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

January 29

Visual Design for Learners 

February 15

Understanding Gender and Sexual Diversity

March 12

Promoting Active Reading with Online Social Annotation


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

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TESL Dialogue: Visual Design for Learners            

When: Saturday, January 29    10:00 - 11:30 am (Please note early start time!)

Subject Matter Expert:  Gabriela Kleckova

Dialogue Description: In addition to textbooks and other supplementary resources, we develop many of our own handouts and materials to help our students achieve their language learning goals. The effectiveness of these teacher self-made print or online materials depends on many aspects including their visual appearance. Well-designed documents communicate information not only through textual content but also through carefully crafted visual design elements that scaffold the overall meaning of the material. During the session we discuss the whats and hows of visually friendly and effective materials to better serve our learners

Categories: All

Teaching Sectors: All sectors

Participant Level: No previous knowledge required.

About the Presenter

Gabriela Kleckova, Chair of the Department of English at the Faculty of Education, University of West Bohemia in Plzen, the Czech Republic, is a university professor, language teacher, teacher trainer, researcher, consultant, and materials developer. She started her professional career as a lower secondary school English teacher after receiving a master’s degree in education in the teaching of English as a foreign language in the Czech Republic. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English with a concentration in Applied Linguistics from The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. She has taught a wide range of general English courses and ESOL professional courses for pre-service and in-service teachers of various cultural and language backgrounds. Her research interests include the effectiveness and utility of visual design of ELT materials, teacher education, innovation in education, and leadership. For TESOL’s 50th anniversary, she was named one of 30 emerging leaders shaping the future of the profession. Gabriela Kleckova is TESOL International Association president for 2021-2022.

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TESL Dialogue: Understanding Gender and Sexual Diversity                   


When:  Tuesday, February 15   7:00 - 8:30 PM

Subject Matter Expert: Celeste Turner, Niagara Falls Community Health Centre


Dialogue Description

“Are you noticing students using new names and pronouns? Are you hearing gender identities, orientations, and other words you have never heard before? Do you hesitate to acknowledge this due to fear of saying or doing the wrong thing? This session will explore gender and sexual diversity to gain a better understanding as a whole. Attending this session will provide you with insights and knowledge to foster more inclusivity in your personal and professional life.

The facilitator will discuss why sexual and gender diversity are important issues to address, key terms to know, what pronouns are and how to use them, and finally we will discuss what we can do to be an ally.”

Categories: Classroom Management, Grammar, Health/Mental Health, Social Justice

Teaching Sectors: All sectors

Participant Level: No previous knowledge required


About the Presenter

Celeste is a queer and genderqueer individual who lives and works in the Niagara Region in Ontario. Working as the LGBTQ2+ Support Coordinator for the Niagara Falls Community Health Centre and volunteering as Co-Chair of the board of directors for OUTniagara, Celeste is active and dedicated to supporting Niagara’s 2SLGBTQQIA+ community. In 2019 Celeste was the recipient of a YMCA Peace Medal for their efforts to Niagara’s sexual and gender diverse community. Celeste enjoys both teaching and practicing yoga, and lives with their 130lb mastiff.

Website: nfchc.ca

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 TESL Dialogue: Promoting Active Reading with Online Social Annotation

When:  Saturday, March 12   7:00 - 8:30 PM

Subject Matter Expert: Charity Davenport, Pellissippi State Community College


Dialogue Description

As a teacher, in reading classes, especially online classes, how do you know if students are reading? How do you know if they are comprehending the material? How can you know what questions or thoughts go through their head as they read? Active reading is a strategy to help students engage their metacognition as they read and be more active in the reading process. One way to bring student knowledge to the forefront and engage students in interaction with the text (as well as each other) is through online social annotation.

We will discuss online tools where students can leave comments in texts they are reading and reply to each other, brainstorm ways these tools can be used and useful for classroom contexts, and caveats for those new to the tools.

Categories: Educational Technology

Teaching Sectors: Secondary School, Adult Learning

Participant Level: No previous knowledge required


About the Presenter

Charity Davenport (MS TESOL; MS Instructional Technology) was an ESL instructor for an IEP for over 13 years before pursuing a new passion in instructional technology. She loves finding ways for learners to learn English in engaging ways using technology. Her other passions are Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Open Educational Resources (OER).

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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
Online Student Engagement Grazzia Maria Mendoza Chirinos 24-Oct-2020
Best Practices for Teaching Intermediate/Advanced ELLs Jacqueline Seijo, OCELT 28-Nov-2020
Professional Development in Unusual Times James Papple, OCELT 19-Jan-2021
Best Practice for Teaching Literacy/Low Level ELLs Sheila Nicholas, OCELT 23-Feb-2021
Cheating in Online Environments Livia Pataki, OCELT & Mitra Rabiee, OCELT 27-Apr-2021
Teaching Language Through Literature Alice Pivniceru 29-May-2021
Self-Regulation and Online Learning Chadia Mansour 22-June-2021
Finding and Using Free Educational Resources in Your ELT Classroom Sharon Tjaden-Glass & Chadia Mansour 27-July-2021
Fostering Community in Online Spaces Alanna Carter 17-Aug-2021
Motivating Learners Online Livia Pataki & Mitra Rabiee 25-Sep-2021
The Digital Teacher Identity and Gamification Sara Alexandre 19-Oct-2021
Written Corrective Feedback and Second Language Learning Mohammad Falhasiri & Fatima Hasiri 13-Nov-21
Engaging Students Using Non-Traditional Platforms Stephanie Leutner, OCELT 7-Dec-21