News and Information for LearnIT2teach participants

June 26, 2019 - Issue #88

Project News

National Learning Management System Update
Development work has begun for IRCC's new national learning management system. Stay tuned for more communications related to it.

CLB 3/4 & 5/6 PBLA-compatible Modules
Developed by the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks and ready for you to review or pilot on Edulinc, "At the Walk-in Clinic" is a blended module for CLB 3 and 4 learners and  "Avoiding Scams and Fraud" is a blended module for CLB 5 and 6 learners. Both modules include online activities and classroom-based assessment tasks and activities.The CLB 3/4 module can be previewed by clicking here, and the CLB 5/6 module can be previewed by clicking here. Use pbla as the enrolment key. (You will also need to log into Edulinc.)  If you would like this module added to your course, ask your mentor. If you review these materials, please complete the survey by clicking the link at the bottom of each module.

Summer break
The next issue of this newsletter will be in late August. In the meantime, have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Web News

eLearning for Refugees Continues to Make a Difference
June 20th is World Refugee Day. This year’s theme is “Step With Refugees”–an effort to bring together people around the world to walk, run, and cycle the distance refugees cover every year to reach safety. On the education front, however, many organizations continue to do more than symbolically step into the shoes of refugees. Around the globe, online course and degree providers are demonstrating the powerful impact of eLearning for refugees. ...

Google’s Translatotron converts one spoken language to another, no text involved
Every day we creep a little closer to Douglas Adams’ famous and prescient Babel fish. A new research project from Google takes spoken sentences in one language and outputs spoken words in another — but unlike most translation techniques, it uses no intermediate text, working solely with the audio. This makes it quick, but more importantly lets it more easily reflect the cadence and tone of the speaker’s voice. Translatotron, as the project is called, is the culmination of several years of related work, ...

PowerPoint will listen to rehearsals to help you stop swearing and stuttering
Microsoft is adding an artificial intelligence-powered assistant to PowerPoint, to help improve people’s presentations. The new feature, dubbed Presenter Coach, will appear during a rehearsal mode for PowerPoint slides and offer feedback on your presentation skills by listening to audio from your computer’s microphone. Presenter Coach will pop up with tips about pacing and filler words so you’re not muttering or stuttering through a presentation, and also help presenters be more inclusive with their language, with suggestions like police officer instead of policeman. ...

4 apps to help international students learn English effectively
Many international students are non-native English speakers, whereby English is not their first language. ... They are usually required to take an English Language requirement class such as English as a Second Language (ESL) which can help them in their academic English, but there are other ways to master the English language. If you find you’re struggling to pick up the language, there are apps you can download to improve your English in a fun and engaging way. Here are our top picks: ...

Microsoft’s new language learning app uses your phone’s camera and computer vision to teach vocabulary
Eight Microsoft interns have developed a new language learning tool that uses the smartphone camera to help adults improve their English literacy by learning the words for the things around them. The app, Read My World, lets you take a picture with your phone to learn from a library of more than 1,500 words. The photo can be of a real-world object or text found in a document, Microsoft says. The app is meant to either supplement formal classroom training or offer a way to learn some words for those who didn’t have the time or funds to participate in a language learning class. ...

This Crafty Robot Can Write in Languages It’s Never Seen Before
Among the many things we humans like to lord over the rest of the animal kingdom is our complex language. Sure, other creatures talk to one another, but we’ve got all these wildly complicated written languages with syntax and fun words like defenestrate. This we can also lord over robots, who, in addition to lacking emotion and the ability to not fall on their faces, can’t write novels. At least not yet ...

Immigration key to unlocking Canada’s future economic success
Canada continues to move forward with a bold and long-term immigration plan to spearhead economic growth and support middle-class jobs from coast to coast to coast. Since 2015, Canada has focussed on attracting the best and the brightest from around the world through specific pilot programs to deliver on the recommendations made by Canada’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth by: ...


Digital Writing Strategies for Every Learner
Digital writing has permeated writing instruction today. Students write using digital software programs, and they share their written thoughts with audiences in a variety of online platforms. Our writing curriculum consists of digital literacy in every stage of the writing process. Students who are learning prewriting, writing, revising, editing, and publishing skills benefit from the digital writing strategies available to them. There are digital writing strategies for every learner. ...

Ask Engadget: What are the best language learning apps?
... I  have tried out at least two dozen language-learning apps over the past several years, and I think it helps to first know what kind of learner you are (visual, auditory, etc.) and how you most like to interact with your device. ...

How to Overcome 10 Digital Learning Challenges
... Ask any teacher who has ever attempted to use technology or digital resources in his or her classroom, and you will be told about a time when technology let them down. And, yet, even with the digital learning challenges teachers face, most are willing to deal with them to make their classroom a digital learning environment. Today, let’s take some time to look at some of the more common digital learning challenges and discuss ways to overcome them. ...

Why Adults Struggle To Learn A Second Language
... Adults can't reproduce the processes which children use when learning the first and second and third language. Here is why. All leading language learning companies use translation-based tools promising learners that they will memorize vocabulary and phrases with ease. However ... it is very hard to remember bilingual information because each language learned by adults and spoken fluently has its own center in the brain located at a certain distance from the native language center. ...


Online ESL Instructor
DaDa is currently the largest professional online education institution in China, located in Shanghai. Utilizing innovative technology, we offer fun and practical one-on-one English language instruction provided exclusively by ESL teachers to children ages 4 to 16. We enable children to communicate with English speakers from all parts of the world, empowering them with international experience and cultural awareness.

Professional Development

LearnIT2teach Annotated Bibliography New Resource: Creating a Technology-Rich Language Learning Environment
This month’s annotation comes from The Second Handbook of English Language Teaching. The 53 chapters can all be downloaded as free PDFs. While not every chapter is related to technology-mediated language learning, they are all related to language learning. ...

Cambridge Papers #5: Blended Learning
In this article, Vanessa Pasini discusses blended learning in relation to the findings of Professor Anny King’s research paper on Blended language learning. She’ll look into its pros and cons, and suggest simple online content and tools that will help you to incorporate its principles into your own classroom....

Cambridge Papers #6: What’s new in ELT besides technology?
In this final article, Vanessa Pasini looks at practical implications of new developments in ELT in relation to the findings of our latest research paper by Silvana Richardson and Scott Thornbury: What’s new in ELT besides technology? ...

e-Resource Corner
Langscape: Animated World Languages Map
Langscape currently provides location information for over 6,000 languages worldwide via an interactive map (using data from Glottolog). Additional resources for almost half of those languages are available through the map interface, including word lists, texts, recordings, sound inventories, and references.

TedED Animation: Making sense of spelling
What can spelling tell us about relationships between words? While spelling may sometimes seem random or unexpected, this lesson illuminates how peeling back the layers of spelling helps us understand the complex history and meaningful structure of [English] words.

Becoming an English Teacher
By the year 2020, some two billion people in the world will be using English, or learning to use it. Digital English language learning products and services are worth about $2.5 billion dollars a year. .... The increasing demand for English has led many people to explore careers in teaching the language. Being a native speaker is not necessary to teach English. In fact, some experts say that being a non-native speaker can be very useful when teaching English.

New Language Solutions Inc.


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About LearnIT2teach
Through funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the LearnIT2teach Project provides LINC teachers with online tools and resources and extensive training to help them implement blended learning in their programs. Visit for more information.

LearnIT2teach News is researched and compiled by Jim Edgar