English Language Studies (ELS) faculty recently presented at the TESL (Teachers of English as a Second Language) Canada Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation, the conference focused on the work of English language educators and their contribution to Canada’s multicultural policies, which have added to the richness of Canada’s cultural and linguistic diversities.
When asked about the significance of the conference, the Director of ELS, Julia Williams, said, “This was an important conference for lecturers in Renison’s ELS program. Many ELS instructors gave presentations at the conference; it was a demonstration of the strength of the people in the unit that so many of them contribute to our profession at the national level.”
Lecturer and graduate advisor Stefan Rehm presented a writing skills workshop at the Graduate Student Symposium, providing an overview of writing skills required for publication at the graduate level.
Maggie Heeney’s lecture, entitled “From Patchwriting to Paraphrasing to Synthesizing: Teaching a Rhetorical Journey,” examined the stages through which English language learners progress as they move towards mastery of academic writing. Heeney demonstrated how instructors can model expert writing practices to make visible the cognitive processes that underpin academic writing. A lecturer in ELS, Heeney is the co-coordinator of Renison’s ACE-TESOL (Advance Consulting for Education - Teaching English as a Second Language to Speakers of Other Languages) program.
Julia Williams presented on a panel with colleagues from the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Toronto. The featured panel, Language in the Canadian University – Report from SSHRC Funded Colloquium, reported on the outcomes of a colloquium organized to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the increasing linguistic diversity of university students across Canada.
Williams was also a featured speaker at the conference and gave a presentation about the field of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) called “EAP SWOT.” This presentation used the well-known SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) business framework to analyze the field of EAP teaching in Canada.
In a presentation titled “Proving Efficacy of an EAP program,” Williams and Agnieszka (Aga) Wolczuk, the Learning Outcomes Coordinator for ELS, looked at systematic approaches to evaluating program efficacy of English for Academic Purposes programs.
English Language Studies is part of the Department of Culture and Language Studies (CLS) at Renison University College and offers English for Multilingual Speakers (EMLS) courses to students in all faculties at the University of Waterloo.