Past Workshops

Incorporating Indigenous content into the ESL classroom

Looking at social barriers and developing appropriate curriculum

When: Saturday, October 21, 9:30am-11:30am

Where: Queen’s University International Centre, 87 Union Street, Kingston

Speakers: Kevin Reed, Indigenous Education Consultant, Limestone District School Board and Amanda Morrison, Teacher

Training for Volunteers

How to Teach English as a Second Language to Newcomers

Help support newcomers to Kingston by learning strategies to teach English.

When:  Tuesday, May 23, 2017 from 4 to 6 pm
Where:  Loyola School of Adult and Continuing Education, 1440 Princess Street, Kingston

For more information, contact

TESL Kingston Spring Workshop, AGM and Luncheon

Saturday, May 6, 2017
Kingston Community Health Centres, 263 Weller Ave.

A Year Later – The Private Sponsorship Experience –
Successes, Surprises, & Challenges of Refugee Sponsorship

TESL Kingston presented a panel of community members who participated in the private sponsorship of Syrian refugees in the Kingston community:

Laurie Gordon, Frontenac Refugee Support Group
Sandra den Otter, Queen’s University, Anglican Diocese of Ontario Refugee Support (DOORS)
Mike Gallagher, The Sanctuary Project, St. Paul the Apostle Church

Ideas that Work: Local ESL Instructors Share
Successful Classroom Practices

Saturday, March 4, 2017
“Creating Versatile Assessment Tools” – learn versatile & student-friendly assessment ideas in this hands-on and interactive workshop Presenter Shelley Kirby works at Loyola as ESL instructor and lead instructor for PBLA, and has taught English in Southeast Asia and at Queen’s School of English

“Literature Circle Intensive Project for Intermediate/Advanced Learners” – learn how to introduce the set-up of a learner-centred Literature Circle Project starting from student choice of class novel to forming groups, identifying tasks, peer & self-assessment, and completion of final portfolio project Presenter Amie Pilgrim currently teaches at Queen’s School of English, and has taught in Okinawa, Japan and for various local organizations including the YMCA, the Limestone District School Board, and the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.

TESL Kingston Fall 2016 Workshop
Saturday, November 19, 2016     9:30am – 11:30am

posterDoors opened 9:00am for registration and book sales
Members $10, Students Free, Non-members $15
Location: Queen’s University International Centre

Attendees will be given a PD certificate for 2 hours.
TESL Ontario now requires 10 hours per year to maintain certification.

The Rhythm of English: A musical look into teaching pronunciation

Presenter: Darlene Barrowman
Professor in the English Language Learning Program at Centennial College, Toronto

Teaching speaking skills to students from a variety of backgrounds can be challenging. This diversity makes it problematic to focus on each student’s pronunciation. However, a breakdown in communication is not always due to a mispronunciation in phonemes. In this workshop, we will examine the different components of speech (segmentals and suprasegmentals) that can lead to incomprehensibility and look at new ways to teach speaking in the classroom that help students become more confident speakers outside the classroom.

Darlene has been teaching English as a Second Language to adult learners for more than ten years and is currently a professor in the English Language Learning Program for adult ESL students at Centennial College in Toronto, Ontario.  She has a Bachelor of Education, Specializing in Teaching English as a Second Language from Concordia University in Montreal. She received a Master of Education in Second Language Learning and Comparative International Development Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in 2011. For five years she was a speaking examiner for an internationally renowned English language testing system. When living in Kingston, she volunteered for 10 years as on-air radio host at Queen’s University Radio, CFRC, and the Kingston Canadian Film Festival. Since moving to Toronto, she has continued to follow her interest in music by working for one of Toronto’s music festivals, NXNE, and participating in Choir!Choir!Choir!

Accessing English Through Popular Music

Presenter: Dr. Nora Fayed
Professor of Occupational Therapy in the Queen’s School of Rehabilitation Therapy

This workshop will be an introduction to using popular music as a tool for teaching English. The rationale, benefits, and drawbacks of this approach will be explored through discussion and learning exemplars. Bring your own ideas, music preferences and experiences. Be prepared to share and even sing along.

Dr. Nora Fayed is a professor of occupational therapy in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. Her expertise is in measurement and prediction of health and quality of life for children with chronic medical conditions. As an occupational therapist, she worked at Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation in Toronto.

PDF: fall-2016-workshop-poster

Spring 2016 Workshop and TESL Kingston AGM

Innovative Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom

Presenters: Meagan Wills and Scott Murray

Saturday, April 16, 2016 10am – 1:30pm, with registration at 9:30am.
Lunch included. Members and students $10, Non-members $15.
Location: Queen’s University International Centre

TESL Kingston Apr 2016 Spring Workshop and AGM

Refugee Mental Health and Its Impact on Education and Settlement










February 27, 2016 at the Kingston Community Health Centres, 263 Weller Ave.

