The following blog post was written by Emily Albertsen, a faculty member at the School of Global Access. This is the second blog of a two-part series.
Over 900 ELL instructors, coordinators, and service providers attended the Language Training Learning Event in Edmonton this February, including 24 people from Bow Valley College. The event was sponsored by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and hosted by ATESL and NorQuest College. It brought together ELL practitioners from across the Prairie and Northern Territories (PNT) Region, which includes Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
Instructors from the School of Global Access at Bow Valley College had the opportunity to present at this conference. The presentations were very well-attended and very well-received; we shared our ideas and experience and were able to connect with colleagues from across the PNT region. We gave three presentations:
Task-Based Planning: Starting With the End in Mind
Presented by: Grant Sorensen, Shannon Lu, and Renée Clark
Grant, Shannon, and Renée presented on short-term and long-term theme planning in their 90-minute workshop. With an emphasis on creating meaningful Real World Tasks and planning accompanying skill-building and skill-using resources, participants left the session with filled out topic plans what are suitable for their own levels and learners.
Indigenous Awareness Session – Building Relationships and Making Connections
Presented by: Nadia Khan
Nadia Khan co-presented this session with two NorQuest College instructors. Nadia shared tools, ideas, and exemplars to plan activities that promote connections and build relationships between ELL learners and members of the Indigenous community. Exemplars and tools included scaffolded speaking and writing tasks that help learners build these relationships through interaction with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and Indigenous learners at Bow Valley College. Learner reflection templates, a reading circle model, and community connections were also shared at the session.
Making and Adapting Materials for ESL Literacy Learners
Presented by: Shelley McConnell, and Emily Albertsen
Shelley and Emily presented on the intentional and careful design of effective learning materials for ESL literacy learners. Emily discussed writing materials for your learners; she talked about instructional level, targeting oral language and literacy skills and strategies, and effective format. Shelley talked about the importance of anchoring learning to physical spaces and movement when developing materials for people from more orally-oriented cultures. She talked about how these “loci” or “learning palaces” aid in memory for not only introducing and reinforcing geographic and spatial concepts but all literacy and language learning. The workshop closed with an exploration of paper-based and hands-on materials across a range of ESL literacy levels.
To read the first blog in this series, you can access it here.