Know Your BC TEAL Membership Benefits


By Karen Aughtry

Are you a member of BC TEAL? BC TEAL aspires to understand our readership and members’ needs. An unpublished internal survey was recently conducted to which some readers responded. Interestingly, approximately one-third of respondents were unaware of the benefits offered by BC TEAL. As the survey probed for what teachers want, there were suggestions of shopping discounts (ELT materials and otherwise) and restaurant discounts; others wanted teaching support (including a data base of teaching materials and line-ups of available guest speakers); and someone suggested a job bank. Here is the good news: Some of these great ideas are available now!  Below, you can discover some financial, teaching, professional advancement and career benefits.

Financial Benefits

Available now for members are discounts from Fresh Prep, Black Bond Books, Learn Your English, Banana Backpacks, Soft Moc, and Maple Leaf Storage – even membership discounts from the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) are offered. The reductions and further information of how to access them are found when you join and sign-in to the “Members Only Resources” at the BC TEAL website. Such financial advantages may not end there. Your Membership Committee continues to inquire around for more such benefits that we can offer you.  

Teaching Benefits

As for a data base of teaching material, there is already some material available at our BC TEAL website. So far, it consists of the following: a resource on civic engagement, lessons for refugees and newcomers regarding men’s and women’s health, information to help them with their young children, and material for caregivers. Perhaps we can all work together on sharing teaching material, and perhaps we can engage with each other to offer availability as guest speakers in our areas of expertise.  

Professional Advancement Benefits

Teachers are often keen on professional development, and another offering already available from BC TEAL is through our Charitable Foundation. Here, teachers can apply for financial support for research and professional development.  There are, of course, the regularly scheduled conferences and some local gatherings in this regard as well.

Career Benefits

Finally, there was interest expressed in a job bank. We are pleased to say that we have a few postings at our website already! We encourage your participation by notifying to make the publication aware as jobs become available in your area and/or organizations.

Why not join BC TEAL?

If you are teaching, will teach, or have taught English as an additional language in any capacity, it is certainly worth your while to become an active member of this unique organization. The fee is minimal: ranging from $50 for a yearly membership to discounted ones for those who are students, retired (yes, retirement is no reason to quit us), unemployed, or low-income earners.

Conference code: BLOGGIN

Author’s Bio

Karen has been a member of BC TEAL for over a decade. It is her love of professional development that propelled her teaching from the first steps of tutoring and homeschooling to attaining her undergrad and graduate degrees (MATESOL). After several years of retirement from her EAP position and membership expiration from BC TEAL, she renewed her membership, realizing the value of being part of the community, continuing to learn and give.


By Jenn Peachey

Like you, the people who dedicated their time to BC TEAL struggled through the uncertainty and anxiety of everything 2020 threw at us. It was a hard year all around! At times, it was a struggle for board and committee members to stay engaged, but we did. We felt our positions were more important than ever because BC TEAL is about keeping us connected: to our friends and colleagues, to our professional development, to our students, and to our jobs or studies. For this reason, and because you may have missed it, we wanted you to know that we are, and will continue to be, working hard for you, the BC TEAL MEMBERS.

The highlights from 2020*

Here’s what BC TEAL did, achieved, created or shared in 2020:

