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- ItemGiving students a fighting chance: pragmatics in the language classroom(2004) McLean, TerenceIn order to give language learners a fighting chance outside the classroom, teachers must provide them with consciousness-raising opportunities for developing pragmatic awareness. By attending to pragmatic factors in second-language (L2) situations, students will be better able to make informed choices in negotiating effective communication. This article examines the potential use of the pragmatic discourse completion task (DCT) as a springboard for discussion in the L2 classroom. A description of a DCT used in a study involving advanced L2 learners at the University of Alberta (Ranta, 2002) is provided. The author also provides suggestions for developing students' pragmatic awareness.
- ItemA world Englishes mini-unit for teachers to use in the EFL context(2004) McLean, TerenceAlthough awareness of the importance of recognizing World Englishes is increasing throughout EFL literature, there remains a need to ensure that this trend is indeed reflected in course curricula, materials development, and pedagogy. The purpose of this paper is to present a practical suggestion for implementing a World Englishes mini-unit into the EFL classroom in Japan. Students should be encouraged to consider themselves within the concept of WE-ness as Japanese speakers of English--giving them a sense of identification with a personalized variety of English. If we can instill a deeper sense of confidence in young learners of EFL, then perhaps they will be better able to actively communicate in a foreign language that, until now, they have probably believed to be a thing owned by others. English is something we speak; it is not something they own.
- ItemYoung ESL newcomers need a chance to adjust(2004) McLean, TerenceThe first day of school must be made as smooth as possible in order for children to feel both at ease and safe. While the major objective of ESL programs is to prepare students for smooth transition into mainstream classrooms, the immediate objective regarding the welcoming of ESL newcomers is social. Educators have the responsibility of providing a supportive environment that will aid in the establishment of a stress-free transition to school life for young English as a Second Language (ESL) newcomers. They must be given a chance to adjust.
- Item"Why no tip?" Student-generated DCTs in the ESL classroom(2005) McLean, Terence
- ItemWorld Englishes in the ESL context, eh(2005) McLean, TerenceSure, we speak English, but just whose English do we speak? If Singapore and India can have their own hybrids of so-called World Englishes, how about my father? Can Russell from Glace Bay be the spokesperson for Cape Breton English? As an ESL instructor in Canada, should I teach my students more than standard Canadian English? Better yet, should I acknowledge that my many of advanced-level students already speak one kind of English--a World English? The world is changing - my job is changing - again.
- ItemThe rubber chicken: a fowl debate(2006) McLean, TerenceThis is a task-based activity that provides students with the opportunity to use culture (Canadian) and situation (law court) specific language while they practice reading, discussing, presenting, and debating. Before having the students tackle this activity, the teacher is assumed to have already taught basic skimming, scanning, presenting, and debating skills. Optional activities can include taking time to focus on form (timely focus on relevant grammar structures) and review vocabulary. This activity could also be adapted to fit in with Japanese sporting culture—see note below the story for a sumo example.
- ItemQuick tip: sentence variety and zombies(2017) McLean, TerenceAs an English as an additional language (EAL) instructor, I am charged with the daunting task of teaching university program–bound international students how to write using a variety of the fabulous four English language sentence types: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. Some students go the choppy route and use too many simple sentences, while others try a little too hard and think that the more complex the better, which does not always get the point or argument across.
- ItemPragmatics, blasphemy, and a bloody moose(2017) McLean, TerenceLast week I saw a moose in my long johns. Have you ever endeavored to teach about dastardly dangling modifiers? I did so with this ripping yarn about my wild encounter with a moose while trekking in the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies.
- ItemThe good teacher, the metaphorical tickle trunk, and the survival of the fitter(2018) McLean, TerenceWhile being a good teacher is not getting any easier, pinpointing what good teaching or a good teacher is poses a bit of a conundrum. Of course, well-constructed syllabi, solid subject material, and interesting activities are essential, but what about the teacher? There's the rub. Without the good teacher, the best laid plans can go awry. Good teaching requires a little more; and this, along with the technical side of instruction, is what we need to develop. Survival in any profession requires effort, and good teachers know it. This paper offers the author's opinions as well as a look at literature on post-secondary educators and students' perceptions of good teaching.
- ItemAnswer the question: a research project(2020) McLean, Terence; Talandis Jr., JerryAs you probably know from experience, many Japanese students have trouble answering questions during English class. Why is that? According to Harumi (2011), the roots of this phenomenon lie in a complex mixture of linguistic, psychological, and socio-cultural factors. There is, in fact, quite a large culture gap in how silence is interpreted. For example, from a Japanese view point, the silent response from the student above could be seen as a means to save face, avoid difficulty, or request help. On the other hand, from a "western" perspective, the silence may come off as a sign of disinterest, boredom, or laziness. This phenomenon makes it very difficult for teachers to facilitate active learning (Harumi, 2001) and presents a risk of misunderstanding during cross-cultural encounters (King, 2005), both in Japan and while traveling or studying abroad. As a result, silence in the EFL classroom is widely acknowledged as a serious problem (King, 2013; Humphries, Akamatsu, Tanaka, & Burns, in press). It is therefore essential we help our students promptly respond to questions, whether they know the answer or not.
- ItemGames of lies: grill the teacher(2020) McLean, TerenceThis game gives students the opportunity to listen to claims by the teacher, “liar extraordinaire,” and to use question forms to determine which statements are true and which are lies. Some students may have difficulty with question forms; therefore, the opportunity to do so in a fun way can help them to develop the skills necessary to "grill" and catch the teacher in a lie. Furthermore, more proficient students can learn about pragmatic awareness and competence related to asking personal questions.
