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Teaching Toronto: The winning lesson

To celebrate the launch of this website at the start of 2011, we asked Toronto’s ESL professionals to share their answers to the following question: How do you use Toronto to teach ESL? Or use ESL to teach about Toronto?

The winning response came from University of Toronto’s Margaret Loney, who won a $50 gift certificate to a local ESL bookstore and a free registration at the TESL Toronto Spring Conference. Like most Torontonians, Margaret is not originally from here: she comes from village outside of Owen Sound called North Keppel. However, she lives and works in the city now – at U of T, where she earned her BA in History and a TESL certificate. Margaret also has an MSc in Social Anthropology from Oxford.

Her winning lesson weaves reading, speaking, listening activities into an introduction to Toronto’s multicultural population, diverse neighbourhoods and varied ethnic restaurants. Download Margaret’s lesson below:

  1. Lesson outline [pdf]
  2. Toronto Multiculturalism [pptx]
  3. Toronto Lesson Handout [pdf]
  4. Anthem lyrics [pdf]
  5. Label the Neighbourhoods [pdf]
  6. Pictures of Toronto Food [pdf]

Luck of the Draw

In addition to selecting the winning submission, the TESL Toronto executive also drew three submissions at random, and their authors received a free conference registration. Congratulations to the following:

Bonnie Ford from Centennial College submitted her impressive blog, Real Canadian English. Check out these posts in particular:

Angie Nikolakakis from George Brown College offered up some tips for students who want to see Toronto’s cultural attractions on a budget. For example, she teaches her students about the City Pass, the TTC day pass, and the coupons and free events found at and

Shasha Shi and Linan Shi from Toronto Cross-Cultural Community Services Association and University Settlement submitted Toronto Tic-Tac-Toe cards [doc], which they use to practice pronunciation with their Literacy and LINC Level 1 students.

Comments (3)

  • Reply Karen - May 13, 2011

    Fabulous contributions!

  • Reply Tyson - May 13, 2011

    Agreed! A lot of effort was put into create this lesson and we all can make use of it. Nothing will go to waste, I’m sure. =)

  • Reply Bonnie Ford - May 15, 2011

    Thanks Ellen! It was a good idea to encourage contributions that we all can enjoy. Teaching in Toronto definitely has some advantages.

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