June 15 – Global PD day for ESL Practitioners?

Saturday, June 15 is looking like a perfect day for an all-at-home professional development indulgence.

In the small hours of the night (Winnipeg time – CST), Business English SIG of IATEFL launches its 1st free online conference. Then at 8 a.m. CST ARCALL of Argentina runs a very interesting webinar on developing fluent lookers. Last but not least, English Online Inc. from Canada wraps up the day with its online session on how cultural factors impact listening comprehension skills.

Event 1 

Host: IATEFL – Business English Special Interest Group

Topic: 1st Online Conference 

When: 2:00 a.m. – 10 a.m. CST (GMT-5)

More info: http://tinyurl.com/mar7d6b 

Event 2

Host: ARCALL – Argentine Computer Assisted Language Learning

Topic: Visual Literacy, an effective recipe to bring real English into the classroom

Speaker: Malena Botto

When: June 15, 8 a.m. CST

More info: http://sbs.com.ar/news/cat/eventos/

Note: registration required at the above link

Event 3

Host: English Online Inc.

Topic: Cultural Factors That Impact Listening Skills

Speaker: Julie Bell

When: 10 a.m. CST

More info: http://tinyurl.com/lkcrkbh

All of the three events are free.

I wonder if it would it be possible to organize a non-stop online global conference, an around-the-sun get-together, a global PD day for ESL Practitioners…My inspiration here is the Follow-the-Sun Conference organized by the University of Leicester, where three universities on three continents converge to discuss research into online learning futures.

Anyway, hope to see you next weekend on June 15 for a very early virtual twiffee (twitter+coffee) :)

The context of English Online Inc.


  • adults (19+)
  • stay-at-home  moms, shift workers, limited or no access to f2f classes
  • located in the city of Winnipeg, in the regions of Manitoba and pre-arrival immigrants headed to the province (different timezones)
  • permanent residents, provincial nominees, Canadian citizens, refugee claimants living in Manitoba
  • varied digital skills from very basic to high users
  • varied language skills from basic to intermediate
  • varied educational and cultural backgrounds
  • approximately 1600 learners registered, 300-400 active every month (unique logins to LMS)
  • pick and choose the content and activities they want to engage in


  • non-profit organization
  • funded 100% by the province of Manitoba
  • not funded to develop content
  • e-learning content developed by 3rd party
  • 2.5 FTE  e-facilitators
  • continuous intake
  • synchronous learning options: drop-in virtual classes offered weekly
  • asynchronous learning options: self-study courses based on interactive modules, weekly tips, discussion board, Twitter, Wiki with self-directed learning strategies
  • blended learning options: 4-week courses (1 synchronous class per week plus a # of self-study activities)
  • e-facilitators respond to queries, guide to resources, deliver synchronous classes, weekly tips, moderate discussion board and feedback on journal reflections
  • custom-built LMS with limited social functionalities; L not able to contact another learner through the LMS