Episode 8: Teaching English


Whether it's catering to both ESL and non-ESL students, finding new ways of teaching pronunciation, or adding video games to the classroom, English instruction in Canada is changing. We're asking: what's the best way to teach English?


We'll first go to St. Mary Elementary school in downtown Toronto to see how teacher Michelle Barrett accommodates a Grade 3 class where almost half the students are ESL.

Teaching English nowadays isn't just about accommodating more ESL learners in the classroom; it's also about dealing with all the new technology kids are using. Stepan Pruchnicky at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School says new media is a great tool to teach them English.


Judy-small.jpgWe'll look at an innovative way to teach English pronunciation where colours correspond to vowel sounds, and spelling is irrelevant. Teacher Judy Thompson created the method, laid out in her popular book, English is Stupid. Mariel gets a lesson in pronunciation. 


Not everyone learns by the book; many Canadians learn English through TV sitcoms and soap operas. We'll hear from one woman who improved her English by listening to Bryan Adams!


GrammarGirl-web.jpgThen we'll explore whether we should all be teachers by correcting each other's mistakes. Who better to ask than Mignon Fogarty, who produces the insanely popular Grammar Girl column and podcast.



Finally, we'll round out the show by exploring where English teaching might be heading, and video games could be part of it.

Liam O'Donnell is an elementary school teacher, an avid gamer, and author, and he's all for bringing video games into the classroom.

With the increase in technology and ESL speakers, what do YOU think is the best way to teach English? Leave us a comment below!