2022 TESL Saskatchewan/SK TEAL Conference (Virtual)

9:00am - 3:45pm, April 30, 2022

Let’s navigate our way on this journey together.

TESL Saskatchewan/SKTEAL 2022 Conference: Navigating the Way will focus on how TESL practitioners, EAL teachers, and language learners have become explorers and pioneers as we reshape and redefine familiar territories, and forge new paths for teaching.

Call for Proposals Is Now Closed

Conference Information:

Let us welcome our keynote speaker: Dr. Karen Ragoonaden

Dr. Karen Ragoonaden is a former professor in the Faculty of Education of the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus and presently the Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba. She is the author of Mindful teaching and learning: Developing a pedagogy of well-being and Mindful and Relational Approaches to Social Justice, Equity and Diversity in Teacher Education. As the recipient of numerous Tri-Council grants, her research and publications focus on transformative pedagogy and curricular innovations supporting equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization. She is committed to anti-racism and anti-oppression practices in research, teaching and learning within the academic and local and place-based communities.

Let us welcome our keynote speaker: Dr. Ayanna Cooper

Dr. Cooper is an educator, author, and advocate for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. She is the author of And Justice for ELs; A Leader's Guide to Creating and Sustaining Equitable School, co-editor of Black Immigrants in the United States; Essays on the Politics of Race, Language and Voice, and co-author of Evaluating ALL Teachers of English learners and students with disabilities: Supporting great teaching. She has contributed to various publications including book chapters, a TESOL blog series, and Language Magazine. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors (2020 - 2023) for TESOL International Association. Her keynote will discuss implications of various program models for students learning English in primary and secondary settings.


Saturday, April 30, 2022


  • [Navigating the Way!] Opening Remarks and Dignitaries Speeches


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  • [Keynote] Navigating the Way: Wellness in the Age of Uncertainty


    Wellness in the Age of Uncertainty followed by a Q & A with Dr. Sreemali Herath

    This talk discusses how wellness practices are critical orientations in contemporary education. Recognizing the tumult of the last two years, commitments to sustain respectful relationships, engage in the complicated conversations of curriculum and re-thinking teaching and learning paradigms can contribute to pathways immersed in responsive and responsible dialogues where unlearning and re-learning can occur. Developing an open and calm receptivity along with a realistic attitude about self and society supports a culture where wellness of our communities is at the heart of pedagogical values and practice.

    (French Version)

    Les pratiques de bien-être sont des orientations essentielles dans l'éducation contemporaine. Reconnaissant le chaos des deux dernières années, l'importance de maintenir des relations respectueuses, de s'engager dans les conversations compliquées et de reconceptualiser l'enseignement et l'apprentissage contribuent à la création des environnements axés sur le succès. Développer une réceptivité ouverte et calme, ainsi qu'une attitude réaliste vis-à-vis de soi et de la société, soutient une culture où le bien-être est au cœur des valeurs et des pratiques pédagogiques.

    Dr. Sreemali Herath University of Manitoba
    Dr. Karen Ragoonaden Dean, Faculty of Education University of Manitoba


  • Room A - (R) Language Teacher Wellbeing and the Potential of Identity Portraits

    Key words: language teacher, wellbeing, creativity, identity portraits


    Language teacher wellbeing and the potential of identity portraits

    Sreemali Herath

    Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba

    Set against a backdrop of a global pandemic; shifting geopolitics that challenge our peace and stability; and transnational mobility, where growing numbers of students use different languages at home, at school and in their wider communities, how might we ensure the wellbeing of language teachers who encounter the effects of larger global issues in different forms in their classrooms? This presentation focuses on you – the language teacher and your wellbeing. It explores the potential of identity portraits – or individualized self-portraits - to assist language teachers to continue to to be dedicated educators without compromising their wellbeing. Situated in positive psychology, the presentation first discusses the importance of teacher wellbeing in coping with daily challenges of teaching and being effective and innovative educators. Then it moves on to explore the potential of creating identity portraits in assisting language teachers to visually articulate, reflect and make sense of their multiple identities. Visualizing is a process that helps us to unpack certain aspects of our lives that cannot be verbalized and operate unconsciously and tap into our creative selves. The presentation will conclude with a discussion about the centrality of creativity and self-reflection in language teacher wellbeing and the importance of teacher wellbeing in ensuring the wellbeing of our students.

