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How will the portfolio be structured?

As previously mentioned, the BEALS program portfolio consists of reflections and relevant traces related to three different contexts: your practicums, your university courses, and ongoing professional development activities you engaged in outside of your practicums or coursework. In all instances, reflections must be related to one or more of the 12 professional competencies and include traces from one or more relevant sources. As you will be doing your portfolio on a wiki, the traces can be uploaded and hyperlinks inserted at a relevant point within the reflections.

Practicums. For each practicum, you will be asked to write reflections based on practicum-related activities or assignments. To prepare for the actual writing up of the reflections, while you are out in your schools, you will need to be vigilant with respect to gathering and saving traces (e.g., lesson plans, samples of students’ work). What specifically you need to save will be explained at the start of your practicum.

University courses. In any of your courses, instructors can ask you to reflect on an activity or assignment to be included in your portfolio. However, in addition to instructors’ requests for reflections, you can also independently decide to include items related to your coursework along with a reflection. During an academic year, you should aim to do  three or more course-related reflections (see Appendix C below for details).

Ongoing professional development (outside of coursework and practicums). Within the Québec school system, ongoing professional development is strongly encouraged by the MELS for all teachers. With respect to student teachers, the importance of this is reflected in Competency 11 where you are encouraged to engage in various types of professional development activities both individually and collectively. Although professional development is promoted within the practicums and coursework in various ways (e.g., a pedagogical – PD – day during a practicum, reflection on your teaching or coursework), you are also being asked to engage in activities to this end outside of your coursework and practicums. Note that you independently decide on all portfolio inclusions for this third context; none are assigned. However, the number of relevant activities you should aim to be involved in for a given academic year is detailed in Appendix C. Activities can be done during the fall, winter or summer. However, activities done during the summer count for the portfolio of the following academic year (e.g., an activity done following the first year of university counts for the Year 2 portfolio).

Although some BEALS students have engaged in interesting extracurricular activities prior to starting the BEALS program, only those activities done after your first registration in the BEALS program are considered for this part of the portfolio project. The objective is to continue to engage in professional development during the BEALS program; activities done prior to starting the BEALS program can, however, be signalled on your CV. When doing your reflections, it is important to remember to put the emphasis on explaining HOW the activity is relevant to the development of your professional competencies, not just say what you did or what you observed. Examples of the types of activities which you can engage in along with the type of traces that can be evoked as evidence of involvement are presented in the chart below.

SPEAQ conference*Scanned receipt/handout from workshop. The reflection should focus on ONE of the workshops.
SPEAQ on Campus*
  • attending
Scanned receipt/handout from workshop. The reflection should focus on ONE of the workshops.
SPEAQ on Campus
  • committee members or volunteers
Signed attestation.
APEAL association
  • elected position only
Signed attestation
  • ESL, Spanish or other L2
  • Any school subject (including tutoring in French)
  • English Quebec Reading Council (helping children in English school system)
  • Face-to-face or via email, SKYPE or another platform
Signed attestation including what was tutored, dates (including summer), and number of hours. Minimum number of hours: 5.
Peer tutoring in BEALS program
  • counts for both tutor or tutee
For both tutors and tutees, this must mean a commitment beyond the normal requirements of a given course. An example could be working as a tutor at the request of the instructor of a Content-based writing course to give extra help to students in the course.
Signed attestations by tutor, tutee and if relevant, a course instructor. The type of arrangement must be explicitly stated as well as dates of meetings and what specifically focused on. Minimum number of hours: 5.
ESL, Spanish or other L2 (classes other than those of a practicum), including summer camps
Signed attestation including what was taught, dates (including summer), and number of hours. Minimum number of hours: 5.
Tandem language learning
  • exchanges where you act both as a tutor of your L1 or a language you are at ease in and as a tutee of the language you wish to learn; face-to-face, email, chat, SKYPE.
  • Although information can be found at the following site, for the time being, as it is being updated, you cannot use it to find a partner and must therefore find your own:
Other sites where you can look for partners:
  • Busuu
  • We Speke
  • The Mixxer
  • Blogs Exchange
Information re: dates, amount of  time for each session in each language, topics. Depending on type of exchange, signed attestation from partner, examples of exchanges, or screen captures.

Minimum number of exchanges: 6.
Tandem language learning
English-French Skype exchanges with Marquette University in the US
Signed attestation including what was taught, dates (including summer), and number of hours. Minimum number of exchanges: 3.

Work with young people

  • Camp counsellor
  • Tour guide
  • Scout leader
  • Dance/ skating/ soccer instructor
  • In L1 or L2; paid or as a volunteer
Signed attestation with nature of involvement, dates, number of hours indicated. Minimum number of hours: 5.
Study abroad
  • Université Laval’s international program
University transcript. Minimum one complete semester abroad.
Immersion experiences outside Québec
  • Perfecting English or another L2
  • Course or work-related activities
Signed attestation. Minimum 4-week stay.
Publication of an article, story or poem Copy of item with name of publication and date. Article/story must be 1 page minimum. Items on websites do not count unless a selection process is involved.
Research participant
  • Related to second language teaching/learning or education
Signed attestation by the professor or the graduate student’s thesis director. Focus of research, nature of student’s involvement should be indicated.
Other (to be approved)
  • Self-study to fulfill specific need or interests outside of regular course requirements.
Year 2 students should see Monica Waterhouse and Years 1 and 3 students, Susan Parks.

 * SPEAQ stands for the Société pour la promotion de l’enseignement de l’anglais langue seconde au Québec and is the provincial organization for ESL teachers. Every year SPEAQ hosts a conference which usually alternates between Quebec City and Montreal with special rates for students. In collaboration with the university partners, a day of workshops and presentations is also held at various Québec universities, including Université Laval, during an event referred to as SPEAQ on Campus. At Université Laval, SPEAQ on Campus is normally held on a Saturday in February. It is largely organized by a student committee in collaboration with a university professor and the SPEAQ Association.