Hello from Arkansas, ESL literacy teachers and tutors!
Though it's been two years since I left the field of teaching ESL, I continue to hear from stressed out, overwhelmed, and simply curious ESL literacy teachers and tutors in Canada and here in the US. Some are volunteers tasked with teaching ESL literacy to newly arrived Afghan refugees with no prior formal education. Some are Canadian teachers suddenly assigned to literacy for the first time. I just want to say that I'm still here for you and love to help you find resources and figure out how you are going to plot out a weekly routine whose prep does not eat up every hour of your life. You deserve work-life balance.
One teacher whom I met at the TESL conference in Toronto and whom I remember for her beautiful smile lamented that there was no activity pack for the Bow Valley College reader she wanted to use with her class the upcoming week. Since I am not yet working 40 hours in the field to which I have returned (public libraries), I decided to create that activity book for her class. It didn't take me long, and I was happy to do it. So never be afraid to ask me to create something. Being of use to others lifts my spirits. Take advantage of this offer now, for I will eventually have to return to a 40-hour-a-week work life.
To one Canadian teacher whose admin suddenly sprang on her the news that she would be teaching literacy after spring break, I suggested browsing this blog by category. If you click a category in the sidebar such as games, pedagogy, or classroom reflection, you can get ideas to build into your own weekly teaching routine. I'm pretty detail-oriented, but you are always welcome to get in touch if a blog post leaves you unsure how to execute the game or activity, or if the download link to a related worksheet doesn't work.
I miss you all and hope you will continue to push to make #PBLA optional. As IRCC's own research and the rigorous research of Yuliya Desyatova both reveal, PBLA might be good for teaching but is not appropriate or effective for assessment.1 Keep fighting the good fight!
P.S. A big shout out to the teacher whose big donation will pay for the website domain for 2022 and 2023.
1IRCC. (2020). Evaluation of language training services [PDF]. Research and Evaluation Branch, Ottawa, Ontario. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/reports-statistics/evaluations/eval-language-training-services.html