One of the obvious advantages of studying abroad is immersion, yet many students struggle to take advantage of the English environment in order to speed their learning. Integrating lesson plans with daily life so as to make this connection explicit can be helpful in nudging students toward seeking out more opportunities to practice outside the classroom. For this reason, it is worth investing time into lessons that teach students the skills they need to cope in their interactions with Canadians.
In one school that I worked at, a class called ‘Real Speaking’ was perennially full because it emphasized the elements of the language that textbooks typically overlook; how to understand and use English idioms and slang, how to overcome your fear of speaking in public and how to cope with challenging reading and listening materials aimed at ‘native speakers’. These skills will help students expand the field of learning opportunities available to them.
Interactive Assignments – TESOL in Canada
I often use classroom tasks and homework assignments that require students to interact with people and text in the urban environment. Participating in lessons organized around that enigmatic notion of ‘Canadian culture’, my students have interviewed Canadians, visited cultural institutions and familiarized themselves with current issues in Canadian news. I highly recommend a trip to one of many free art galleries that can be found in any city, where you`ll find friendly staff who will jump at the chance to offer a free, private tour to your students.
Doing some basic research beforehand will allow you to prepare your students to make the most of the visit; discuss art and the themes of the show, teach students how to express their opinions in speaking and writing, and introduce some of the vocabulary they will need in order to react thoughtfully to the art they will see. Similarly, community centers, cultural centers and even businesses are places around which you can deliver a unit of study that will end with a memorable interactive outing.
Inexpensive Social Activities – TESOL in Canada
Be prepared to provide recommendations to students who want to get involved in social activities and meet Canadians. It`s good to have low-cost options that allow students to interact with Canadians and practice their English at hand. Websites like meetup.com facilitate various social outings from language exchanges and sport activities to photography and film clubs, and local newspapers contain listings of cultural events like festivals.
If you have taught English abroad, you likely have benefited from the hospitality of locals who were eager to share what was special about their home. As a Canadian teaching in Canada, thinking of yourself as a host will give you the chance to help your students have an experience they won`t soon forget.