Best Practices for Synchronous/Blended Teaching in PBLA/LINC

The Best Practices for Synchronous/Blended Teaching – PD course is easily accessible through Avenue and Settlement Online after enrollment – see info below. It offers a variety of engaging strategies for synchronous/blended instruction and assessment that are based on findings from a 19-month  national research project lead by the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS). As research consultants, Marijke Geurts and Matthias Sturm of New Language Solutions (NLS), played an essential part in the delivery of the project. The partner organizations were a local researcher, instructors and learners participated in the data collection and community of practice building were ISS of BC, NorQuest College, Red River College, YMCA of Greater Saint John, and ISANS.

The PD course is designed to supplement the Best Practices Guide for Synchronous/Blended Learning that was developed for and refined after the field research phase of the project. The guide can be obtained on Tutela and inside the PD course, including customizable Creative Commons licensed checklists. The course also features expert podcasts, videos, and interactive activities. Six structured topics, each featuring self-assessment questionnaires, H5P activities, and discussion forums, allow you to learn and grow at your own pace. Plus, administrators are recognized with a dedicated section highlighting their importance in EAL programs in settlement sectors. Additional resources and sample units for Stage I (CLB 1-4) & Stage II (CLB 5-8) learners round out the course, providing practical tools you can implement immediately.

Ready to take your teaching to the next level? Contact the project lead, Anita Premkumar, at to enroll today. Please mention your LMS preference (Avenue or Settlement Online) as well as your role (instructor or administrator) in your email.

This SDI project was funded by IRCC and received financial contributions from NLS.

New Leadership Cohort Begins Sat. May 25th

Avenue Leadership Training for Managers & Lead Teachers: Refreshed, Remodelled, Re-launched

  • Avenue Leadership Training now formatted as microcredentials 
  • Participants build skills as lead teachers or managers 
  • Grow your learning tech skills with a community of LINC or CLIC colleagues 
  • MLITSD-funded Adult Language Training professionals are now eligible 
  • Choose the Introduction microcredential to get started (about 2.5 hours) 
  • Complete the ten microcredentials to earn a Leadership Certificate 
  • Engage with videos, readings, audio podcasts and discussion forums 
  • Dive deep on the Brand New Avenue Learning Technology Standards 
  • Apply innovations and leadership principles to your language program 
  • Take a dive into Universal Design for Learning and the SAMR model 
  • Develop a strategic plan to improve local learning technology uptake and teaching/learning practices 

2023 Course Framework Embraces Microcredentialling 

The technology leadership courses were released in 2015. Since then, several hundred LINC pros have made their way through. But we decided early this year the course content needed refreshing. That’s done, but we’ve taken things a step further by re-formatting the course as ten microcredentials. The course is now divided into ten mini-courses, each of which will take about 2.5 – 3 hours to complete. 

Every time a participant completes a microcredential, a digital badge will be awarded. Once all ten microcredentials are completed, a certificate in newcomer language training learning technology leadership will be awarded. 

We invite professionals in IRCC or MLITSD-funded language programs like LINC, CLIC or Ontario Adult Language Training to request enrolment. 

The course is mentored and delivered online through Participants in the course have self-identified as technology leaders, and their forum posts reflect valuable lessons from their local language training programs. 

The Introduction & Micro-courses: 

  • Avenue Leadership Course Introduction
  • Technology-enhanced language learning (TELL) & Computer-assisted language learning (CALL)
  • Blended Language Teaching and Learning 
  • The Avenue Project
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Avenue for TELL Standards
  • Avenue Learner Standards  for TELL
  • Avenue Instructor Standards  for TELL
  • Avenue Program Standards  for TELL
  • Innovation & Leadership Theories
  • Facilitating Change
  • Classroom Management & Program Performance 
  • Preparing to Lead

Micro-courses can be completed in any order after a participant completes the Introduction. Participants progress at their own pace and as their schedules allow.  Please note that all microcredentials are not complete yet. We are working to complete them all over the next few months.

If you are looking to delve deeper into the question of learning technology innovation in the newcomer language training sector, here’s a link to the enrolment form

IRCC Proposal Season & We Have Support to Offer

Avenue usage reports are coming to attach to SPO proposals to IRCC

The Avenue – LearnIT2teach Project is getting a number of requests for support letters from frontline LINC and CLIC agencies. We value our clients and want to support service providers that have already integrated in their local teaching and learning, or which are at earlier stages in learning technology innovation and submitting plans to IRCC for broader uptake.

We’ve considered responding case by case to requests, but we think we have a better idea: we are customizing the reporting system so that it generates unique activity reports for each agency.

This new functionality will be ready to produce reports by mid-January. At that time we will be sending out reports to all the service providers in the system which they can attach as supporting documents to their IRCC proposals. 

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Please Respond to our Avenue Client Survey

As part of a strategic review of all our services and activities, we are conducting a survey of teachers and administrators who use in their language training programs. Please help the Avenue team engage with constant improvement by completing this short survey: Any input you can offer will inform our work on your behalf. We’ll be closing the survey to responses on January 15 2024.

CCLB Releases “Key Considerations for Language Companions and Learner Portfolios”

The PBLA team at the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks has released a new document for programs using physical or electronic portfolios with their learners. The document provides information about the Language Companion binders, a checklist for learner portfolios and it references’s binder and ePortfolio solution.  It is called “Key Considerations for Language Companions and Learner Portfolios” and can be accessed on the PBLA Guidelines site under the FAQ section. Here is the direct link to the document., An Informal Language Training Platform in Development

In early 2023, the Avenue – LearnIT2teach Project began development of an informal language training online platform for newcomers to Canada. The platform will begin piloting in September 2023. Conceptual work on this initiative had been ongoing for some years prior. The site will provide self-access resources for a variety of learners: prospective immigrants still in ‘pre-arrival’ mode, newcomers on waiting lists for LINC seats, or currently in LINC but wanting additional language learning resources, and newcomers who have completed their formal ESL eligibility but want to continue the development of their English fluency and Canadian cultural skills.

