To complete the course ECUR 415.3: Current Issues in EAL, students are required to submit a final paper that reflects their growing knowledge about English as an Additional Language (EAL). EAL is the term used in Saskatchewan to describe students who speak languages other than English and require adequate levels of English to be successful with the school curriculum.
Most students enrolled in the online course ECUR 415 are practicing teachers who are working toward a Post-Degree Certificate in EAL Education (PDCEAL), while continuing to live and work in various locations both within and outside of the province. The certificate program, offered through the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, is recognized by provincial education authorities as being equivalent to one full year of post-degree study. As such, the certificate equips teachers with the knowledge and expertise to be considered teacher-specialists of EAL Education. The course ECUR 415 also attracts some pre-service teachers who are pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree and have an interest in EAL Education.
At the end of a term, the instructor informs students that their final papers may be considered for inclusion in an OER essay collection. Essay selection has no bearing on student marks as this is done after course completion. Students must give permission for their papers to be published prior to inclusion in the collection. The overall goal of the OER collection is to provide PreK-12 educators (classroom teachers, administrators, EAL coordinators, language consultants, specialists, and others) with a source of current best practices and research. An added advantage is that the collection provides pre-service teachers with insights into the cultures and languages represented in schools today, as preparation for their future employment.
All users of this OER collection are reminded that essays are the work of student authors and not academic experts in the field of EAL or second language education.
This online resource carries the Creative Commons License CC-BY. This license allows others to use, modify, or share the work of each author freely. Students who have given permission for their essays to appear in this collection are considered the authors of each piece of writing. Other users are required to give credit to each author as the creator of the work. This kind of open online resource allows educators in Saskatchewan and other locations to adapt the work and align it with local needs.
Each author of an OER essay may add this work to a professional CV and reference it as required to support future academic goals. This contribution is part of a living and growing learning resource that educators anywhere can access and use. Each author also retains the right to request removal of the essay from the collection at any time.
OER makes it possible for the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan to build and expand the selection of readings available for EAL education. More information about open pedagogy is available at https://teaching.usask.ca/curriculum/open-educational-practices.php .
I would like to express my sincere thanks to all student authors who gave permission to have their writing published in this OER collection. It is very rewarding to be able to share not only the enhanced knowledge of the authors, but also the views and perspectives of different voices in our province: rural and urban, Saskatchewan-born and new Canadians, experienced teachers and recent graduates. It is my hope that as you read the essays, you will gain new insights into current issues in EAL Education.
Nadia Prokopchuk, B. Ed., M. Ed.
OER Collection Editor
ECUR 415 (Online) Course Writer