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November 23, 2000 Teachers thanked by TESL Centre




On December 8, the TESL Centre (Teaching English as a Second Language) held a reception for the “co-operating teachers” of Quebec’s primary and secondary schools to thank them for having accepted TESL’s student teachers into their own classrooms.

This relationship between the university and the school boards comprises a major component in the professional training of these young teachers, and reflects the importance that the Quebec Ministry of Education places on the co-operation between university and school.

Dean of Arts and Science Martin Singer told the visitors about the growth of the Faculty and the way that new professors are transforming Concordia. In fact, he challenged the student teachers present to consider becoming faculty members.

Bill Curran, Director of Concordia’s Libraries, extended library privileges to the co-operating teachers in recognition of their roles as associates of the university.

One of the teachers at the reception was Cathy MacDonald, who, while on loan to the Ministry of Education, ran a workshop enlarging on the Ministry’s new competency-based program for ESL.

Representing the TESL Centre were Patsy M. Lightbown, Acting Director, Joanna White, Director of Undergraduate Programs, and several other full- and part-time teacher trainers.

Roland Poisson, the doyen of co-operating teachers, was presented with a piece of Concordia’s 25th-anniversary memorabilia to commemorate his own more than 25 years of service in training young ESL teachers. He will retire at the end of this year.

Other co-operating teachers who attended the party included Louise Triggs, Anna Synnett, Bo Plesa, Michael Lieberman, Sonia Gignac, Premela Pearson and Elizabeth Doss, Fred Cardinal, Rosemary Reader, Pierre Tremblay, and Ilena Ciricillo, as well as many of the current crop of approximately 80 student teachers.

Throughout its 26 years, the TESL Centre has provided thousands of specialist ESL teachers for Quebec’s primary and secondary schools, as well as its private schools and CEGEPs. The Bachelor of Education (TESL) enjoys a fine reputation for the quality of its graduates, who are currently teaching in all of Canada’s provinces and territories as well as throughout the world.

— Barbara Barclay, Co-ordinator, Undergraduate Program, TESL Centre

Some teach here, other TESL grads pack their bags

With the increasing mobility of the world’s population and the political instability of certain regions that leads to migration, there will be a continuing demand for ESL teachers.

Patricia Harries finished her degree while in her fifties, and then taught in Turkey, Sudan (during the famine), China, Macao, and Vietnam before returning home to Montreal.

Shirley Ascroft is teaching in a school and a university in the Czech Republic. David Johnston is teaching in Saudi Arabia. Sandra Hoyeck has been teaching in the United Arab Republic.

Asia has attracted many Concordia graduates. Claire Lauzon and Elie Haddad are in Korea, Mary Finnegan in China, Robert Davies and François Hébert in Thailand, Robb Armstrong in Australia, Chris Casas in Taiwan, and Gerard Lévesque in Japan.

Some graduates have gone to teach in the countries of their heritage. Stavroula Perperidis has gone to Greece, James Que to China, Carolyn Marriot is teaching in her father’s old school in Staffordshire, England, Sean Earl is teaching in Dublin, and Isobel Cunningham in Poland.

Some graduates find jobs in the United States. Several who have gone as far south as North Carolina include Serge and Suzanne Desnoyers, Marcin Wawrciniak, Anna Iermieri, Craig Shrum and Cynthia Thomas.

Florida is also experiencing a shortage of ESL (English-second-language) teachers, as Cristina Iuradori was quick to discover, and Nisreen Barakett is also teaching in the U.S. Other TESL graduates have gone to Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil.

— Barbara Barclay