Friday, January 28, 2011

TESL Canada Call for Proposals

I’m going to be a co-editor of an upcoming special issue of the TESL Canada Journal. I’m really honoured to have this opportunity to work with Dr. Hetty Roessingh on this project. The theme of the issue is: Generation 1.5 in Canada: Multiple Perspectives on a Shifting Demographic Landscape. This really ties in with my PhD work, and it is becoming a much talked about topic here in Canada. I’m pasting in the Call for Proposals below, but it can also be found on the TESL Canada website here: If you are a Canadian ESL/EAP teacher, please think about contributing to our publication. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Call for Proposals

Special Issue of TESL Canada Journal, Fall 2012

Generation 1.5 in Canada: Multiple Perspectives on a Shifting Demographic Landscape

Co-Edited by Hetty Roessingh, PhD and Scott Douglas, PhD

Generation 1.5 is fast becoming a topic of research endeavour and classroom significance as the numbers of these students escalate exponentially in major school jurisdictions and postsecondary institutions across Canada. The literature characterizes this demographic category as consisting of individuals who immigrate as children or are the Canadian born children of immigrants, are educated in the local school system, and have life experiences that cover two or more languages, countries, and cultures. The common feature of this demographic is that the first language, or home language, is not English or French.

This themed issue addresses this topic from various perspectives including but limited to:
  • Achievement outcomes
  • Language and literacy
  • Academic Language Proficiency
  • Curriculum, pedagogy and classroom practice
  • Teacher preparation
  • Identity
  • Assessment
  • Transitions to higher education
  • Program support
  • Policy
  • Provision of Services
We encourage a broad range of methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks, including case studies, program descriptions, classroom practice, and other qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods papers.

A 250 word abstract outlining the paper is due March 31, 2011 and should be sent to

To review author guidelines, visit the journal Website: and click on bottom right 'Information for Authors’.

Papers are due July 1, 2011.

Queries for the special issue can be sent to Dr. Hetty Roessingh.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

What do standardized test scores mean for undergraduate students?

I’ve been looking around at a lot of university websites lately, trying to think what scores would be needed to enter an undergraduate program, and then how much growth might be expected (needed) to occur over the course of one year of undergraduate studies in English. For now, this is just “educated” guess work, but it’s something I’d like to think more about in the future. For reference, the University of Calgary requires iBT TOEFL 83 for entrance to most of it’s undergraduate programs. I’ve set the score just a smidge higher than the university English language proficiency requirements for most measures.

Basically, while there are minimum English language proficiency requirements to enter an undergraduate program, those requirements can’t remain static. They need to grow in order to keep up with the demands of a student’s particular program of studies. A certain TOEFL score may be high enough to enter university, but it is not necessary high enough to exit a program of studies. This means that students need to continue focusing on their English throughout their stay at university.

Entrance to 1st Year

Exit from 1st Year






















English 30 Diploma Exam