The course encourages and prepares learners to learn independently. The pilot tests a number of relevant methodologies especially Extensive and Intensive Reading or Listening. The pilot platform will provide resources on citizenship preparation, pronunciation, Aboriginal voices and other representation from Canada’s diverse cultures.

For settlement language training educators, the site will be an option for assigning work beyond the formal classroom, and for learners, the site will provide orientation and bridges to formal language training such as LINC.

The Avenue team is pursuing partnerships with front-line agencies to encourage learner referrals. If you’d like more information, please email .

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A Survey on Technology Standards for Canadian Settlement Language Training

The Avenue – LearnIT2teach Project is reaching out to TESL professionals in the settlement language training sector for guidance: We invite you to join a conversation on sector learning technology standards. Please take a few minutes to fill out this online survey to help guide our work:

Some deeper background to put this initiative in context:

Information Technology (IT) is ubiquitous in 21st Century life. One can argue we’re at the point where the term educational ‘technology’ is redundant. Just as books, notebooks, blackboards and chalk were normal features of education for many decades, IT is now an indispensable part of the toolbox for teachers and learners. The variety and complexity of the technology and the fact that it constantly changes continue to present teachers and students with significant challenges.

The Avenue – LearnIT2teach Project analyzed existing educational technology standards and developed a strategy for creating homegrown standards for the Canadian settlement language training (SLT) sector. The project team took a deep dive on two standards frameworks: The International Society for Technology in Education (, and TESOL Learning Standards for Educators.

The project decided that our own made-for-Canada standards are a necessity if the standards are to reflect the unique needs of newcomers and sector professionals. An expert team of researchers and writers began work in February 2023. The research – writing team includes three of the authors of the TESOL standards plus strong representation from SLT professionals. The development process is a dialogue with front line professionals in the sector.

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Request for Proposals: Better Practices in Blended and Online Teaching in LINC/CLIC and Adult Non-credit ESL/FLS

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” Margaret J. Wheatley

Do you have ideas on blended or remote teaching to share with your settlement language training peers? The Avenue – LearnIT2teach Project may be willing to support you in communicating your better practices in a Zoom webinar, project portal post, journal article or the moderation of a discussion on the Avenue Teacher-only Forum.

If you want to explore a topic before submitting a proposal, feel free to consult teachers in our project forums about your approach. This may be helpful in refining your proposal and demonstrating the need for it.

If you have your own experiences and better practices to share, please use this form to submit a proposal:

If your proposal is selected, the project team will assist with the development of your idea, the promotion, and the logistics. There will be negotiated compensation for successful proposals. The Request for Proposals will remain open for some time – submitted proposals will be evaluated as they come in.

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New LearnIT2teach Course: Avenue Basics for Supply Teachers

This 3- to 4-hour course prepares teachers to facilitate an Avenue course in the Instructor (non-editing) role. Teachers with this role in a course can show and hide content, move content on the course page, but they cannot edit the courseware. The Instructor (non-editing) role is ideal for supply teachers who need to fill in for teachers with their own Avenue courses who must take leave for short or even extended periods of time. (Avenue teachers who have progressed to LearnIT2teach Stage 2 can facilitate a course without this training and do not need to enroll in the Avenue Basics for Supply Teachers course.)

In addition to learning how to show, hide and move content, the Avenue Basics for Supply Teachers course introduces participants to the learners’ Avenue Help block and the teachers’ Live Help widget. It also prepares teachers to use (not create or edit) Discussion Forums, Assignments (including PoodLL speaking tasks), BigBlueButton, Quizzes, H5P activities, the ePortfolio and more.

Avenue Basics for Supply Teachers course participants also learn how Avenue supports settlement language training (SLT) in Canada, how Avenue works as a Learning Management System, how units compatible with Portfolio-Based Language Assessment are structured on Avenue and they get a general overview of the LearnIT2Teach project and the training it offers SLT teachers. In addition, participants explore different types of activities as a LINC learner in a sample Avenue (PBLA-compatible) module.

For information about enrolling (temporary) teachers in this course, contact

National LINC Online Curriculum and Online PBLA (NLOC) Project – User Testing

Calling all LINC instructors: Opportunity to test new NLOC courseware!

If you are a LINC instructor on and you’d like to add PBLA-aligned units to your course next semester, the National LINC Online Curriculum Project is pleased to share that more ready-made content will be made available for testing. This winter, Achēv is seeking LINC instructors to test up to three CLB-4 e-Units. Your feedback is valuable to us in the improvement of all NLOC courseware! All units will be hosted in The following new units can be added to your course(s) for this test period:

  • Going to the Emergency Department
  • Understanding Job Scams
  • Telling a Friend About a Library Program*

*Note: Telling a Friend About a Library Program will be made available slightly later for the winter semester instructors can click here to preview e-unit activities and become a tester today for selected e-Units. Complete this registration form to request access to test units for the winter semester. Please register by Monday, January 16th, 2023.


Rafa Khan
Project Manager, National LINC Online Curriculum, Achēv
P: 905-949-0049 ext. 1401 | C: 416-577-8233 | W: