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!






Accuracy and Fluency – #LINCchat April 7th



By Jennifer Chow

What is more important – accuracy or fluency? Although this question seems to be as tough to answer as the nature vs. nurture debate, Friday’s special daytime #LINCchat discussion explored this topic.

Our moderators, Nathan Hall (@bcteal) and Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL), led a small and intimate group of regular #LINCchat participants in a robust discussion that touched on topics such as the importance of fluency and accuracy in speaking and writing, finding balance between the two, successful activities that develop these skills, error correction and more.

#LINCchat participants started off with a question about the importance of fluency and accuracy. While most agreed it was difficult to choose one over the other, Catherine (@CatherineEbert2) and Shawna (@ShawnaWiKo) tweeted about how having students focus on fluency first allows for errors, which could be followed up with a lesson on accuracy. This led to a general consensus that giving more time to fluency could lead to more informed teaching of accuracy. As Nathan noted, knowing when to emphasize one over the other is a balancing act.

Finding that balance is tricky because while Catherine’s suggestion about letting students know it is okay to slow down and focus on accuracy is important, Shawna and Augusta’s tweet that overcorrection can impede fluency is also valid. Perhaps Nathan’s comment about raising students’ awareness of what to focus on and why it is important to focus on that, whether it is accuracy or fluency says it best. Helping students focus on what they need requires corrective feedback. Great ideas for error-correction included self-correcting (@CatherineEbert2), correcting only errors impeding communication, making note of others to address later (@nathanghall), peer-correction, and giving students “expert” responsibilities for certain language features (@AugustaAvram).

As always, #LINCchat is not only about dynamic discussion. Another benefit from this chat is the resources shared by all.

Fluency Activities and Resources

Activities and Resources for Accuracy Development

If this summary only whet your appetite, follow the complete discussion here.

New to #LINCchat? If you have never participated in a chat before, go to for more information. #LINCchat occurs every other Tuesday, with the occasional Friday. Our next #LINCchat will be on April 18th. Feel free to use the hashtag between chats to share thoughts and links with others. Hope to “see” you on April 18th!

Jen Bio PicJennifer has been teaching in the LINC Program for more than 10 years. She loves using Twitter to stay connected as a mother, an educator and an active citizen. 
Twitter: @jennifermchow

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!

EAL Act!on – Refugee Rights Day 2017



EAL Act!on-2

BC TEAL invites you to join our campaign! Tuesday April 4, 2017 has been identified as Refugee Rights Day by the Canadian Council for Refugees and Amnesty International Canada. BC TEAL is pleased to offer an EAL Act!on campaign that starts with you and your learners!

We invite all EAL classrooms (large and small, formal and informal, Public Education, Continuing Education, Post-Secondary Institutions, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and International Language Schools) to incorporate our (multi-level) lesson activities on April 4, with the goal of promoting diversity, community, and inclusion for Refugee Rights Day in Canada.

BC TEAL will be hosting opportunities for discussion and reflection that include:

  • An online national webinar at noon hour (12-1 pm, Pacific Daylight Time) with our EAL colleagues nationally joined by Amnesty International Canada and the Canadian Council for Refugees;

Note: Due to a technical problem, a short section at the start of the video was not saved. Also, the video was edited to remove some small sections in the middle.


Tackling the global refugee crisis

Refugee Rights Day 2017 – Key Issues and Resources

Refugee Rights Day – Take Act!on

  • An evening webinar (7-8 pm, Pacific Daylight Time) with Taslim Damji, Intercultural Specialist from MOSAIC Works;



  • Opportunities to connect and reflect on the day through social media.

Please join the Tutela Group BC TEAL Webinars. We are looking forward to celebrating diversity, community, and inclusion in EAL classrooms with you!

Post your April 4th classroom experiences – we encourage you to submit comments, pictures, sensory poems, value statements or comments related to our Refugee Rights Day Lesson Activities. This could be through the use of the #EALaction hashtag on Twitter or Facebook, or simply in the comment section below.

Note that BC TEAL reserves the right to reproduce submissions received through our EAL Act!on Campaign.

Reflecting Back, Moving Forward: BC TEAL Turns 50



[Article reprinted from the Winter 2017 BC TEAL Newsletter]

BC TEAL is Canada’s oldest English as an additional language (EAL) professional association, and 2017 is an important year—BC TEAL turns 50! Over the past five decades, BC TEAL has served countless EAL teaching professionals at conferences, professional development workshops and sessions, and many other events. 50 years is a significant milestone and is a good time to reflect back.

What started as a small group of dedicated professionals who came together and founded the association has grown in ways they may scarcely have imagined. As I think about that group of founders, I feel indebted to the commitment and energy they had in creating BC TEAL.

I imagine that the folks who started BC TEAL 50 years ago, such as Patricia Wakefield, BC TEAL’s first president, would be ecstatic and proud to see such a vibrant and involved professional community. Much like those who founded the association, the heart of BC TEAL remains the same—it has been built by a community of like-minded individuals who volunteer their time, ideas and energy.

2016 ended on a particularly high note for BC TEAL with several projects, initiatives and opportunities of note. In the fall, BC TEAL formally took over the assets—financial, physical, and intellectual—from LISTN (Language Instruction Support and Training Network), had a wildly successful (and fun!) interior regional conference held in Kamloops, and held many events facilitated by regional groups throughout the province as part of BC TEAL’s EAL week celebrations. These events were on top of many other successes in 2016, such as the BC TEAL Refugee Project.

Wanting to continue building on the work of countless board members and volunteers over the past five decades, the BC TEAL board of directors held a visioning and strategic planning retreat in October. Using survey feedback from members and volunteers and building on the past work of the association, what emanated from the retreat was a diverse and impressive set of priorities and plans for BC TEAL going forward. Watch out in 2017—there are some exciting plans for the year!

In particular you don’t want to miss the BC TEAL Annual Conference which will be at Vancouver Community College May 4-6 with three amazing keynote speakers: Andy Curtis, Penny Ur, and Jill Hadfield. Our 50th anniversary conference will be an amazing celebration.

As always the newsletter includes many engaging and meaningful articles including ones on employment conditions, teaching Syrian refugees, IELTS, and education through ethnography. That is just a sample of some of the wonderful articles in this issue. I also thank the many contributors to this newsletter and BC TEAL’s Publication Chair Scott Douglas who not only edits the BC TEAL newsletter, but who also serves as the editor of the BC TEAL Journal.

Importantly, thanks go to the many BC TEAL volunteers— past and present—over the past five decades. They have made BC TEAL what it is.


Joe Dobson President, BC TEAL


Joe Dobson is the president of BC TEAL. He is a senior lecturer at Thompson Rivers University. His research interests include educational technology, teacher education, and intercultural communication.