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ERIC Number: EJ1170953
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0826-435X
The Ins and Outs of ESL in Canada: How the Past Can Inform the Future
Derwing, Tracey M.
TESL Canada Journal, v34 n2 p83-96 2017
For some people, nothing sounds duller than the word "history." And yet history can be fascinating; it can afford us a chance to see the world through others' eyes; in comparing historical events with the current state of affairs, we can sometimes perceive our realities in a new light. Landmarks in the history of English as a second language (ESL), including patterns of immigration, language policies, funding, curriculum choices, standards, and advocacy, are chronicled in this article. These issues are the lifeblood of our field and go back further than many people recognize. They are all influenced by personalities, ethics, and circumstances. In 1899, Frontier College started sending labourer-teachers to work camps, where they taught not only literacy but also ESL to immigrant workers in mines and on railroads. A century ago, handbooks were developed for instructors of "new Canadians." Since those early days, Canada has developed the most comprehensive system of adult ESL training in the world, and has produced internationally recognized research on second language acquisition. Furthermore, ESL teachers created professional organizations at the provincial/territorial and national levels. Some of the developments of TESL Canada will be examined here. In looking back, we can see how far we have come, and also get some sense of where the future will take us.
TESL Canada Federation. 408-4370 Dominion Street, Burnaby, BC V5G 4L7, Canada. Tel: 604-298-0312; Fax: 604-298-0372; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A