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Teacher Feature: Emmalyn

June 18, 2021

This article is part of a series of posts highlighting our community of teachers around the world. We hope you find their stories interesting and inspiring!

After teaching math, science, and academic English for over 20 years in high schools, Emmalyn received her TESL certification in 2019. Then, she began working at the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre (NFAMC) in Ontario, Canada as a LINC/ESL teaching assistant.

“I’ve always enjoyed teaching. It doesn’t matter if it’s piano, math, science, or English. I’ve always considered one of my strengths to be understanding a concept and then breaking it down in such a way as to make it understandable to the student.”

A woman (Emmalyn) smiling and standing next to a presentation board

Here, Emmalyn is pictured with a presentation she did for her TESL certification.

The NFAMC provides settlement services, including ESL classes ranging from literacy to CLB 6, for newcomers to Canada. The students are anywhere from 18 years old to seniors, and Emmalyn teaches a different class every day.

“It is amazing being in a class with such cultural diversity. Hearing about students’ experiences is not only a learning experience for me, but also a wake-up call, in terms of how much we take living in Canada for granted.”

A woman (Emmalyn) standing in front of a sign reading LINC English Classes for Immigrants

Here, Emmalyn is pictured at the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, classes took place in person Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. Currently, they are teaching online. As a result, a typical day for Emmalyn includes finding resources, converting them into online assignments, posting the assignments, marking, and providing the class teachers with feedback.

A typical day also involves planning a lesson that corresponds with the centre’s monthly theme. For example, in May, the monthly theme was employment. In June, the monthly theme is Canadian culture. Each lesson is adjusted to the level of the class and the students, and includes listening, speaking, reading and writing.

“This is where ESL Library comes in handy. There are countless topics, all differentiated according to various levels. Flashcards, videos, listening, vocabulary, crosswords. It’s all there. The Taskplayer feature is especially useful for the lower-level classes. They love the Picture Dictionary. This resource has saved me so much time.”

Check out Emmalyn’s text response below to learn more about why she loves ESL Library and how she uses it with her students.

💬 Hello ESL Library Staff,

First of all, can I just say thank you for these awesome resources! So many topics, so many levels, and so many opportunities to address different skills in class. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Let me tell you a bit about myself. My name is Emmalyn and I am an assistant teacher at a multicultural centre offering the LINC program to adult newcomers. I alternate between different levels of ESL classes ranging from Literacy to Level 5/6. Your resource allows me to pick and choose both topics and level-appropriate material.

How do I use the resources? Before the virus, I would print out the PDFs for the topics I wanted and use them in class. When we were first online, our centre upgraded our membership and teachers sent interactive lessons to students via Google Classroom. At the start of the school year, I saw the interactive view available. This worked especially well with the Literacy students. I would project the vocab and flashcards and they would name them. I would also project their handouts and use the annotation features to correct our work. This minimized touching paper, chalk, etc. and maximized space as students were able to remain at their desks. I also print out the flashcards and put them on the board. The clear visuals allow me and the students to participate in many different sorts of activities like identification, spelling, sentence construction, etc. Your website has been a valuable resource. I can't stress enough how thankful I am!

Emmalyn Sumodobila

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