- ItemOnline breakout rooms: jigsaw discussions and presentation practice(2021) McLean, TerenceAs a result of the switch to virtual and blended learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many language teachers around the world are working to establish welcoming, communicative, online language learning environments. Most of us have experienced the unwelcome silence associated with trying to get all students involved in an online session. Yes, some students thrive online, but others tend to hesitate, sit back and listen, or tune out completely. Even though we are teaching online, we can still give students a gentle virtual push—and breakout rooms, if your online platform has this function, are an excellent tool for increasing student talk time during virtual instruction. This activity, a jigsaw that uses breakout rooms, can be used as stand-alone speaking practice or as preparation for a future speaking assignment in which students give an online presentation for the whole class.
- Item3 approaches to managing online interactions(2021) McLean, TerenceSince the move to more online teaching, I have noticed a few areas in which I can help students manage their interactions during online lessons. The following observations are subjective, as they reflect my own teaching style, use of technology, classroom management philosophy, and individual student behavior; nevertheless, I hope that a point or two resonate with fellow instructors. I have separated my tips into three sections: technology, participation, and pragmatic awareness.
- ItemRemote teaching, a brave new world, and an amber restorative(2021) McLean, TerenceNow, I certainly do not want to sound glib in these troublesome times, but Lord love a duck. Thanks, COVID-19. Right after eschewing my inner Luddite while scrambling to remotely teach my English as an Additional Language (EAL) 2020 winter term courses, I found myself fretting as I made the foray into more remote teaching in the spring/summer/fall terms. If I may borrow from the sentiments of the inimitable PG Wodehouse: if not completely disgruntled, I was certainly far from gruntled.
- ItemDeveloping communicative cultural competencies with internationally educated nurses in a Canadian English for Specific Purposes course(2022) Yeung, May; Mah, EamanThis project was the result of the Teaching Impact Fund, an internal institutional grant, and a collaboration within the university’s School of Continuing Education between the Department of Academic and Language Preparation and the Professional Health Education Unit. The participants were 2 cohorts of internationally trained nurses from India and the Philippines enrolled in the Gerontology and Hospice Palliative (GHP) care program during the intensive 7-week spring and summer terms. This study measured the communicative cultural competencies (CCC) of internationally educated students (IENs) with a pre-survey. This was followed by an educational intervention with culturally responsive teaching (CRT) practices. Near the end of the course, a post-survey was administered, and the data indicated a rise of CCC among IENs in both cohorts. This report identifies the study components in depth and offers resources to implement CRT practices in non-health courses.
- ItemUsing self-assessment to extend sustainability competency development(2022) Munro, Tai; King, MartinaOne of the key benefits of developing sustainability competencies is that they enable students to pursue future work and study opportunities within sustainability despite diverse fields and challenges. However, if students do not also develop their ability to self-assess their own strengths and weaknesses, we risk creating a situation where students are unable to respond to new situations and evolving challenges. Self-assessment is key to enabling individuals to identify current and future needs for education and professional development once they leave the formal education system. Self-assessments are the most often used tool to assess competency development (Redman, Wiek, & Barth, 2021). This is a subject of criticism as opponents argue that students are not skilled in self-assessment. However, Boud and Falchikov (2007) argue that self-assessment is vital to supporting students in becoming life-long learners. Thus, developing self-assessment skills is a necessary complementary competency that we need to support students in developing. In this session, we’ll look at research from a community engaged learning course where students were asked not just to self-assess but to also reflect on how accurate their own self-assessments were and identify areas for future growth and opportunity. Then we’ll discuss and demonstrate how to incorporate similar opportunities to complement key sustainability competency development.
- ItemBuilding capacity and awareness for the UN Sustainable Development Goals through project-based and community-engaged pedagogies(2022) Munro, Tai; King, MartinaPurpose - The key sustainability competencies are fundamental to sustainability transformations. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of project-based and community-engaged pedagogies in supporting student development of all key sustainability competencies. Additionally, the study examines whether the UN SDGs provide an appropriate framework to support engagement with the breadth of sustainability topics and increase awareness and support of the goals within the community. Design - This case study triangulates scaled self-assessment, performance observation, and regular course work in an undergraduate interdisciplinary sustainability course to gain insights into how all key sustainability competencies can be developed through recommended pedagogies. Findings - Project-based and community-engaged pedagogies are supportive of key sustainability competencies development. The act of engaging with an interdisciplinary group towards achieving a common goal created effective learning opportunities for students. However, the project-based and community-engaged pedagogies cannot be completely separated from the context of the course. The use of the SDGs to guide community partner participation and project development was effective in increasing awareness of the goals among students and community partners. Implications - These findings support the use of project-based and community-engaged pedagogies to facilitate student development of key sustainability competencies. Originality - This study demonstrates that using the SDGs to guide community partner participation and project development is effective both in facilitating a wide range of projects from the identified areas of sustainability: environment, economic, social, and cultural, and in increasing awareness of the goals among students and community organizations.
- ItemIntroduction to sustainability(2023) Munro, Tai; Spies, McKenzie; Pilkington, KalenThrough the use of a variety of media, Introduction to Sustainability provides a broad overview of the complexity of sustainability through the lens of systems thinking. After a brief look at the modern history of sustainability, it introduces systems thinking and the process of systems mapping. It then moves through the domains of sustainability including environment, economics, social systems, and culture. The latter half of the text applies the learnings from the beginning to specific sustainability challenges and topics such as climate change, fashion, and circular economy. Throughout the book there are links to other resources in order to diversify the voices and expertise provided within the context of the text. In addition, there are reflective prompts and activities that can be used within the context of each chapter.