Resources (OER) allow instructors and students to access, use,
revise/remix and share pedagogically appropriate learning materials freely. There are
less restrictive copyright licences (e.g., Creative Commons licences) attached to OER
than there are for traditionally published materials.” Based on these principles, a new
EAL publication titled ‘Sharing Our Knowledge: Best Practices for Supporting English
Language Learners in Schools’ has been released as an OER resources. The
publication is a collection of 17 student essays from the online course ECUR 415:
Current Issues in EAL. The essays have been categorized under four main topics:
Welcoming Environments and Cultural Responsiveness, Classroom Support for EAL
Learners, Settlement and Refugee Support, and EAL Learners with Special Learning
Challenges. During this workshop, four OER essay authors will share their rationale for
selecting a particular essay topic. The authors will offer insights into the ways that their
learning on the topic has impacted classroom teaching and/or support to EAL learners.
The workshop concludes with a brief discussion about use of this OER publication to
spark critical conversations, build collegiality, and create a network of support among
EAL teacher-specialists and teaching colleagues across the province.


Useful EAL iPad Apps and Other Great EAL Technology Resources – Charlene
Neumeyer, Cristina Fortugno

Have you ever wondered what to do with your EAL students and those iPads that the
school has? Well, this workshop will give you a wealth of wonderful ideas! Cristina,
Student Software Support from GSCS, expert on iPads, will present on: Bitsboard
(versatile vocabulary building games), Epic (book reading, narration, audio books – free
for educators), Drops (5 min a day visual language learning – free version), Tiny Cards –
Fun Flashcards ( Duolingo language flashcards, plus make your own cards), iOS iPad
Accessibility Features, Speech to Text & Text to Speech, and Large Text.
Then Charlene will share some of her other great EAL technology resources, that she
uses as she is in the field daily teaching, such as: ESL Library (a membership is required
but a wealth of resources are here and worth it!), Kahoot (free, games that assist in
learning!), and Rosetta Stone (membership as well).
If you have an iPad, please feel free to bring it to this workshop to be engaged,
educated, and enthralled!


K-12 EAL Coffee Talk: "What do you do when…?"- Shawna Jurgens, Lana Lehr

Are you an EAL teacher or a classroom teacher with ELLs in your classroom? Do you
want to talk shop and converse about your experiences? Give or get advice about issues
around the province? Discuss needs or wishes in your EAL classroom? Wish you had
time to talk about what you are experiencing but don’t have many other people in EAL in
your area? There never seems to be enough time during conferences or meetings, so
come on out! We will share tips and ideas during this 50-minute coffee talk.
We will break up into two groups – high school and elementary, and have an informal
talk over coffee (or water). Here’s to feeling connected!

Critical Pedagogies in Linguistically and Culturally Responsive Classrooms PART2

Hyunjung Shin, Anita Verlangen, Mimi Muynh

This session is a continuation of the Part 1 session held at 2:25pm.


Saturday Break Out Sessions

Saturday 10:30-11:20

How to prepare for and implement e-learning delivery in an educational
organization – Sharon Rajabi

In this presentation, we will explore the factors that impact e-learning delivery in adult
ESL and LINC programs and discuss key questions that administrators and program
designers need to consider before preparing for online language training delivery as well
as tips to sustain online delivery.   We will explore how online delivery can be aligned
with the promotion and progression of learners and what type of Instructor support is
most conducive to e-learning delivery.  From setting up viable infrastructure to training
staff and accessing relevant curriculum, we will look at how organizations can
incorporate online language training delivery in their programs.  There will be plenty of
opportunity for questions and answers.

Gamify Your Moodle Course – Chayan Mallick

Gamification in e-learning has emerged as an effective way to increase learner
engagement and motivation. It involves the application of game playing elements to
online training, and it is effective in online language training. This session explains
gamification and it demonstrates ways of adding different types of games to a Moodle
course on edulinc.org, a website for settlement language training programs funded by
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. In addition to looking at several different
Moodle activities suitable for gaming, this session will demonstrate how badges can be
used to recognize skills and achievements using common activity types in the LINC

Participants are welcome to bring tablets, laptops, iPads or smartphones to this session.


TESL Saskatchewan Accreditation Levels Q & A PART 1 - TESL Saskatchewan

If you are curious about the new TESL Saskatchewan Accreditation levels, please join
us for a Q & A session where attendees can learn about and get clarification on the
levels, requirements, and accreditation processes.


See, Hear & Speak: An Auditory-Visual Strategy for TESL & TEAL

Subhas Maharaj

PICTOPAGES LITE was designed for the iPad and is available FREE from the App
Store. This versatile software was developed in Saskatchewan, through the University of
Regina, using Pictogram Symbols and provides a visual support to an auditory learning
This approach is to record a statement in the individual’s native language and translate it
into Standard English. The software allows for practice and pronunciation of English
words (Listen & Say) to maximize the learning potential for expressive language.
Select from a library of 2200 symbols with 78 animated symbols or customize the
program by including photographs instantaneously onto the page. The symbols or
photographs are used as visual cues for customized teaching; learning English as a
Second or Additional Language.