  • Created and shared a collaborative One-Year plan for a goal-driven approach 
  • Started implementing our very important Respectful Interaction Guidelines
  • The Vancouver Island Regional Conference (in person!) 
  • Meet-Ups in January and February 
  • Implemented a COVID19 membership strategy (free for unemployed due to covid19, until March 1, 2021). Find more details here.
  • Offered great PD for the age of covid: What’s Working with Remote Language Training in BC; The Emerging Pandemic Intercultural Work Environment
  • The Employment Skills Webinar 
  • Our first on-line AGM
  • Coffee Times and Happy Hours 
  • The Back to School Boot Camp 
  • The LINC Reboot
  • The Inspiring Speaker Series: Laura Baecher (see the video here), Ness Murby (see the video here), Ismaël Traoré (see the video here)
  • Shared a number of job postings, invitations to participate in research
  • Partnered with AMSSA, SIETAR, and others to bring remote learning to our members
  • Brought in new benefits: Black Bond Books, Learn Your English
  • Implemented surveys to get to know you better
  • Encouraged more members to take on leadership roles by joining committees
  • Developed onboarding for new leaders (committees, regional reps)
  • Created and filled the Regional Rep position of Lower Mainland
  • EAL Week, October 2020, with some regional events
  • Created Terms of Reference for the various committees
  • Upped our game on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: featured membership benefits blitz, event announcements, free resources, and more TCF promotions
  • Reinvigorated the BC TEAL Blog 
  • Created Best Practices for video sharing
  • Awarded and disbursed thousands of dollars in funding for instructor PD, language projects and materials development, and refugee education through the TCF
  • Created a Benefits of Membership promotional video for events and TESL programs
  • Supported the admin staff with a work-from-home office, and closed the commercial office
  • Started work on streamlining the understructures of the office to make services more efficient
  • Said good-bye to our Administrative Manager Jaimie as she moved on to another adventure, and hello to Tanya Tervit, her replacement
  • Said a sad good-bye to Alison Whitmore, a dedicated member of BC TEAL.
  • Saw the development of another free resource: Indigenous Peoples and Canada
  • Had a Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 Newsletter
  • Saw the publication of the Vol. 5 No 1 (2020) BC TEAL Journal

Moving forward

Some of the 2020 initiatives happened behind the scenes, so you may not have noticed them. Others we offered for specific sectors of our membership. Regardless, if you participated in, or contributed to any of these achievements, we want to thank you, and hope that you will continue to join in. Some of the projects will continue into 2021, and we will also continue to create new opportunities for you. That’s where YOU come in. 

BC TEAL needs to know what you would like to see happen in 2021. We can only work toward something if we know it is needed. What do YOU want?  And would you be interested in working toward a specific goal as part of a committee? Do you have skills and ideas just waiting for a place to share them? BC TEAL is only as good as the people who dedicate their extra time and energy to make it work. Imagine what BC TEAL can achieve in 2021 if we all work together for our mutual benefits, for our community!

Write to to share your ideas and suggestions for 2021.

*All these initiatives were made possible by the hard work of the BC TEAL staff and Board, as well as the regional reps and committee leaders.

Bio: Jenn retired from her position as Head Instructor, EAP Pathway Advisor, and Global Competence Certificate Facilitator at Global Village Victoria in 2019. After a year of travel and adventure, she is back on Vancouver Island and happily involved with BC TEAL again.

Building your professional experience (even during a pandemic!)


By: Vera Ziwei Wu

Teachers are no strangers to contracts, jumping between jobs, and giving more than what is asked of us to support learners in various settings. As we get so caught up in our daily work, slowly, we become more isolated in our jobs, which challenges our mental health and limits our imaginations. This happens more often now with COVID isolating us from others. 

On the other hand, trying to attend a virtual conference or webinar is becoming increasingly difficult. In addition to not having enough time, we are so overwhelmed with the amount of work we invest in virtual communication, learning and teaching, as well as safe in-person teaching whenever possible, that we rarely want to stay at a computer when we don’t have to. How do we stay connected through small ways to ease our professional isolation while continuously developing ourselves in the profession? I have a few ideas for you.

Engage with your colleagues

You don’t have to do the work all alone! Instead, provide the opportunities for your colleagues to help you by starting a conversation and brainstorming new ideas together to address shared concerns or issues. I have met so many amazing teachers, administrators and people who work in leadership roles supporting teachers through BC TEAL events, and they have been, and still are, my inspirations to stay engaged and support others.

Building a circle of support around you and sharing resources, ideas, and opportunities within the group is a great way to share the workload, stay connected and have fun. Don’t have enough supportive colleagues around you? You can join BC TEAL (for FREE till Mar 1, 2021 if you’re currently unemployed) and get connected!

Present your resources to others (it can be informal and fun!)

