TESL Dialogue Sessions

-TESL Dialogue Sessions

The TESL Dialogue series is an open forum where participants are free to turn on their microphones and cameras to fully immerse in a discussion about a relevant topic in ELT. A subject-matter-expert joins participants in this session to help guide the conversation and offer helpful insight when needed.

Format: Throughout the session the moderator will provide the audience with a thought-provoking question to encourage conversation. After the subject matter expert responds to the question, participants are invited to answer the questions themselves, provide a comment or example, or ask a related question to the subject matter expert and their peers. The goal of this session is to develop a community of practice which allows for as many narratives to be heard and shared as possible. The session will conclude with a breakout room reflection activity where participants are encouraged to discuss what they have learned, any remaining questions they have, and their next steps in respect to the session topic.


Upcoming TESL Dialogue Sessions

   February 11 Poetry: From the Page to the Classroom 
   March 7 Online Learning From a Learner’s Point of View
   April 4 PFL to 4L: What Does the L Really Mean? Let's Talk Literacy!
  June 3 Online Engagement Strategies for Adult Learners
  July 11 Cultivating a Culture of Academic Integrity


Access to TESL Dialogue Sessions

  • TESL Dialogue Sessions are open to TESL Ontario members only, as a FREE benefit of membership.
  • TESL Dialogue sessions are hosted on Zoom meeting.
  • TESL Dialogue sessions are limited to 80 registrants. Once the limit is reached, registration will close. Please be considerate of others; before registering, be sure you can attend.
  • PD certificates for 1.5 hours will be emailed within 5 business days of the event.

Please note that these sessions are not hosted within Tutela.ca, and registration is different from webinar registration.


Not a member of TESL Ontario, but want to receive notices of upcoming PD events? If so, complete the online form to join our email list.

Learn more about TESL Ontario membership


TESL Dialogue: Poetry: From the Page to the Classroom                           

Subject-Matter Expert:  Annie Altamirano

When: Saturday, February 11, 3:00 - 4:30pm EST

Teaching Sectors: All Teaching Sectors

Participant Level: No previous knowledge required

Category: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Social Justice, Poetry


Dialogue Description


What are the benefits, if any, of using poetry in the ESL /EFL class? How often do you use poetry in class? What kinds of poems do you generally use? How do you choose the poems? What is your students' reaction to the poems? If you don't use poetry, could you explain why? 
In this session, our subject-matter expert will offer participants a series of questions with the aim of generating discussion about the value of using poetry, and perhaps other forms of literature, in the ESL /EFL class.
She will encourage participants to:
discuss what are the benefits and possible problems of using poetry in class, and
encourage them to analyse the criteria they use to choose poems, the activities they do, and the reaction of their students.
She will invite participants to discuss how poetry can be used to teach values and social skills.
She will also invite those teachers who do not use poetry in their lessons, to explain what prevents them from doing so and perhaps encourage them to give the experience a try. 
Complementary TESL Ontario Webinar
Our subject-matter expert will also present a TESL Ontario webinar on this topic. She will present three poems and show how to enable students to engage confidently with contemporary poetry and help them build empathy and understanding. Included will be a description of activities to accompany the poems, suitable for different ages and levels of English.
About the Subject-Matter Expert 
Annie Altamirano (she/her) has an MA in ELT and Applied Linguistics from the University of London, England. She has over 30 years' experience as a teacher and teacher trainer and has given teacher-training workshops in Europe. Her main areas of interest and study are assessment for learning, the use of literature and, more specifically, poetry to develop awareness of social issues, and integrating different visual media to develop critical thinking and creativity. She is currently TESOL-SPAIN's Vice-President and External Liaison Officer.

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Note: TESL Dialogue sessions are only open to current TESL Ontario members.


TESL Dialogue: Online Learning From a Learner’s Point of View                 Online Learning

Subject-Matter Expert: Ellen Park, OCELT

When: Tuesday, March 7, 7:00 - 8:30 pm EST

Teaching Sectors: Adult ESL (credit), College/University (EAP), LINC

Session Type: Teaching Best Practices 

Category: Online Teaching/Learning

Dialogue Description

Consider these questions:

What does the learner see in my online classroom?

