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Pandemic has created a mental health crisis amongst international students

One Voice Canada recently released a study that looks at the difficulties that international students, specifically Indian students, face. While these difficulties existed before, they have become amplified by the pandemic. The study notes that there has been an increase in mental health problems and suicide.

Read the report.

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International students help to fill labour shortages

In some ageing communities, there are plenty of senior residents wanting to drink coffee at the local Tim Horton’s but not enough young people to serve it. Well, in Shippagan, New Brunswick, international students at the local campus of University of Moncton are keeping the double doubles flowing.

Read more on the CBC website.

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The suprising – and likely short lived? – success of the Duolingo English Test

While most of us involved in English language instruction have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, language learning apps have seen a boom. Duolingo saw its sales increase 67% in 2020. It then launched its English Test, which is aimed at the US university market. Cheaper and faster than the TOEFL (and capitalizing on the fact that many US institutions became test optional or test blind recently to help attract students), it has quickly made inroads.

But a number of factors make one wonder if this is a flash in the pan…

Read more in the EL Gazette.

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Alberta announces pilot program that integrates English languge training with health-care aide training

“The two-year pilot program integrates English language learning with health-care aide training, enabling Albertans with English language barriers to access the specialized and comprehensive education they need to be successful front-line health-care workers.”

Read the press release.

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Happiness @ School – webinar with Patrice Palmer

March 18th update: this webinar has been canceled. We hope to reschedule as a live event once it is safe to gather.

Please join us at 10 am EST on March 20th to celebrate the first day of spring and World Happiness Day with Patrice Palmer!

Happiness @ School
“Happy teachers will change the world”. Thích Nhất Hanh   

Did you know that 50% of our happiness is determined by our genes, 10% by our environment but that 40% is determined by our actions or attitude?  The science of positive psychology or human flourishing suggests hundreds of simple interventions or strategies (e.g. like writing in a gratitude journal) that we can apply daily to increase our happiness and well-being.

In this workshop, I will provide an overview of positive psychology and give concrete examples of some simple interventions that can be used with learners. Happiness is contagious! Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of the fastest growing area of psychology, learn new interventions that are evidence-based leading to happier teachers, students and all school staff and leave with a list of simple actions that can lead to increased happiness, well-being and flourishing.

About Patrice
Patrice Palmer has more than 25 years as an ESL educator, trainer and facilitator.  Her academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts (York University); a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education and Master of Education (Brock University); Master of Arts (OISE of the University of Toronto).  Patrice has several TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) accreditations including OCELT certification.  She also completed certificates in Positive Psychology and Positive Education at Wilfrid Laurier University and now teaches in the program.  She is a certified Mindfulness Facilitator and Mental Fitness and Resiliency Trainer.
Patrice’s experience with professional burn-out in 2015 prompted her to reflect on her own lack of self-care and adopt positive psychology interventions which she happily shares.  Patrice is the author of The Teacher Self-Care Manual: Simple Strategies for Stressed Teachers and a teacher’s resource for middle-school students entitled Ready, Set, GROW! which is filled with positive psychology interventions for young learners.  

With the $10 workshop fee, you will also receive a digital copy of Patrice’s book The Teacher’s Self-Care Manual, published by Alphabet Publishing.

Click here to sign up.

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Prospects for international student enrolments in four leading countries for the next few years

The University World News recently published an article about the factors that have affected international student enrolments in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. All of these countries, with the exception of Canada, have seen their globla share of international students decline in recent years. The authors outline the reasons for decline (or increase) in each country as well as look at what needs to change in each country in order to promote sustainable growth going forward.

Read the article.

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Mediation: the what, why and how

Join us at 4pm EST on Thursday, March 4th as Steve Tulk from Macmillan introduces us to the what why and how of teaching mediation… mediation is now in the CEFR descriptors, so it is worth learning about. Participation is free, just email to register.