This category contains 11 posts

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


Scene: Dinner party conversation with random friend of friend I’m meeting for the first time. Friend-of-friend: What do you do for a living? Me [aloud]: I work in ESL. [briefly describes context] Friend-of-friend: Oh, well, I used to work with new immigrants, teaching them pronunciation. I didn’t teach them grammar or anything, just pronunciation. Me … Continue reading

Diversity or Cash Cows?

This Love the Way we Bitch from this week’s issue of The Coast caught my eye, as it pertains to non-native English speaking (NNES) international students at my university: I know your investments in the big oil are not turning much profit these days, but I take issue with where you’re turning for extra cash. You pull … Continue reading

Post on Doctoral EAP blog!

I post I wrote for the Doctoral EAP blog has just been published! It’s a short reflection on how empathy as emerged for me as an unexpected side effect of my doctoral studies. Doctoral EAP is a great blog whose posts share interesting insight and experiences from others studying and researching in fields related to EAP.

Google Translate and Academic Integrity

I think digital linguistic tools like Google Translate are great. But like many tools, I have seen Google Translate abused by EAP writing students in submissions of wonky single-word “synonyms” and incomprehensibly translated passages that the student thought I’d never notice. I try to counter potential abuse with a bit of education and training, rather than … Continue reading

Gearing up for IATEFL 2014

I head to Harrogate tomorrow for IATEFL 2014, but I actually left Halifax last Tuesday evening, and have been spending a few days’ vacation in London and Edinburgh. That, combined with the fact that the lead-in to any trip (I’m away from home until April 19) is a whirlwind of errands and things to do, … Continue reading

Death Metal English

Is there a Death Metal English? According to this article, yes.  Let’s see: use of passive voice, poly-syllabic words, prepositional phrases, gerunds in titles…sounds like some of the characteristics of academic writing. I’m glad that in teaching EAP, we’re really preparing our students for a broad range of future possibilities. 🙂

Words vs language

Don’t get me wrong–I am definitely in favour of the 1000 Words Challenge. In spirit, anyway. It’s a campaign challenging folks in the UK to learn 1000 words in a foreign language, to try to “overturn [their] poor record in language learning and show that [they] are ready to engage with a multilingual world,” (The … Continue reading


I definitely am with the author of this article‘s enthusiasm and admitted (over-)use of what might just be one of the most versatile words in modern spoken English: DUDE. (You just have to get past the fact that in the source article they don’t seem to know the difference between tones and intonation.) What that … Continue reading

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