March 7, 2015 English Online Webinar

Session 1. “Why is English so weird?” Looking to History to Answer Tough Learner Questions

The particularities of English orthography, vocabulary and pronunciation are stumbling blocks for many learners. However, what may appear to be random makes sense if one looks at the history of the English language, and knowledge of this history can therefore shed light on how we handle common student questions. This presentation is aimed at new teachers or experienced educators wanting to refresh their approach to questions perennially present in our day-to-day teaching. Classroom activities aimed at developing learners’ language awareness, with a focus on the influence of the history of English on its present-day form, will be discussed.

About the author

Jennifer MacDonald is Acting Head Teacher, ESL Programs, at Dalhousie University. Her interests include English for academic purposes curriculum and materials design, educational technology and sociolinguistics. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in education at the Institute of Education, University of London. She can be found online at and @JenMac_ESL.

Session Resources

Jennifer’s blog post “Why is English so weird?”

Session 2. The Unusual Suspects (EAL and Nutrition Partnership)

The Healthy Eating Toolkit: A Resource for Teaching English as an Additional Language was co-developed by EAL educators and public health dietitians to provide EAL educators with tools to teach relevant and accurate nutrition concepts to newcomers. We will share with you the curriculum offering sample exercises in food vocabulary, Canada’s food guide, serving sizes, grocery shopping and basic food safety.

Session Resources




About the authors

Rosemary Szabadka has been a registered dietitian for over 25 years and is currently employed with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority as a public health dietitian. She recently worked as a primary care and community dietitian in Churchill, Manitoba, and prior to that experience she taught the course Community Nutrition and Dietary Change at the University of Manitoba. Three of her community projects have won awards through Dietitians of Canada. She is currently involved in Train the Trainer workshops for two projects: Livin’ Better (a nutrition program for individuals with mental health concerns) and the Healthy Eating Toolkit (a Resource for Teaching English as an Additional Language

Lydia Lee has been a registered dietitian for over 10 years, working in public health and health promotion. She has a Master’s degree in Health Science in Community Nutrition from the University of Toronto. Lydia is currently employed with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority as a Healthy Nutrition Coordinator, working mainly in policy, program and resource development. Previously, Lydia worked as a Nutrition Promotion Consultant at Toronto Public Health in chronic disease prevention.