    Key words: language teacher, wellbeing, creativity, identity portraits

    Dr. Sreemali Herath Faculty of Education University of Manitoba
  • Room B - (R) Are Refugee Students Being Pushed out of School?


    This research presentation will focus on current literature, professional experience, and personal research within the context of my master’s thesis in anti- racist anti- oppressive education.

    Sara Alonso Saskatoon Public Schoo Division
    Rebecca Schroeder Saskatoon Public Schoo Division
  • Room C - (W) Building a Level-Appropriate Literacy Module with Donna Clarke & Jeremy Wilson


    Do you struggle with creating PBLA-compliant modules for your literacy learners? This workshop will showcase a process, from start to finish, for designing a module that addresses the needs of LINC literacy learners. Topics addressed include choosing appropriate themes based on class makeup and mode of delivery, selecting appropriate real-world tasks, considerations of all steps necessary for learners to be successful (including whole-part-whole, ESL for ALL’s continuums of literacy skills, digital literacy, numeracy and learning strategies) and post-teaching reflection. Participants will have opportunities to engage with these steps in the workshop through practice and reflection.


    Donna Clarke

    Donna Clarke is the lead for the Literacy Centre of Expertise at TIES in Calgary. Her passion is fueled by the exceptional students she has the privilege of sharing her days with.

    Jeremy Wilson

    Jeremy Wilson is the assistant at the Literacy Centre of Expertise at TIES in Calgary. His main interest is in designing curriculum and instruction that best serves literacy learners.

    Donna Clarke Centre of Literacy Expertise TIES
    Jeremy Wilson Centre of Literacy Expertise TIES


  • [Session Break]


    Session Break

11:15am - 12:05pm

  • Room A - [Panel Discussion] Embracing the New Normal - Lessons Learnt


    TESL Sask became a member of TESOL Affiliate Network in July, 2019 to connect our members to professional development opportunities for English language educators around the world. TESOL is affiliated with more than 100 independent associations worldwide with a total membership of more than47,000 professionals worldwide.
    The panelists will provide short presentations on the best practices, challenges and lessons learnt by TESOL members throughout the pandemic which will be followed by a Q & A session and/or discussion with presenters.



    Bessie Karras-Lazaris (Affiliate Network Professional Council chair, CATESOL),
    Jermaine McDougald (Affiliate Network Professional Council Newsletter, TESOL Columbia),
    Linh Phung (Incoming chair, Three Rivers TESOL),
    James Papple (Past chair, TESL Ontario).

    TESOL International Global Members
  • Room C - (W) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources on Tutela


    Diane joined the Tutela team only 3 months after signing up in June 2012. In addition to being a TESL Instructor at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Diane is also an online LINC Home Study Instructor. So it comes as no surprise that leveraging resources and tools that lend themselves to an online environment are her priority. She has been involved in training and workshops for many years so moderating the Tutela webinars was a natural extension - they are a lot of fun and a great way to learn from other instructors. Looking back, she wishes that this format existed when she taught overseas - a great way to stay connected.

    Diane Ramanathan Tutela.ca

    Visit website

  • https://youtu.be/ANtkDBd9UNI
  • Room B - (W) Students Tackle Racism and Discrimination at School


    The purpose of this workshop presentation is to describe the successful implementation of a high school- based anti- racist anti- oppressive program and provide attendees with practical techniques through hands- on experience. What resulted from the unique collaboration between Open Door Society and Saskatoon Public Schools was a student-led initiative to tackle discrimination within the context of their lived experience in school through peer- to- peer education using theatrical performance techniques. Firstly, relevant research will provide context as an educational framework. Second, we will describe how the group took shape and evolved including activities used to prepare students to become peer leaders. Next, we will facilitate engagement using materials and techniques from Theater of the Oppressed methodology to inform educational pedagogy and practice. Finally, time will be provided for questions and to gather feedback/ feedforward.


