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TESL Canada Innovation Awards
This year, TESL Canada launched  the TESL Canada Innovation Awards to celebrate the excellence and innovation of resource developers in English language teaching.  English language teaching professionals across Canada produce a wealth of motivating, relevant and creative resources that thousands of teachers use in their classrooms every day.  With so many high quality resources to choose from, it was difficult to select just one winner for each category in the TESL Canada Innovation Awards.  This year’s winners are truly innovators in their field.

Digital Teaching or Learning Resource by Mike Simpson

Ancestry Project is an online education program for students and teachers interested in ancestry, culture, history through digital storytelling and digital media production.  The website provides an introduction to digital storytelling along with free digital storytelling content such as interactive web pages, PDFs, audio/video and PowerPoint presentations that present the stories of Canadians.

Self-Published Resource

Actively Engaged Online/Actively Engaged at College/Actively Engaged on the Job by Nicholas Walker

The Actively Engaged series for intermediate level students in academic preparation and college level English courses integrates reading and listening activities with grammar lessons, card games, information gaps, simulations, and writing projects. Throughout the books, language structures are taught and practiced step-by-step for meaningful use in the complex speaking and writing tasks required at the intermediate level and above. The varied activities are interactive and motivating. The books themselves are easy to navigate and well designed.

Independent Canadian Publisher Resource

Easy Advanced Grammar by Les Éditions Shakespeare

Easy Advanced Grammar is the third of a three-level series of concise, easy-to-use, quick grammar reference books for English language learners.  The third level is designed for English language learners who have acquired a basic understanding of English but who still need to occasionally refresh their memories about key grammar structures and features. The reference book focuses on clearly presenting items that cause English language learners the most difficulty, for example, prepositional expressions, articles and more complex verb tenses. The grammar points are presented in a comprehensive fashion in easy-to-consult charts with examples illustrating usage. Particular rules and special exceptions are explained below the corresponding charts. The book is colour-coded and tabbed or easy reference.  The thin and lightweight book is easy to carry and is also available in a digital format.  Easy Advanced Grammar is a practical reference tool that students can consult throughout their language learning careers.

International Publisher Resource Designed for the Canadian Market

LEAP Levels 1-4 by Julia Williams and Ken Beatty, published by Pearson ELT Canada

The LEAP series is a four-level English for Academic Purposes series: LEAP 1 (High Beginner: CEFR Level A1+-B1), LEAP 2 (Intermediate – CEFR Level B1), LEAP 3 (High Intermediate – CEFR Level B2) and LEAP 4 (Advanced – CEFR Level C1).  The series delivers a flexible, discrete skills approach to English for Academic Purposes with a Listening and Speaking, and Reading and Writing book at each level.  The books use high-interest international content to prepare students for the academic world.  They take a cross-curricular approach to teaching students the vocabulary and skills they need to thrive in a real-life academic context, while helping them apply critical thinking to a variety of global issues. The books have a clear, colourful and engaging layout that is easy to navigate and pleasing to read.  The books include online support activities for students to reinforce the content presented.

CLB/Literacy Resource

Wordless Picture Books for Adult Second Language Literacy Learners by Eye on Literacy

The wordless picture books from Eye on Literacy provide an innovative approach to adult second language literacy.  The books provide quality visuals that capitalize on the oral language skills of adult second language literacy learners with limited schooling. Moving the learner from oral language to print through the simple visuals in the wordless picture books creates an environment where, together, the teacher and learner can build meaningful contexts and decoding skills. The emphasis is on oral language which becomes the stepping stone to the reading and writing process.  Teachers are supported in the use of the wordless picture books with an extensive online library of activities.

Teacher Professional Development Resource

Teaching English:  A Practical Guide by Graeme Ching

This second edition of Teaching English provides an all-in-one guide to the essentials of teaching language: current theory, best practices, practical examples, and straightforward answers to frequently-asked questions. Whether used as a textbook for teachers-in-training or as a resource for experienced teachers and administrators, this text has the features that everyday readers want: clear, concise writing without excessive jargon and a highly formatted style for easy searches. The resource covers all key topics relevant for teacher development. Particular strengths of the book as a professional development resource are its specific, realistic examples of class situations and its sample activities and lessons.

Click here to watch a short video of Thane Ladner’s acceptance speech made on behalf of Mike Simpson of

If you have any photos from the evening, feel free to send them to and we’ll add them to the page.