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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ABCI 2012 - ELT latest tendencies III

More summaries from the workshops - ABCI 2012

Where do we go from here?  
An overview of English teaching methodology in 2012   -  Penny Ur

Methodology Review:

* Grammar translation method(use of L1)
* Direct method (teacher - st dialogues, the original communicative one)
*Audio-Lingual Method (no grammar explanations, ver little vocabulary, lgg is a set of habits)
* Task-based lgg teaching (*) (mainly communicative tasks)

These represent theoretical models, rarely  if ever taught in their "pure" form. They provide a picture of different trends and orientations in the history of ELT. Very often developed as a "reaction against" .

A post-method era

Oposition in principle to the concept of method as a basis for English teaching.

Some evidence that method is not the critical variable in successful teaching.

There's an assumption that teachers need to be told what to do, how to teach.
Political issues : Maintaining the dominance in Universities
Assumotion practice will grow out of theory
Political correctness

Dominant method nowadays =TBLT (*)
-Group work, extensive reading , reactive focus on form, student autonomy - Encouraged
- Grammatical syllabus, use of L1, Learning by heart - Disencouraged  (many teachers feel guilty if any of these happens in their practice)

Teachers are eclectic tending towards the traditional, but making sure to use TBLT (*)

language pedagogy that is principled and localized,determined by the teacher, informed by reflexion on experience and other professional knowledge resources. The main principle is the optimization of learning.
Our choices need to have underlying principles.

- Suggested Biography:

High achieving classrooms for minority students (1996)  Clark et al    (group project based teaching)
Method and post-method: Are they really so incompatible?  (2003)   Bell
The teacher's sense of plausability

Retention Challenge and the Traffic Lights : Why are they alike?
Adriana Colossio

* Main problem : Student's retention rates below target for a year

* Plan of Action -  Meeting + actions during Mar Apr May Jun

In details :

March - General analysis + Definition of categories (colours were used)  RED   YELLOW   GREEN  
Staff categorized the students in a report to the manager

March / April - It's a common sense that it's part of a teachers job to analyse the profile of their sts, but this was a way of standardize the pace.

Re evaluate the situation post CA1 and adequate the students position RED  YELLOW  GREEN  if needed be.


Call parents / Personal feedback   RED & YELLOW status
Regarding GREEN sts : Positive feedback and encourage student taking action to guarantee progress


Before CA 2 - Another feedback moment,  support session before Final Test (individual / groups)

June (2nd fortnight)

Final Feedback to all sts

As feedback is a process, teachers can start working on it since before CA2

What were the results?

Teachers had a certain autonomy to classify sts, give feedback
Managers role was to support teachers "we were together on the same boat"

Target was achieved !      +2%  August    :-)

"We're not there yet. There's somewhere else to go along this line."
  (J.Scrivener, 2012)


Using QR Codes to foster learning  -  Ana Thornycroft  (Learning Factory)

QR    Quick Response    =  Two dimensional bar code

It's necessary to have the App QR Code reader or generator, Internet connection, Smartphone or Tablet

QR code generator :  Kaya QR Code

You can also shorter and  customize it,  for instance in TINY

You can also write under your QR Code

There's QR Code voice :   QR Voice

What are some of the usages?
Mobile payment, Info, Marketing Campaign, Instead of sending a Christmas cards you record your greetings and send via QR Codes

She mentioned : The Horizon Report - They investigate new technologies on education
The Mobile was the great highlight from 2011 Report
In the 2012 Report is about Real Time Information and Solving Problems, Changes in people's relationship with information, enphasis in the classroom on active learning

"The hope is that if learners can connect the course material with their own lives... they will imerse themselves in the subject matter"

QR Codes in education:

* link the physical with the virtual
* experiencial learning
* draw sts into creating   and contributing content

"Moving away from keyboards as input devices in learning environments"

Reference: 7 Things you need to know about QR Codes (educause 2009)

* Increases motivation / engagement
* Promote collaboration with peer
* Develop digital literacy

Brief Study with Teenagers (data)

She had some teachers experience activities in their classrooms with basic level tenagers
With QR code about texts there's no need of an internet connection :-)

It's necessary to have some training with sts,  to have them get used to the idea

Engagement Feedback on Performance

(+)  Sts thought it was fun, it was a welcome change of pace, they produced some info based on what they saw

(-)  Sts weren't so enthusiastic in the beginning, sts tried but did not do the suggested homework (the e card)
      When they do not come up with the suggested outcome, try to challenge them more, like Scrivener suggested
       Investigate what happened, give another try (Are you sure you motivated them enough?  How can you sell them the idea? )

Sts Feedback :

* We can finally use a mobile phone in class! 
*It's really fast!
* It's not boring stuff!