    Sara Alonso

    Sara Alonso was born and raised in Mexico City. Sara has a Bachelor’s degree in Education as well as a TESL certification. She has dedicated her professional life to work with children, youth and adults of vulnerable sectors as an EAL teacher and community development officer in Mexico and the US. She has continued to do so by working in various settlement agencies and community based organizations in Saskatoon, Canada for the last 7 years. She is currently working with the LINC program at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

    Rebecca Schroeder

    Rebecca Schroeder is a high school teacher and is currently completing her master’s in education specializing in anti-racism and anti-oppression pedagogy and practice with a focus on refugee education.

    Sara Alonso Saskatoon Public School Division
    Rebecca Schroeder Saskatoon Public School Division


  • [Lunch Break]


    Lunch Break


  • [Keynote] Navigating the Way: Implications of Various Program Models for Students Learning English in Primary and Secondary Settings


    Dr. Ayanna Cooper TESOL International Association Board Member Owner of A Cooper Consulting


  • Room A - (W) Module Planning: Planning with the End in Mind



    Rana Ashkar:

    Rana Ashkar works with the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks, she has a Bachelor’s in Education, a Master of Arts in English Literature, is CTESL trained, and has a background in ESL teaching and project management.

    Lisa Herrera:

    Lisa Herrera has an MA in Educational Administration from UBC and is a PBLA Regional Coach, training Lead and classroom teachers online since 2014. She taught in LINC for 15 years and has been the Lead Instructional Coordinator for ISSofBC LINC since 2008. Lisa has also been the Project Lead on several ISSofBC curriculum projects including the Digital Literacy Curriculum Resource. She regularly presents webinars and at conferences and PD.

    Kathy Hughes:

    Kathy Hughes is a Project Manager with the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks and has a strong background in project management for training initiatives.

    Rana Ashkar CCLB
    Lisa Herrera CCLB
    Kathy Hughes CCLB
  • Room B - (W) Teaching Students to Read/Read Better with Liz Rowley, South East Cornerstone Public School Division

    This session will give you an overview of the steps in teaching students to read, beginning with phonological awareness.


    Was your teacher training similar to mine? I never received explicit instruction on how to teach someone to read. Instead, it was suggested that students notice headings and subheadings, bolded vocabulary, visuals and other text features. When I became an English language instructor, I realized many of my students were struggling with the basics of learning to read in English. This workshop is for people like the former me – a teacher who wants to help their students learn to read, or read better, but does not know the steps.


    Liz Rowley

    Liz Rowley is an Instructional Coach-EAL. She earned her master’s degree in TESL/TEFL from Birmingham University in the UK. She has taught adults, university students, and children in Canada, England, and South Korea. She currently supports EAL students, their teachers, administrators, and families in the South East Cornerstone Public School Division, Saskatchewan.

    Liz Rowley South East Cornerstone Public School Division
  • Room C - (W) Supporting Language Volunteers: building partnerships and increasing capacity with TBLV

    Share and learn with others how to support language volunteers. TBLV offers basic TESL training and orientation for volunteers working with newcomers in informal or formal language training. TBLV is a project by Avenue-LIT2T funded by IRCC.


    Do you have volunteers in your program, or are you looking for ways to increase volunteer engagement? What can volunteers do to support teachers? What are ways to train them? In this workshop we will examine these questions. We will also showcase TBLV: TESL Basics for Language Volunteers. TBLV is an IRCC funded program that offers basic TESL training and orientation for volunteers working with newcomers in informal settings or as teacher’s aides in formal programs (LINC). We will present the TBLV courseware and feedback, highlighting outcomes for language volunteers. Through polls, padlets, and discussions, participants are engaged during the workshop. As we keep moving forward in an uncertain world of an ongoing pandemic, the TBLV training enables language learning programs for newcomers to recruit and support volunteers for remote and blended online program delivery. This workshop focuses on what volunteers can do both in the classroom and online, and how TBLV can support agencies.

