About this Blog/Blogger

Do you work with learners who speak a language other than English at home?   Is the world in your classrooms? Then this blog is for you.

It has been my pleasure to teach English to learners from around the world for decades – and a never-ending learning experience  it has been for me. I hope you find the postings here helpful, informative and potentially validating. I look forward to hearing from you if you are so inclined and comments and additional ideas or requests for topics/posts are most welcome.

Contact the Blog moderator [sylviahelmer42@gmail.com] to contribute tips and ideas, ask questions, or comment about your own experiences.

SH Cowgirl closer My name is Sylvia and I started this  blog in support of the community of teachers who work with those learning English as an additional language, many of them new to this aspect of teaching. I arrived in Canada as such a student, not speaking any English. What made it even more memorable is that I arrived on – are you ready for it – Hallowe’en Day! The daughter of our host family insisted I must go out Trick-or-Treating with everyone else, so I spent the afternoon practicing wrapping my mouth around the words ‘Trick or Treat’. It was a rather memorable beginning to my life in Canada.

“New Canadian Class” and many years of learning English and learning in English [and French] later, I found myself in a developing country in the South Pacific, trying to teach English Language Arts to 44 boys, aged 12 to 24, who spoke English as perhaps their fourth or fifth language. My training as a French language teacher helped me cope a bit, but it was the beginning of my desire to learn more, as well as the start of my love affair with  teaching additional language learners across the grades.  I recently retired from a large urban school district only to return to work at the University of British Columbia, this time helping to train teachers to support additional language learners.

I look forward to sharing my own thoughts and ideas, my years of teaching experiences with additional language learners, as well as those topics and tips offered for sharing by my current teachers in training. Finally,  I am hoping that you, dear readers, will also choose to contribute.


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