* I prefer written homework
* We don't write e mails, only to our grandmothers

A few tips check photo

Food for thought  -  How quickly can we respond to change?

wall wisher + poll


Challenge and change: Implementing new ideas in the EFL classroom,  
Carla Silveira

Paradigme shift and its implications in EFL
*emptiness (it does not serve our needs  anymore)
*the role of education and educators
*professional paradigms

Are we as educators only watching the changes or being part of this change?

A model of teacher change
A change in student's learning outcomes
Changes in teacher's beliefs and attitudes
Changes in classroom practices

(-) Implications : anxiety and agression, tension, moaners, sense of shared suffering
moaning is part of the process but you cannot get stuck there, get over it.

Disconfort and frustration is going to permeate the whole process

Dealing with change -

The beginner teacher

*observe lgg 
*master lgg features 
* hypothesize and experiment 
*linguistic perspective 
*methodological perspective

The senior teacher

*exploratory teaching - describing innovation
*why,  what for
*recording  your own practice
*theories underlying the materials you use
*look up and categorize assumption

When dealing with innovation - questions:

* what do I know about the new practice
* where can I find more information?
* Is the innovation new to the teacher, to the students or both?
* In which ways is it different from my present practice?
* what effects could it have?
*how can I integrate the innovation and my current practice?


ELT and its metaphors, Ben Goldstein

How do metaphors impact on what we do?

Metaphorical concepts can ...

*be intensely personal or culturally-bound
*represent ideology or mindset
*help us frame what we think and act

Reference : Lakoff and Johnson, 1980  (145)            


Metaphors for lgg learning,  the lgg teacher, the classroom

Learner quotes + (meaning)

"I need to switch on to English, and sometimes it's just very easy to switch off..." (MECHANICAL PROCESS)

"I sometimes get lost, but the important thing is to keep going, then you gain confidence and momentum"  ( JOURNEY)

"I just have to figure it out first"   (PUZZLE)

English books also make use of metaphors in their very title. Usually referring to "English" as a journey  eg Step up, Express...


Usually to express sth intangible we use a physical metaphor/ tangible, a commodity.

Spot the metaphor:

*Sometimes they only need to nold on to the gist...
* His words seem hollow
* It's difficult to put my ideas into words

(+) Lexical grammar emerging, corpora,  labels are changing (conditionals, phrasal verbs, the way lgg is packaged)

Metaphors for the Lgg Teacher from China:  walking dictionary (teacher as provider) ,
Conceptual categories -
Provider  Nurturer  Culture transmitter, magnet,  bridge,  ...


Teaching Education in Indi - Michael Connolly    British Council in Delhi

Context in India: Diversity, scale (75% population in villages) , lack of infrastructure teachers lack freedom in practice, teacher has to do what the government tells them to do,  low levels of language proficiency, scheduled casts and minorities, the gender gap (the boys are more important - girls only attend primary school because it's in the village), the vast majority of kids in state schools come from lower casts and other religions, very basic literacy, parents don't understand how learning English can help their kids

Biobligraphy : - The right to education act,  2009

All teachers in the country should have a qualification, but that doesn't work.
English partnerships in order to improve education : Britsh Council,Unicef,the teacher foundation,the Times of India,etc
The British Council worked with11 state governments.

English partnership - Resources, especially mobile technology, advocacy in the community, research and political dialogue

Teaching practices encourages group and playful learning in classrooms. Methodology involves the direct teaching of English, without translation due to the variety of dialects within the classroom. Teachers make use of professional videos which have each lesson recorded.

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