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Getting Materials to your students while campuses are closed

While the majority of post-secondary educational institutions have quickly made a heroic switch from the classroom to online learning during this pandemic, it has surfaced that an associated problem is how to get learning materials into the hands of students. Campus bookstores are for the most part closed and so is gone the usual source for student books and eBooks.

English Central is happy to say that we are able to help in this situation. We can get physical books and eBook codes into the hands of your students, economically and reliably. Further convenience is that we deal with all major publishers (and a lot of smaller ones too), so we offer the convenience of one-stop shopping.

Some notes follow on the service we can provide, though we encourage you to contact us with any questions or to go ahead with this program. Please email nicole@englishcentral.net.

How does it work?

We will need you to supply us with the titles and ISBNs of the materials you use, your start date and expected enrolment (we understand that numbers right now are often a bit of a question mark; estimates are fine). We will then confirm prices and order in the necessary quantities so that they will be available to ship out as soon as students place their orders. We will add these materials to our eCommerce site. We will also create a PDF for your program to distribute to your students, listing the materials by course and hyperlinking them to our eCommerce site; this will make the ordering process as simple as possible for students and will ensure they order the correct materials. Physical books will be shipped to students’ homes, codes will be emailed to them.

Pricing

We will charge list price for the materials, which is either the same or less than what students would be paying in a campus bookshop. For eBooks, there will be no additional charges (other than tax). For physical books, we will be subsidizing shipping charges. For orders over $100, shipping will be free. For orders less than $100, we will charge half of the Canada Post rate (there will be a promo code on the PDF we produce for you). Of course, there will be no shipping charge for eBooks. Contactless pickup is also available for those in the Toronto area.

Are there any obligations?

No. And if not many of your students end up buying, there will be no penalties.

How do you move forward with this?

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Enrolment and graduation rates continue rising in Canada

Stats Canada recently revealed that the school year of 2017/2018 was the third consecutive year of increases in enrolment and graduation from postsecondary institutions. Our readers will not be surprised to also learn that this growth was largely attributable to international students, whose numbers increased 15.6%. The increase in domestic students was much more modest at 0.2%.

Read more from StatsCan.

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The higher a student’s level, the more they blame their teacher

We remember once teaching a beginning level class at a Toronto college. At the end of the course, the students startled us with a $200 gift certificate and a lovely card signed by everone. We were amazed at this and didn’t feel truly deserving; the students had made a lot of progress, but seeing as they had almost no English, it would have been difficult for them not to.

The following month, we taught an advanced level class. There was no gift certificate that time; rather there were some complaints that we hadn’t done a good enough job. We were annoyed. Certainly, advanced students did not make as quick progress as beginners. Furthermore, advanced students have such wildly different individual needs that it is difficult to address them while still following a curriculum.

And so we read with great interest an article in the EL Gazette that summarizes recent research that shows that, indeed, as students become more proficient, they tend to blame their teacher for their slow progress (beginners tend more to blame themselves when they do not make sufficient progress).


Read the article here.

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Something else to feel bad about: the carbon footprint of international students

It is probably a good bet that a larger than average percentage of ELT professionals are concerned about climate change. Well, a recent article in Inside Higher Ed puts the spotlight on international education and the large carbon footprint that it has. Possible solutions are suggested – including students staying home – but that leaves ELT professionals between a rock and a hard place.

Read more on IHE.

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Lakehead University turns international students into ambassadors

In an effort to attract more international students, Lakehead University is turning to the international students it already has. With its Global Ambassador program, some students at Lakead will be recruited to help attract more students from their country. These students will be taught special speaking and presentation skills and will be featured on social media programs.

We are generally pretty cynical and jaded, but this sounds like a bright plan.

Read more on the CBC website.

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After you’ve gone big, you don’t need to go home… so diversify instead.

In 2014, the Canadian federal government set the objective to add 450,000 international students by 2022. In a rare example of a government succeeding in a plan, that number was actually reached by 2018!

A small problem with this great success story is that almost half of those students are from China and India. Given the tensions in relations with China lately (and historical lessons like those of ghost towns) and the comfortable position that Canada is sitting in at this moment, the feds have set some new objectives: diversifying the international student body, increasing the number of Canadian students who go to study abroad and improving the experience of international students. All sounds good.

Read more in Maclean’s.