    Learning objectives

    • Participate in polls, chat, padlets, and discussions about working with language volunteers
    • Learn about good practices for volunteer recruitment and training.
    • Learn about the TBLV training, course units, and volunteers’ feedback and how to partner to deliver the training


    Shabana Shahzad

    Shabana Shahzad has over twenty years ESL teaching experience. She has taught LINC 1-7 for more than twelve years and is a LINC Instructor and PBLA Lead Teacher at Centre for Newcomers, Calgary AB. She has facilitated the organization’s transition to online learning during the pandemic through PD sessions, one on one support to teachers and students. She loves to incorporate online learning in her class as it is the new real-world for our learners. Shabana is passionate about sharing things she learns and is happy to share how to teach online using different platforms such as Avenue.ca and Google Classroom.

    Matthias Sturm

    Matthias Sturm (he/him) is the evaluator and researcher at New Language Solutions. Matthias is also a PhD candidate in the Education Faculty at Simon Fraser University.

    Shabana Shahzad New Language Solutions
    Matthias Sturm New Language Solutions


  • [Session Break]


    Session Break


  • Room A - (W) Learning Disabilities and EAL

    Learning English is difficult. How much more challenging is it when you have a learning disability? This session will discuss strategies for working with EAL learners who have learning disabilities. Though these strategies are designed for learners with learning disabilities, all learners can benefit from a fresh approach to reading and writing.


    Instructors in EAL classrooms never know who will walk through their doors. Learners are diverse. Diverse cultures and backgrounds, language proficiency levels, socioeconomic status, family responsibility, educational backgrounds, previous EAL experience and methods, and reasons for being there, to name just a few. Add to this, that some learners may have a learning disability, and instructors may not know who is and who is not neurodiverse, or how. Learning disabilities are not language dependent- if a person has a disability in one language, they have it in all.

    Instructors who can recognize that diversity exists within their classrooms and open their doors (literally and figuratively) through education can support all learners to the best of their ability.

    During this interactive session, participants will examine the similarities and differences between language learners and learning-disabled students. Participants will also evaluate strategies for supporting and working with learning disabilities.


    Alana Johnson

    Alana Johnson has been active in English language learning for 15 years. Alana worked for many years as an instructor as well as a Workplace Essential Skills Specialist. Alana currently works with the NorQuest Rural Routes Initiative and is a Southern Alberta co-chair for the ATESL board.

    Alana Johnson NorQuest College
  • Room B - (R) Partnerships of Change: Hopes and Outcomes of a Participatory Study of Three-Way Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences with English Language Learners


    The purpose of this participatory action research project was to strengthen the partnership between English as an additional language (EAL) parents and their children’s teachers so schools can better support academic success of EAL students. Shawna Jurgens and Brenden Kroeger, the teachers involved in this study, having identified a potential gap between EAL parents and teachers in their understandings and expectations of three-way conferences, worked with Dr. Hyunjung Shin, Dr. Zhi Li, and Shannon Storey from the University of Saskatchewan. They obtained funding from the Sterling McDowell Foundation to explore and define the perceived gap and find ways of redressing it. Research was conducted within a rural high school and an urban elementary school within Saskatchewan to understand needs within diverse EAL populations. Challenges in the process of recruiting participants generated key learnings for the research team.


    Shannon Storey

    Shannon Storey is academic coordinator of the Undergraduate Certificate Program in TESL (CERTESL) at the University of Saskatchewan; past accreditation chair and past president of TESL Saskatchewan; current executive committee member for SKTEAL, and current chair of the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks. She has taught ESL/EAL with adults, teens and children in Canada and Japan, and has also been a content area teacher in K-12 Saskatchewan schools.

    Shawna Jurgens

    Shawna Jurgens is an EAL Teacher with the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division, founding member of SK TEAL, and current executive SK TEAL board member. She has an MEd in language and literacy. She has taught EFL/ESL to adults and children in Canada and Japan. 

    Shawna Jurgens SK TEAL
    Shannon Storey University of Saskatoon


  • [Navigating the Way!] - Closing Remarks


    Closing Remarks

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