If you are a BC TEAL member, you might have already been attending some of the amazing free webinars. The webinars can be almost anything relevant to TESOL, from resources to advocacy, from learner wellbeing to teacher support. Presenters have told us they were terribly scared at the beginning but felt incredibly good after working with us and making the session happen for their colleagues. It’s also zero-cost professional development that you can include on your CV!

BC TEAL can be easily reached at If you have an idea and are not sure if it will be a good fit, please do connect with us, as we may be able to help with further developing the session and support you with the technical part of the webinar – what better place to start? 

Join a committee 

Why do you feel so good after a productive meeting? It’s the constructive work, as well as the connection and the community for a cause you care about. You may or may not have been very engaged in a committee before, and the idea of joining one might be intimidating. If this is how you feel, try and start with a BC TEAL committee. 

If I have successfully persuaded you, here is the good news: Many of our committees are currently looking for new leaders! Check out our Facebook page and Instagram for posts with more details on the committees, and leave a comment if you have any questions. If you’re not sure which committee is the best fit for you, try this survey and we’ll help you find the right one!

Contribute to the BC TEAL Blog and TEAL News

Writing for the BC TEAL Blog and TEAL News is another place where you can share your resources, experiences and stories with others. This recent newsletter might give you an idea of the diverse topics and styles of writing we may include. No research is required, and all we need is you with ideas on classroom activities, anecdotes and stories about your experiences, or reports about talks, seminars, or conferences that you’ve attended, reflections on English language learning or anything else your fellow colleagues should know about! Got an idea? Email the editor, Scott Douglas, with your ideas at now!

Teaching during a pandemic can be very challenging, so let BC TEAL make professional development easier for you. All you need is a BC TEAL membership that provides you access to resources, connections and opportunities. Join or renew now at

The Pathway to Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Publication


By Scott Roy Douglas

[This article was first printed in the Fall 2017 issue of TEAL News.]

Writing scholarly peer-reviewed articles can be an important source of on-going professional development for people involved in the teaching and learning of English as an additional language (EAL). However, the pathway to publication in a peer-reviewed journal may at times seem daunting and complicated. To overcome this perception, BC TEAL has started the BC TEAL Journal to promote scholarship related to EAL teaching and learning in British Columbia, with articles aiming to reflect and connect to the various contexts and settings found in the province. As an open access journal, all articles are freely available to the public, with authors’ retaining copyright of their work.

There are eight basic steps to publishing with the BC TEAL Journal:

1. Submission

All submissions to the journal are done electronically via the online journal system website: Authors begin by registering on the journal website. Once they have registered, authors can review details on how to prepare their manuscript for submission. In particular, the author guidelines explain that submissions must be original previously unpublished contributions, and authors may not submit their paper to another journal at the same time. Author contributions can be full research articles of no more than 7,000 words plus references, or shorter essays of no more than 3,500 words plus references. All manuscripts should be prepared following the guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition, with the exception of using Canadian spelling conventions as per the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Lead authors may only submit one article at a time to the journal for consideration per calendar year.

2. Editorial Review

After submission, all articles undergo editorial review. The editor checks each submission to ensure that it fits the focus and scope of the journal as outlined on the journal website. For example, the editor looks for explicit connections to British Columbia as well as the various EAL teaching and learning contexts of the BC TEAL membership. Articles that meet the focus and scope of the journal move onto the next stage towards publication. Articles that are related to EAL teaching and learning, but are not explicitly connected to British Columbia are returned to authors with suggestions for revisions before being moving onto the next stage. If authors are unfamiliar with the local context, they may withdraw their paper at this stage. Articles that do not fit with any aspect of the journal’s focus and scope are typically declined. Editorial review can take up to two weeks to complete.