What are the challenges that a learner faces in an online environment?

What makes a good online instructor?

What helps students learn better in an online environment?

What is good practice for assessments online?

Ellen Park will look back at lessons she learned about online teaching, from having taken an online French course. She had taken online courses before, but this was the first time she had taken a language course. She realized afterwards how different learning a language was compared to learning content/ subject matter. Since then, she has been making an effort to apply those lessons in her classes.

This session will share those lessons as well as open a discussion about other possible methods instructors can adopt.

About the Subject-Matter Expert
Ellen Park has been interested in using technology in ESL for many years. She taught CALL (computer assisted language learning) at Sookmyung University’s TESOL program when computer assisted learning was becoming popular. Later she worked as head of the content development team for a Korean “Edutainment “ company. Currently, she is teaching ESL online at Sheridan College. Ellen has an M. Ed. in English Language Teaching from the University of Manchester in Manchester, UK, and a B. A. in Journalism from Ewha Women's University in Seoul, Korea.

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Note: TESL Dialogue sessions are only open to current TESL Ontario members.

TESL Dialogue: PFL to 4L: What Does the L Really Mean? Let's Talk Literacy!                     Literacy

Subject-Matter Expert: Dana Augustino, OCELT & Sam Banks, OCELT

When: Tuesday, April 4, 7:00 – 8:30 pm EDT

Teaching Sectors: Continuing Education/Adult ESL (non-credit), LINC

Session Type: Teaching Best Practices 

Category: Assessment, Lesson Planning/Ideas, Literacy, PBLA


Dialogue Description

Consider these questions:
What are the differences between Literacy Learners and Mainstream Learners?
How do you do PBLA with Literacy Learners?
What are some Literacy strategies that have helped in your classroom?
What are easy modifications you can make to help your Literacy Learners?
What were some assumptions, or what did you take for granted when you first entered a Literacy classroom? 
Literacy Learners have unique needs that should be addressed in the classroom. What we take for granted or assume all learners have experienced in the classroom, varies.
Our subject-matter experts will lead a discussion to draw out these assumptions and put learning strategy tools in the hands of Instructors.
The best learning comes from sharing methods that have been successful, and this discussion will generate usable tips to take back to the classroom. 
About the Subject-Matter Experts

Dana Augustino (she/her) is the LINC Literacy Lead at the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. She has been an instructor for over 10 years and was part of a 3-year specialized Literacy Project at the HWCDSB where she and four other colleagues were tasked to put the ESL for ALL into practice, run specialized Literacy classes, and train Instructors in Literacy.

Sam Banks (she/her) is the ESL/LINC Program Specialist at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. Over her 16 years in the field, she has spent the majority immersed in literacy instruction and assessing. Recently, she lead a Literacy Project at the HWCDSB to train instructors in Literacy and put the ESL for ALL into practice. 

Other resources for webinars given on this topic by Dana Augustino and/or Sam Banks can be found on Tutela, including:


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Note: TESL Dialogue sessions are only open to current TESL Ontario members.


TESL Dialogue: Online Engagement Strategies for Adult Learners                     Online-Engagement

Subject-Matter Expert: Sylvia Fung, OCELT

When: Saturday, June 3, 3:00 - 4:30 pm EDT

Teaching Sectors: Adult ESL (credit), College/University (EAP), Continuing Education/Adult ESL (non-credit), OSLT/ELT, TESL trainers

Session Type: Teaching Best Practices 

Category: Instructional Design, Lesson Planning/Ideas, Online Teaching/Learning

Dialogue Description

How are adult learners different in the current situation coming out of the pandemic?

What are the ingredients to Learner-Centered Design?

How do we transform these ingredients into a great educational experience?

What are some online engagement strategies that you used for adult learners?

How do you assess whether your engagement strategy is successful?


How do adult learners learn differently online, and how do you keep them engaged in the virtual classroom? This session aims to explore practical strategies and innovative techniques to engage learners to deliver more satisfying learning experiences. Join us to learn from others as well as have an opportunity to share your ideas and suggestions.


