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Canadian Mennonite University

500 Shaftesbury Boulevard

Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2

Canada

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The theme of this year’s conference is “Changing Focus.” Our theme reflects the wide variety of contexts, stakeholders, and methodologies that comprise the dynamic picture of EAL teaching in Manitoba and across Canada. We would like to encourage educators to shift their focus from their everyday context to see new perspectives on the roles of teacher and learners, planning and assessment, and community engagement. By changing our focus, parts of that picture that normally seem ‘blurred’ or overlooked can become more clear to us.

This conference is an opportunity for individuals in the field to come together to share their own perspectives and learn from the views and stories of others. We also aim to involve learners and community stakeholders in the conference in order to have a conference that represents the "big picture" of EAL education in Manitoba.


Our Keynote

Dr. Ken Beatty, Anaheim University TESOL Professor, has worked in secondary schools and universities in Asia, the Middle East, and North and South America, lecturing on language teaching and computer-assisted language learning from the primary through university levels. Author of 130+ textbooks, he has given 300+ teacher-training sessions and 100+ conference presentations in 30 countries. His most recent book is Learning English for Academic Purposes for Pearson Canada.

Plenary:

Language Learning Along the Yellow Brick Road

In 1962 Thomas Kuhn introduced the idea of the "paradigm shift" in which there is a fundamental change to the basic concepts and practices of a discipline. Language education is currently undergoing not one, but a series of paradigm shifts in which everything we once took for granted about the roles of teachers, learners, learning materials, and classrooms is being challenged. This talk uses L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as an extended metaphor to examine (and make memorable) some of these changes. The overriding question of the presentation is how, like Dorothy, teachers and learners can adapt–and flourish–in a new reality.

Workshop:

Excellent Failures: Alternative Assessments

Traditional language assessments often measure the wrong things. This deprives students the feedback necessary to learn from their failures and teachers the opportunity to modify their teaching. Most importantly, these assessments ignore the critical and creative thinking skills that foster true communication skills. This workshop uses an example of basic content and explores different ways it might be exploited in alternative assessments that also function as learning opportunities.


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Canadian Mennonite University

500 Shaftesbury Boulevard

Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2

Canada

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