Saturday, January 31, 2015

C.I.E.S goes to Glenbow

The Calgary Immigrant Education Society wants all learners who pass through their doors to have an educational experience that is as a well rounded as possible. That is why field trips are an important dimension to the Society's learning process. Our field trips expose newcomers from everything to Canadian history to practical shopping habits and are a regular part of the C.I.E.S. experience.

LINC students, from levels 1 through 5, were recently taken to Calgary's Glenbow Museum. Newcomers often arrive in Canada with limited cultural and historical knowledge of their new home and the trip's purpose was to expose our learners to some of the rich heritage of our country - that and to simply have a little fun too.

To supply our learners with a working knowledge of their new home, greatly assists in their understanding of Canada's cultural mindset and our place within the global community.

If you have photos stories our even activities from field trips you have taken or are planning on taking in the new year, please do share them with your coordinator.

Accompanying pictures to this post courtesy of CLB 3-5 FT learner Maroua Messaoudi.

Friday, January 23, 2015

C.I.E.S. Video Series - Demos with Donna Volume I

The Calgary Immigrant Educational Society has launched its first of three new video series, the initial series being Demos with Donna. Donna Clarke, a teacher of English as a second language for more than 15 years, including the last 5 with C.I.E.S, will share her experience, thoughts and ideas about teaching and learning in the classroom throughout the 2015 winter semester. Enjoy Volume One below!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Embodied Lesson From 2013

2013 Local: The day before my last class with my last group of summer camp students and the weekend before my final 5P10 assignment was due (summer camp + 5P10 course+ meeting Charlie = local), I made a connection that ruptured into a plateau or my locale that was this final project (lesson and video). Everything just came together when my students expressed their sadness and devastation with their friends who had already left summer camp. I wanted to help them cope with their pain and grief. I wish I could have videotaped all the lessons I implemented after each 5P10 class. This is the last of the many embodied lessons that I implemented throughout the duration of EDUC 5P10 and my work at CIC. 

From Patricia Sadurska, Welcome Centre LINC instructor CLB 3-5

Lesson Ideas

Great Videos for a Health Unit provided by Alberta Health. They are appropriate for a variety of different levels. Check it out.

From Donna Clarke, Welcome Centre LINC instructor CLB 1/2 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

PBLA on Facebook

  • Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA) has a Facebook page. Of course it does!  See below details.

  • What it is…

  • Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA) is a teacher-based approach to assessment in language training programs based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks. PBLA engages adult ESL/EAL teachers and students in dialogue to tell the story of the student’s journey in learning English and meeting their personal goals. PBLA is conceived as "assessment for learning" and is embedded in curriculum as an integral part of the teaching and learning cycle. Teachers and students collaborate to set language-learning goals, compile numerous examples of language proficiency and learning in a variety of contexts over time, analyze the data, and reflect on progress.

    What kind of portfolio is created…

    • A learning portfolio that documents learning over time (rather than a presentation/showcase portfolio)

    What goes into a Portfolio…

    • Personal Information - baseline information that is the reference point for discussions about progress, such as:
    o CLB placement levels
    o Needs Assessments
    o Goal Statement
    o Autobiography

    • Language Samples - Listening, speaking, reading, writing and (in ESL Literacy classes) numeracy assessment tasks and skill-USING activities that address the range of CLB outcome competencies (i.e. interacting with others, giving/comprehending instructions, getting things done, and sharing/comprehending information)

    • Self-assessment - often using the Can Do Checklists

    • Reflection on learning

    How PBLA is integrated into instruction…
    • At the beginning of the term…
    o Begins in the first few days of class
    o Set aside a regular time (usually weekly) to do PBLA-related activities
    o Intro students to new PBLA resources
    o Intro students to the concepts and develop the language skills for PBLA
    o Record entering levels, needs and goals
    o Add autobiography, and samples of language
    o Begin master list of portfolio tasks

    • Throughout the term…
    o Add samples of language learning:
    • FT class – 1-2 language task samples + reflection per week
    • PT class – 2-3 language tasks sample + reflection every 2 weeks

    • At the end of term…
    o Collect portfolios
    o Review and evaluate portfolio data and other documentation (e.g. anecdotal records, SAM tasks, test results…)
    o Write progress report
    o Discuss progress report with Students, referencing items in the portfolio (There should be no surprises for the student.)
  • Mission
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada is implementing PBLA in federally-funded Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) programs across Canada to enhance student language learning and teacher assessment practice. Several provincial adult ESL/EAL funders are also considering implementing PBLA.
  • Products
    Not exactly products, but supports include...
    PBLA Guide for Teachers and Programs
    Language Companion (3 versions: ESL Literacy, CLB 1-4, CLB5-8)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

C.I.E.S - Sharing Best Practices

Teachers are lifelong learners. There is little doubt that continuing education is a requirement for teachers of every level and even more so while now being caught in the throes of what is no less than a technological revolution.  Commonly referred to as professional development, this education assists teachers in staying up to date with new trends and learning new strategies, techniques and methods for classroom challenges. The prevailing notion behind professional development is that increased knowledge will help teachers improve student achievement. This is due to the fact that professionally development can be fine-tuned to an individual teacher’s progress.

That being said, it is the duty of any institution to provide its faculty members with the opportunity to continue their professional development and must exhibit that such development occurs on an ongoing basis. In the realm of education, teachers sit at the very core. Effective teachers are persons who endeavor to excel in their instruction and who seek optimum results from their students. To accomplish this, faculty members need to be goal-oriented.     
The Applied Technology High School’s Sharing Practices Professional Development Program supports is designed to support teachers in their selection of goals, and the advancement of strategies and planning, necessary to accomplish these goals. Below are the objectives of our faculty professional development sessions. We look forward to your participation and suggestions throughout the year.     
  • ·      Raise the quality of learning and teaching
  • ·      Support and inform new and reflective practices
  • ·      Allow for the accomplishment of faculty teaching and learning stratagems
  • ·      Monitor and evaluate the Faculty’s level of PD
  • ·      Foresee staff development priorities and needs
  • ·      Activate what amounts to small-scale research sessions via sharing best practices