3. Peer Review

Submissions that meet the focus and scope of the journal are sent out for double-blind peer review by at least two reviewers who are familiar with the various contexts and settings related to EAL teaching and learning in British Columbia. In the double-blind peer review process, the identities of the reviewers and the authors are not shared. All reviewers follow a review form to provide feedback to the authors. Reviewers typically look at aspects such as the interest to BC TEAL members, the originality of the paper, author knowledge of the topic, use of references, the research methods, the theoretical framework, the conclusions and recommendations, the use of APA format, and the quality of the writing. Reviewers often provide specific feedback for revisions that strengthen the paper for publication in the journal. Reviewer decisions include: Accept Submission; Revisions Required; Resubmit for Review; and Decline Submission. The current list of BC TEAL Journal reviewers can be found on the journal website. Authors who have had a paper accepted in the journal are also asked to support the publication process by becoming a reviewer for the journal. The peer review process typically takes around six to twelve weeks, depending on the availability of reviewers.

4. Revisions

Once the peer review process is complete, authors are emailed with the reviewers’ feedback. Almost all authors are required to carry out revisions based on the reviewers’ feedback. The goal is to strengthen the paper for inclusion in the journal. Authors should use track changes and comments in MS Word as they revise their work so that the editorial team can quickly see what revisions have been carried out. At the same time as they are revising their paper, authors should also create a cover letter outlining the revisions that have been carried out based on the reviewers’ recommendations. If there are suggested changes that were not addressed, authors are requested to provide a rationale. There may be situations in which not necessarily all of the reviewers’ comments and suggestions may be followed. Authors also have the opportunity at this stage to carry out any other revisions that they think might be necessary to strengthen their work. When the revisions are complete, authors then send in their revised papers along with the cover letter outlining the revisions through the online journal system. Papers that were initially accepted with “revisions required” move onto the next stage of the publication process. Papers that were initially accepted as “resubmit for review” are sent out for a second round of peer review. Authors usually have about four weeks to complete their revisions.

5. Developmental Editing

The next stage of the process involves working with the journal editor to prepare the manuscript for copy editing. Revised papers are reviewed by the editor to ensure that the peer reviewer comments and suggestions have been adequately addressed. The editor also works with the authors to ensure that papers are well written, logical, and organized. Typically, the editor will use the comments function in MS Word to ask questions and to highlight areas for the authors to consider for further revisions related to clarity and precision. Finally, if papers have gone considerably over suggested word limits during the revision process, the editor can help authors with suggested cuts. The developmental editing stage is the last stage in which authors have the opportunity to carry out substantial revisions. Once the authors and the editor are satisfied with the manuscript, it is uploaded to the online journal system. The developmental editing process can take up to four weeks.

6. Copy Editing

Next, manuscripts are further reviewed for clarity, readability, consistency, and accuracy. They are also checked to ensure that the guidelines in the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Ed. and Canadian spelling conventions in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary have been followed. Sometimes the copy editor may have questions for the authors. Authors may then carry out some minor revisions and submit their revised papers to the online journal system. Copy editing can take around four weeks to complete.

7. Proof Reading

After completing all of the copy edits, the paper is carefully checked over one more time. It is then formatted as it would appear in the journal and saved as a pdf file. This pdf file is the galley proof for the manuscript. Galley proofs are shared with authors via the online journal system. Authors are now asked to proofread their final work for spelling, typographical, referencing, or layout errors. This stage is the last opportunity for authors to correct their work before publication. If any corrections are required, authors send an email to the editor with the specific page numbers and location for each correction. The editor will then carry out the corrections on the manuscript as per the authors’ suggestions. Authors have up to two weeks to do a final check of their paper.

8. Publication

The manuscript is now ready for publication. On receiving final approval from the authors, the final galley proof is created as a pdf file and posted to the online journal system. The BC TEAL Journal publishes on an ongoing basis as manuscripts are ready, with articles gathered into a single issue over the course of one calendar year. The current issue of the journal can be found on the journal’s homepage. Articles can also be browsed by issue, author, or title. All issues are available on the journal’s archives page.

The eight stages above outline the entire process from start to finish for publishing a peer-reviewed article with the BC TEAL Journal. While the process may seem long, the goal is to provide a venue for high quality papers that showcases scholarship related to EAL teaching and learning in British Columbia. The journal is the work of many volunteers, and a valuable source of knowledge for BC TEAL’s membership. Authors interested in scholarly writing are encouraged to check out the journal website and contact the editor if they have any questions.