About the Subject-Matter Expert

Sylvia Fung (she/her) has been teaching for over 20 years, and is currently an ESL instructor and teacher-trainer at Seneca College. She has an M.Ed. and was a school teacher for the Toronto District School Board and a corporate trainer. She enjoys teaching workplace communication skills, with special interests in pronunciation and sociocultural awareness.


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Note: TESL Dialogue sessions are only open to current TESL Ontario members.


This TESL Dialogue session was rescheduled from January 17th to July 11th. 

TESL Dialogue: Cultivating a Culture of Academic Integrity  
                      Cultivating a Culture of Academic Integrity

Subject-Matter Expert: Iryna Pavlova, OCELT & Laura Facciolo

When: Tuesday, July 11, 12:00 - 1:30 pm EDT

Teaching Sectors: All sectors

Session Type: Teaching Best Practices 

Participant Level: No previous knowledge required

Category: Academic Integrity

*Please note the early start time* 

Dialogue Description

What does equitable pedagogy mean to you? Do the values of equitable pedagogy intersect with the values of academic integrity? Can there ever be academic integrity without equity? Join our session to engage in a lively discussion of this topic.

In this session, participants will:
learn about the cultural dimensions of equitable academic integrity practices,
learn small-scale strategies for embedding academic integrity skills into their pedagogy,
be presented with hands-on resources that help promote a culture of academic integrity,
gain an understanding of why integrity matters beyond the classroom, and
learn about ongoing academic integrity challenges and what changes could be made to remove barriers and add support. 
About the Subject-Matter Experts
Iryna Pavlova (she/her) is a Second Language Education professional with over 20 years of teaching experience in the field of ESL. Originally, she comes from Ukraine, where she completed her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature. Iryna also holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Education degree from OISE, University of Toronto. Over the years of her career, Iryna has taught general ESL classes, occupation-specific language classes, enhanced language training, employment preparation, business communication, as well as business and academic writing classes. Presently, Iryna works as the Academic Integrity Facilitator with the Academic Integrity Office at Sheridan College.
Laura Facciolo is a Learning Innovation Specialist at York University. She holds an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Pedagogy, and is currently working towards an MA in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory at McMaster University. In research and professional practice, her work centres on pedagogical care and holistic innovations. 

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Note: TESL Dialogue sessions are only open to current TESL Ontario members.


Want to Lead a Discussion?

TESL Ontario continuously accepts proposals for TESL Dialogue subject-matter experts throughout the year. Proposals will be reviewed by the Dialogue team, and if approved the subject-matter expert will be contacted to make arrangements for scheduling the TESL Dialogue session.

Visit our Become a Presenter webpage for more information.


TESL Dialogue Session Title Subject-Matter Expert Air Date
Grazzia Maria Mendoza Chirinos
Jacqueline Seijo, OCELT
James Papple, OCELT
Sheila Nicholas, OCELT
Livia Pataki, OCELT & Mitra Rabiee, OCELT
Alice Pivniceru
Chadia Mansour
Sharon Tjaden-Glass & Chadia Mansour
Alanna Carter
Livia Pataki & Mitra Rabiee
Sara Alexandre
Mohammad Falhasiri & Fatima Hasiri
Stephanie Leutner, OCELT
Gabriela Kleckova
Understanding Gender and Sexual Diversity Celeste Turner 15-Feb-22
Promoting Active Reading with Online Social Annotation Charity Davenport 12-Mar-22
Oral Corrective Feedback: Pedagogical Implications   Mohammad Falhasiri, OCELT 9-Apr-22
Music in the ESL Classroom Rachel Fourny, OCELT, OCT 10-May-22
Creating Engaging Lessons Online and In-Person Grazzia Maria Mendoza 18-June-22
The Leadership Pipeline of a Volunteer-Driven Language Teaching Association Dr. Okon Effiong 13-Aug-22
English-Medium Instruction Across Contexts Dr. Joyce Kling 10-Sept-22
Developing Language Proficiency in an L2 Context Miguel Carranza 12-Nov-22
Fostering Independent Learners Dr. Lynn Zimmerman 06-Dec-22


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