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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ABCI 2012 - ELT latest tendencies II

This post has a compilation of the main points from some of the workshops from the ABCI conference I attended from the 12th - 14th of July 2012.

More details on this congress on :

Below the key points from more workshops I attended:

   Critical ThinkingLindsay Clandfield 

What is critical thinking and literacy?
Taxonomy -  higher types of thinking (manipulation of ideas, solve problems, construction) #  lower order(receive, recite, transmite and reproduce knowledge)

We are in the Information age
Educator needs to create a opportunities for higher thinking

Open your mind for different possibilities

Critical Literacy _ political knowledge too, social act, questions what is presented, learn about others and ourselves

He suggested starting the debate of a topic with a citation, or debating which out of some sentences are facts and opinions, make sts relate and debate and have conflicting info coming, identify implicit arguments being made in citations, songs...

In conditionals : diagrams combining words which form polemic sentences

Sentences : change active to passive,  but make sure all sentences are polemical


Fact-Based Education for High Academic Performance - Gustavo Ioschpe          

The effective school according to his research:

Infrastructure: * library, xerox machine,
* selective hiring of teachers * best teachers in toughest classes, * mentoring programmes, * focus on retaining the top teachers
* accountability   * teacher compensation $ on retaining sts  
what makes good teaching that we can measure :
*homework  +grading  + comments
*use class time effectively
* monitoring of learning / testing   * textbooks - teacher aid
* deep knowledge of subject taught
* fair and rigorous grading
* positive beliefs and attitudes

Shanghai study case:

*teaching study group planning ahead for the next weeks, so that garantees sts will be given the same classes, the system makes sure all the teachers are on the same page, share the best practices
* teacher compensation linked to past performance and commitment to the future
* healthy teacher competition ( teaching award, research, award per school )
* empowered management (receive proposals, best project to change the school with a problem is chosen)
* key schools= high quality schools, competition to study there
* monitoring performance : sts, teachers, principals


Facebook Nation : Social Networks & ELT    -  Nicky Hockly

Video about facebook in numbers
There are ELT groups in FB
Create secret information group for a class (suggestion)
social media

teaching packs :   (face to face teacher training)

song about FB  "I'm hooked on FB! "            :-)

Technology can make learning more human, it already is!    Vilson Coimbra

Common Belief : People blame tech for making learning impersonal
Goal : Thought provoking session

The technology toolbelt for teaching,  Manning, Susan & Johnson, Kevin E.
Etienne Wenger (author)

What makes us human? 

*bigger and more complex brains
*language and symbols
*humans express themselves
*social life /group survival
*mobility : walking upright

The turning point : Humans change the environment where they live, we change the world!
One thing that links is that we create and use tools
Language itself is a tool, it develops the brain, helps us to establish connections...

*Why have we evolved?   To Survive

As teachers we create experiences

In order to survive :
- enhance our bodies and brains
- learn to deal with challenges
- establish new connections

Language is a powerful tool for learning

As teachers we help sts to learn


text  ,   player, 

can be categorized in :

collect and organize content, create present content,  brainstorming, develop oral communication , collaboration-project based work, job / study aids

Match the Tools to the pedagogy you are choosing. 1st think of the principle, pedagogical destination, 2nd then decide the tool to use

Select tools for instructional objectives : what does the tool can offer me (what's the goal behind that? ), cost , platform compatbility, technical requirement, level of expertise and accessibility, synchronous X asynchronous  , does the tool require learning of new vocabulary

How can we store what students produce?   specific websites, slide share, go animates, edmodo, google drive,, urban dictionary, flash cards, e-books, games, human tech)

mindmaps for brainstorming, word clouds

Always keep in mind - what makes that tool useful ?

 Some theories : construtivism, socio construtivism,

Some Quotations:

If we teach today as we taught yesterday we rob our children of tomorrow.  John Dewey

...not simply repeating what other generations have done.  Jean Piaget

Learning to learn: a tool for independent learners,  Ana Rita


1 What does the expression INDEPENDENT LEARNER mean to you?
2 How advantageous is it to be an idependent learner?
3 Did you use to be an indepedent learner when you were a student?
4 Did your teacher help you become independent?  How?

Learning Styles 

Questionnaire : What kind of learner are you?  (hand out - Source: Richards, Jack C. Reflexive Teaching in Second Language Classrooms)

Post Discussion :

1 Think about how you learn best - does it reflect your learning style (s) ? How?

2 Think about your teaching: do you favor any style?  How does your learning style influence your teaching?

Hands on - Suggestions of activities

Wrapping up

1 Did I learn anything new about learning styles?
2 A strategy which was new for me
3 One strategy I've never tried but I will