Biographical Information

From the Fall 2017 issue of the BC TEAL newsletter (updated September 2020):  Scott Roy Douglas is the editor of the BC TEAL Journal.  He is also an associate professor in in the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan School of Education where he focused on English as an additional language teaching and learning. 

This article is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Original reference information:

Douglas, S. R. (2017, Fall). The Pathway to Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Publication. TEAL News. Retrieved from

Upcoming Plenary for Interior Conference – October 27, 2018


Developing Intercultural Capacity: What are Students Learning in Class? 

The demographics of our classrooms and campuses are rapidly changing. In the last decade, there has been a 119% increase in international student enrolment nationally. For 84% of institutions surveyed, “preparing internationally and interculturally competent students” is a top reason for internationalization efforts (UNIVCAN, 2014); yet, there does not appear to be much formal assessment or evidence of such outcomes beyond assumptions that structural diversity will simply result in intercultural learning. Kyra will share research findings from a BC study that explored students’ intercultural development and their perceptions of pedagogy and curriculum as influencers of their inter-cultural learning (Garson, 2017). The results demonstrate that merely inviting cultural diversity to our campuses may not result in substantive intercultural learning without intentional pedagogical and curricular considerations. Based on her research, Kyra will share strategies for planning and facilitating multi-cultural group work in ways that prepare students to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work effectively and reflectively with culturally diverse peers (Reid & Garson, 2016).

Dr Garson

Dr. Kyra Garson is a member of the Faculty of Student Development at Thompson Rivers University. She is also an inter-cultural trainer and researcher who has developed and delivered professional development programs to educational institutions across the Canada and internationally. Her research interests include intercultural and global learning in higher education; her study “Are We Graduating Global Citizens?” received the Canadian Association for the Study of Higher Education’s dissertation of the year award in 2014. In 2011 she received the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s Internationalization Award for her work supporting faculty in interculturalizing the curriculum and in 2017 was awarded the British Columbia Council for International Education’s Distinguished Leadership Award. 

Haven’t registered yet? You still can! Click here:

Refugee Rights Day 2018


Refugee Rights Day 2018.png

We invite you to join BC TEAL’s Outreach and Awareness Campaign as we recognize Canada’s Refugee Rights Day and our role as EAL professionals in creating community through education. Utilize our Refugee Rights Day Lesson Activities and submit comments via the #EALaction hashtag on Twitter or Facebook.

You might also check out the webinar recordings from last year’s Refugee Rights Day.

We are looking forward to celebrating inclusion, community and diversity
in EAL classrooms with you!



From the newsletter: Refugee Rights Day – EAL Act!on



Image credit:

On April 4th, BC TEAL launched a nationwide campaign in celebration of Refugee Rights Day. This campaign connected the relationship between security of person to a sense of belonging and inclusion in our diverse communities – not just for refugees, but for all individuals. It included webinars and an activity package for teachers and was intended to highlight our commonalities and the importance of feeling safe and accepted for who we are.

How do you apply an intercultural lens to Refugee Rights Day? It starts with how people identify themselves and how they identify others. The EAL classroom provides a primary community, and a good place to start strengthening that sense of community is by getting to know each other. We often don’t know much about each other’s cultural background, ways of doing things or personal histories. In a classroom context, teachers making time and space for the group to be curious about and open to each other is key to modelling and growing intercultural sensitivity as well as to prepare learners to find greater acceptance in the community at large. This ability is as important as language if our goal is to promote healthy, inclusive and diverse communities.

These themes seem weighty, but the activities provided in BC TEAL’s Refugee Rights Day Activity Package were intended to foster a feeling of commonality while at the same time acknowledging difference in an enjoyable way. They also aimed to raise awareness of what inclusion, community and diversity mean to our students and to explore how we can “do” these in our daily interactions.