PICTOPAGES LITE allows you to:
o Build pages for learning and communication in the classroom, and to practice in
the privacy of your home.
o Change the text and record in the native language of the speaker followed by the
translation of the statement in English using one Pictogram symbol or one

Saturday 2:00-2:50


Top Resources for Teaching Pronunciation – Dr. Tracey Derwing

I will highlight several good resources available to teachers who don't feel comfortable
teaching pronunciation, but who know their students really need it. Teachers will be
directed to some excellent sites to enhance their own knowledge, and will also be
steered away from sites that give misleading information.  Basic principles will be
covered to help multilingual classes get the 'best bang for the buck'. 

Are We Teaching Our Students What They Need to Succeed at Reading in
University? (Research) – Vicki Schoch

Even though there is a consensus within academic institutions that new immigrant and
foreign students who attend ESL preparatory programs are more successful than their
direct entry counterparts in university programs, it is a fact that students today are
having more and more difficulty with reading comprehension than their counterparts
even five years ago. There are a variety of theories as to why. Many focus on the
increase of technology in the classroom. Others focus on increases in attention deficit or
lack of ability to focus. Even though there is no clear consensus on the cause, there is
on the result.

Nevertheless, most research regarding students’ preparation for university to date
focuses on either the ability to write essays using formal and complex structures or the
ability to understand lectures and take notes. Little has been done to determine whether
students are actually prepared to read and comprehend post-secondary textbooks. This
is likely due to the fact that reading comprehension assessments are only as good as
the questions being asked. Therefore, the validity is questionable.
Therefore, the focus of the research is based not on the students’ results, but rather on
the types of materials they are being asked to read. This study compares and contrasts
the ESL texts and assessments used at the U of R to six first year textbooks in terms of
genre, content, sentence structure, and a variety of grammatical points to try to answer
the question, “Are we truly preparing our students to read university level material?”

TESL Saskatchewan Accreditation Levels Q & A PART 2 - TESL Saskatchewan
This session is a continuation of the Part 1 session held at 10:30am.


Creative Solutions – Ellen Son
The presenter will first share a brainstorming tool that she developed to teach EAP
students to write a comparison and contrast essay while taking a position, and then she
will explain a string of other language activities that have been proven effective to
engage students to communicate and collaborate with their team members. All activities
are timed, fast-paced, and there will be a winner at the end of each game/activity.
Students think on their feet to beat other teams while practicing their communication,
creative problem solving, vocabulary, and reading skills. The workshop participants will
have a hands-on experience.

Saturday 3:10-4:00

Magnetic Mini-Modules – Chayan Mallick, Cyndee Morehouse
PBLA is based upon real world tasks (RWT) and assessments for adults. However,
planning for RWT based materials and assessments with PBLA in LINC is a strenuous
job. How does some real-world based, but fun, engaging and inspiring activities sound?
When they come with ready-made module plans, materials, and assessments, doesn't
that sound even better? This session will give the participants the opportunity to walk
through four such mini-modules, see the end result, and have access to the resources
on Tutela to use in their classroom.

The 3 Cs: Colour, Corrections, Comedy – Donald B. Campbell
The workshop will focus on some techniques, practices and activities that can be readily
used in the classroom. Participants will help Donald demonstrate how he uses them and
will be encouraged to share their own ideas.
Colour – This will include ways to use visuals, color coding (ex. red for verbs), and
photos featuring people who reflect your students’ appearance (ex. skin colour).
Corrections – Students’ errors can be wonderful sources for classroom activities that
guide learners toward self-correction. Donald loves to make errors, especially humorous
ones, for his students to spot and correct. “Everyone makes mistakes!”
Comedy – All teachers are actors at heart and can engage students with fun roleplays
(ex. “I’m your 5-year-old son.”). Using different voices and physical humour when you act
out things to demonstrate meaning helps create a class culture of not taking ourselves
too seriously.

TESL SK Website Launch – TESL Saskatchewan

TESL Sask is excited to unveil its new website with valuable new capabilities and
features at the 2019 conference. After considering quotes from multiple web developers,
the board was impressed with the work and proposal of Codigo and entered into a
contract for the development of the new website earlier this year. Luke Johnson has
been working diligently and closely with Lisa and Darren to meet the current needs of
TESL Sask members. One of the most important features is the development of a
members-only area on the website where TESL Sask members are able to access
professional development materials, access forms, track professional development
hours, among many other helpful tools. This session is intended to present the new
website and enable you to explore the possibilities of the new website, particularly the
benefits of utilizing the members-only area. We hope you leave empowered to use the
website more because of its greater capacity to be a source of information for you. We
also welcome your feedback and input to continue to make the website functional and

Ministry of Education Grants: Sharing & Collaborations

Shauna Tilbury, Liz Rowley

Do you have a Ministry-funded project you can share?  Are you interested in
collaborating with others on new project ideas?  Maybe you have a project idea but need
help? Or maybe your division has never applied and you’d like to learn more about the
process? Here’s a chance to meet face-to-face.  Come join fellow K-12 educators for
some brainstorming and sharing of ideas/resources!

Break Out Session Schedule & Location

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