S1/E12: Canadian Perspective on ELLs with Paula Markus
How do educational systems in Canada support highly diverse populations of students? What supports are in place to help newcomers and their families succeed in their new country? What can ELL stakeholders in the United States learn from our colleagues in Canada?
We discuss these topics and more through the lens of the province of Ontario with Paula Markus. Paula is a former ESL Coordinator for the Toronto School Board and Sessional Lecturer at the University of Toronto.
I found it quite enlightening to listen to Paula talk about many of the topics we have covered on Highest Aspirations with a different perspective on teaching and learning. While some of the policies we discuss are unique to Ontario's system, there are many actionable strategies that ELL educators in the United States will benefit from hearing. A few higlights include creating a welcoming environment for newcomers, leveraging technology to promote cultural responsiveness, and maintaning high expectations for ELLs of all levels.
Paula recommends the following resources to anyone who would like to learn more:
- Supporting Refugee Children: Strategies for Educators, by Jan Stewart of The University of Winnipeg
- EduGains.ca - a website that houses ministry developed resources to support ELL teaching and learning in Ontario schools
- ESL/ELD Resource Group of Ontario (ERGO) - you can find many of the student-created resources that Paula mentioned here
- The work of Dr. James Cummins and OISE of The University of Toronto
- The work of Dr. Margaret Early of The University of British Columbia
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