Teacher comments:

Jennifer: “Initially, students wondered so why are we talking about this? Yes, it was Refugee Rights Day, but these are all broader themes. Students said ‘we’re really glad we’re learning this. It helps me think differently. It’s important to learn about’. It was neat – the next day we had a refugee student enter the class and is now a part of our classroom community.”

Augusta: “I like to share my own identity story as someone who came to a new country. It doesn’t matter what the reason is for you being here. You are here now and it’s a difficult time, but there are commonalities… I wanted this activity package to be about all of us.”

Debra: “The whole experience was very positive… It gave a better sense of what diversity is and how we can be included because we do have things in common. It opened the door to other possibilities, to meeting new people and other Canadians. That we can see beyond what’s on the outside.”

Leanna: ‘The student’s especially liked being divided into groups to work on their poster board that reflected what they deemed as “Social Inclusion”. They liked the creativity, the visuals, the variety and freedom of choice, cutting, pasting and overall enjoyment of working together to create a positive message as a group.”

Tanya: “I did have refugees in the class and they were okay with the pictures. I felt comfortable because my parents were refugees also, so I talked about my parents living in a camp for 3 years. I thought it was nice to finish with an optimistic picture – Welcome to Canada!”

To access the package and accompanying image bank, please visit Refugee Rights Day: Take Act!on. Good luck on your intercultural journey and, if you do use the materials, we’d love to hear from you.

For the full article, please see the Summer 2017 issue of the BC TEAL Newsletter.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAQXAAAAJGZiYTFmNDEzLWU4NjctNDAzMC05YTQ2LWUzMjg4ZjA1Y2YyYgTaslim Damji is the developer of BC TEAL’s Refugee Rights Day package. She has an MA from King’s College, London and two decades of international teaching, teacher training, and research experience. Taslim is the manager of Intercultural Trainings through MOSAIC Works.

Finding your way at #BCTEAL50


Copy of Conference Schedule

You arrive at the conference, ready for a day of learning, connecting, and having fun, …but wait! Where do you begin? The choices in the conference booklet you just received are overwhelming you. What if you miss something you really wanted to attend? Do you spend time during the keynote mapping out the rest of the day?


Take heart, my friends! You don’t have to wait until the morning of the conference to plan out your day. Thanks to Sched, the online scheduler for the 2017 BC TEAL Annual Conference, you can start planning right now and create a personalized schedule you take with you on your phone or print at work home.


There are a number of benefits to using Sched including:

  • getting up to the second changes to room numbers, cancellations, and even additions!
  • saving paper by using your tablet or phone as your conference guide.
  • sending the sessions you have chosen to the calendar app on your phone or computer.
  • helping organizers know what sessions are popular so they can change locations, making more room for even more people to attend.
  • finding resources for a session that you attended or even from one you missed (dependent on speakers making them available).
  • getting full session descriptions (not available any other way).
  • sharing sessions and resources through social media (don’t forget to use the official hashtag: #BCTEAL50).

Sched has a number of visual guides on setting up an account and personalizing your schedule.

So stop whatever you are doing right now and go to, create a free account, and start planning!






Top 10 Reasons to Attend the 2017 BC TEAL Annual Conference



Are you looking for an excuse to attend this year’s conference (and carnival!) May 4-6, 2017? We have ten.

  1. Amazing Keynotes from Penny Ur, Andy Curtis and Jill Hadfield.
  2. 50th Anniversary Carnival. Tickets are only $10.
  3. An amazing array of presenters from BC and beyond.
  4. The inspiring, creative and fun Pecha Kucha presentations.
  5. The celebration dinner catered by Tayybeh, a group of Syrian refugees who have started a catering company. Tickets are $50 and can be added to conference registration. Space is limited. unnamed
  6. Networking with the largest gathering of BC EAL professionals in the province.
  7. The latest textbooks, resources and more at the Exhibitor Showcase.
  8. Thursday’s 3-hour Pre-Conference sessions give you an opportunity to delve deeply into key questions.
  9. 2nd Annual Ed Tech Jam featuring accessible and meaningful ways to incorporate tech in your teaching.
  10. Inspiration, information, connection.

Now go and register. The early bird deadline is April 8th!