Reflections on TESL Canada Conference 2017
For a high school EAL teacher in Saskatchewan there were many interesting sessions at the TESL Canada Conference. The session that I found to be most practical was presented by a lead EAL teacher from a high school in New Brunswick. The presentation provided many practical ideas to help set up portfolio assessment and conferencing with students in a multilevel high school classroom. Also, he shared evidence of greater engagement and involvement in language learning with his students that he observed using portfolio-based assessment.
By involving students in setting language goals and monitoring their progress in their portfolios, he found that students increased their awareness of their learning as well as the language learning progress they made. Students in his classes started to become less focused on obtaining (or not obtaining) a certain grade and instead had a greater focus on reaching their goals and providing evidence of their learning in their portfolios. Following his presentation, he shared many classroom ready resources, such as rubrics (connected to CFR levels in student friendly language) for students, peers and teachers, conferencing questions, and skills checklists. This presentation was an incredible resource that provided me with many ideas on how I can get my students more involved in their assessment and to help students understand the learning necessary for success.