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Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers.

I was looking online for a website that provides interesting and diverse ESL reading for professionals with interests spanning the K-12 system as well as the adult education setting (because most sites are either one or the other), and came across the site for the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers.

The CASLT website is a membership site, with an annual fee of $45 per year for established teachers, or a free membership for any individual who is enrolled in a Faculty of Education program (perfect!). It deals with teaching French as a second language in one section, and teaching English as a second language in another section. There are many articles that can be accessed by non-members, and a few free resources. The CASLT site includes access to an E-newsletters, podcasts, presentation videos, research articles, assessment documents, and, of course, lesson plans and lesson materials. The research articles highlighted deal with issues such as assessment, technology in L2 learning, project-based learning, and literacy in L2. The lessons span K-adult education, and deal with a variety of themes. The assessment documents include 20 formative activities and instruments which have been developed to assess the four ESL skills, of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. What I found REALLY COOL about this site was the Provincial Curriculum Guides section which provides links to ESL curriculum documents for all of the provinces in Canada...being primarily a K-12 teacher, this got me really excited-it is an easy way to see what other provinces have to say about teaching ESL students, without having to look-up each link separately!

In my opinion, this is a fairly useful site for both K-12 ESL educators as well as adult educators. A site user will likely want to sign-up for a membership, in order to have full access to the lesson ideas and assessment prototypes. One disadvantage is that the podcasts all deal with teaching FSL (French as a second language). I believe that every ESL teacher will find something interesting to read on this site, even without a membership. The CASLT approach of having French and English teachers share a second language teaching site is something that I found to be uniquely flavoured with a Canadian spirit of bilingualism!

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