Today was the first of a 2-day ATESL (Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language) conference being held in Calgary. I have never attended one because there has been no real need to in a professional sense, until now. Since I started teaching and using PBLA with Columbia College it made sense to give it a go because many of the topics revolved around it. The only bad thing was having to be there for 7. I managed to get there by 7.15-ish.
Columbia College is great! Not only do they train their teachers, but they cover the ATESL membership and conference fees. They really invest in their staff. The following is the series of presentations, keynote speeches, and workshops I attended today:
- Identity, Investment, and English Language Learning in an Unequal Digital World
- Creating Learner-centred PBLA Mini modules for LINC Classes
- Enhancing Intercultural Communicative Competence
- Becoming a Better Advocate for All Learners: Infusing Social Justice in our Practice
- Practical Tips for Developing Writing Assessment Tasks for the Classroom
- Addressing Barriers to Learning Caused by Psychological Trauma:Classroom Applications
I learned a lot of really interesting facts and techniques. I especially enjoyed the keynote speaker on social justice. He was so engaging and entertaining that I joked with a co-worker that I would be keen on auditing one of his classes.
The food was delicious. Breakfast was a choice of breakfast burritos, hashed browns, oatmeal, fruit, toast, and juice. The two “nutrition breaks” had granola bars, loaves, and cinnamon buns. The lunch was caesar salad, pasta, wraps, soup, and cookies. Coffee and tea were available throughout the day. I also got a lot of free stuff (notebook, magnifiers, a bag, texts, pens, and pencils).
The next big event will be a LINC Language Training Learning Event (funded by IRCC) in Edmonton on Feb. 21&22. No other details have been released yet.