Jennifer MacDonald

Jennifer MacDonald has written 104 posts for Jennifer MacDonald

Code-switching made easy

One pet peeve of mine related to digital communication via chat or SMS has always been how annoying it is to code-switch. As a result of living in a few different places over the years, I have some friends whom I communicate with in French, others Spanish and some in blends and mixtures of either … Continue reading

Glass Houses and Stones

I’m a total CBC fangirl, but nonetheless, on a regular basis you can find me raging out at my radio,  verbalizing my disagreement with some host or guest, much to the entertainment/chagrin of my partner. Saturday’s episode of Day Six was one such occasion. Host Brent Bambury interviewed Ross and Kathy Petras on their new book You’re … Continue reading

Does Morality Change in a Foreign Language?

I just came across this interesting article in Scientific American: How Morality Changes in a Foreign Language. I admit when I saw the title, I was expecting it to be another re-hash of linguistic relativity, aka. the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.  However, the focus of this article is not on comparisons of how speakers of different language … Continue reading

An Illustrated Style Guide?

I heard about The Elements of Style Illustrated on the radio this past weekend. Illustrator Maira Kalman  had worked her magic on the ol’ Strunk and White chestnut and I was intrigued. An illustrated style guide? I pictured jazzy artistic renderings of the syntactic sentence trees I had to do in my undergrad. However, a bit … Continue reading

Corpus-based Grammars and Style Guides

I gave the keynote address at the AWELL Conference a few months ago, and one of the practical suggestions I included in my talk for writing teachers working with English language learners was to try to draw on corpus-based grammars and style guides based on real language use vs. those that try to pass off personal … Continue reading

EAP Reading: Defining the Relationship

Here’s an interesting article that could make for a great reading for a class of EAP students about to enter their degree programs. As summarized by academica.ca: Students need to better understand the role of a professor, writes CHE contributor “I wonder if college students today truly understand the nature of their relationship to professors,” … Continue reading

Chatbots and Academic Writing?

Today I came across this article on a university teaching assistant who was actually a computer. “Ms. Watson” managed to fool students and fellow TAs alike, as “she” quickly and accurately answered the barrage of questions on the online forum for a computer science course in Georgia. Many of the questions this robot, and most of us teaching … Continue reading

AWELL 2016: Keynote Address

I’m giving the keynote address on the opening day of the Academic Writing and English Language Learners (AWELL) conference being held at Saint Mary’s University tomorrow. It’s a really neat conference which brings together a range of people who deal with writing in the university environment: ESL/EAP instructors, writing support centre tutors and administrators, and … Continue reading

The Swedish Number: Speaking task?

If I was teaching a speaking class right now, I would definitely turn making a call to The Swedish Number into a speaking assignment. The Swedish Number is an initiative of the Swedish Tourism Board, which is a phone number which “connects callers to a switchboard and then, wherever in the world they are, to … Continue reading

Presentation @ IATEFL Birmingham

I’m excited to be presenting at IATEFL Birmingham on the topic of EAP Pathway Program Study and Academic Success at University. My session is on  Friday 15th April at 12:30-13:00 in Executive Room 1. My doctoral research revolves around the teaching and learning of English in the university context, and so I’m hoping some other people working and … Continue reading

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