This workshop was sponsored by TESL Kingston with support from Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP).

TV Cogeco local station’s clip is posted here.

The morning began with an introduction to Syria, presented by Captain (Padre) Ryan Carter, Chaplain at the Royal Military College of Canada.

The main speaker, Amy Soberano, explored the complex relationship between trauma and learning within the context of forced migration and displacement, and reviewed best practices for working with survivors of torture and war.

Ms. Soberano, a Registered Social Worker, is a Child & Youth Settlement and Trauma Counselor at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture in downtown Toronto. In this capacity she works to support individuals, families, and communities that have been impacted by torture, war, and/or organized violence. She holds a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Toronto, with a concentration in Social Justice and Diversity.

Local ESL teacher Barbara Dick followed with 6 practical tips for teaching ESL to refugees, based on her 35 years of teaching refugees in adult and secondary classes.

Innovative ways to teach conversation

October 31, 2015

tesl kingston workshop oct 31 2015 presenters with groupIn the opening dialogue on one of the handouts, one of the speakers asks: “Hey, so what about this ‘Dictation Triptychs’ workshop we’ve signed up for? Think we’ll be in for more trick than treat?” In the end, the workshop proved to be both a “treat” for ESL teachers who want to get their students to talk more, and a “trick” to get students to work together on a common goal.

The presenters Joseph Ng and Suman Jeoti invoked both “trick” and “treat” in their workshop for TESL Kingston, which fell on a very auspicious day, Hallowe’en. They offered the audience a fully interactive teaching tool to get students talking and collaborating with less chalk-and-talk and more student-to-student interaction.

The workshop participants were introduced to the idea of dictation triptychs by going through a process similar to that which ESL students would go through: each person in a group of three took turns dictating a bit of dialogue while the other members of the group listened and tried to fill in the missing parts of the dialogue. Along the way, members in the group of three asked each other questions for clarification, worked together to get a complete dialogue, and exchanged gaps in information among the group members. The room buzzed with energy as participants were trying to figure out the meaning of “Triptiks,” “Krashenesque TPR,” and“pneumonoultramicroscopicencilicovolcano.” Or if the question “How now brown cow?” was, indeed, more commonly used in generations past.

Although there were three separate dialogues presented on one sheet divided into three panels (thus, “triptych”), similar functional elements ran through them all, including a question at the start to break the ice, a response to express sympathy, a question to keep the ball rolling, and a leave-taking. The exercise therefore helped reinforce the fact that there are various ways to express the same idea, and we don’t have to rely on rote memorization of set phrases. Dialogues in ESL textbooks, the presenters suggested, often lack the vibe and energy of a more dynamic real-life exchange.

To check for pronunciation, the completed dialogue was also read out loud. For extension, some participants were asked to perform their own dialogues, which they had made up during the session. Kudos to TESL Kingston members Hal Schipper and Joanna Cooke, who gave the audience a rousing performance of their improvisational dialogue involving a bit of libation.

The versatility of triptychs was also demonstrated through a succession of example dialogues that the presenters passed out. These included an exchange with a cashier to get change (for a buck, a dollar, a loonie), between school friends who made excuses about finishing a project, and between a curt public transit worker and an inquisitive commuter.

Suman also described how triptychs could, with a lot more guidance from the teacher, be implemented in a beginner-level class (CLB 1). The key to success, she said, lay in adapting the triptychs to the skill level of students and the comfort level of the teachers.

For those who were unable to attend, check out the link here to get more information about dictation triptychs and how they can help students develop their conversation skills.

–David Chau

Joseph Ng is a PTCT- and TESL-approved trainer and a LINC instructor with MicroSkills, a community development agency in Toronto, and LINC Home Study, for distance learners. His current interests are in e-portfolios and Dictation Triptychs, a single-worksheet technique that marries the jigsaw classroom with old-fashioned dictation, which, he thinks, brings joy to teachers and students. He has an M.A. in English from the National University of Singapore.

Suman Jeoti has an M.A. in English and a B.Ed., besides being TESL, OCT and CELTA certified. She is also PTCT trained, and has wide international experience teaching ESL, EFL, IELTS, TOEFL and Literature. Also, she has been associated with two community colleges for ESL/ IELTS. She is a supply instructor / volunteer with MicroSkills LINC and remains interested in helping learners achieve new heights of discovery in their language-acquisition process.

TESL Kingston Refugee Mental Health Workshop Poster Winter 2016
TESL Kingston Dictation Triptychs Workshop Poster Fall 2015
TESL Kingston Assessment Workshop Report Spring 2015
TESL Kingston Assessment Workshop Poster Spring 2015
TESL Kingston Teacher Sharing Workshop Poster Winter 2015