#AusELT/English Australia Journal Article Discussion: The two cultures in Australian ELICOS

book-club

The article is available to read online here, or a pdf here (scroll to page 28).

The two cultures in Australian ELICOS: Industry managers respond to English language school teachers


Introduction

The paper is about what Phiona Stanley calls the ‘two cultures problem’, in which the ELICOS industry, she argues, is culturally divided between the ‘teachers’ and ‘higher ups’. The paper argues that this cultural ‘wall’ is talked into being, and that it divides the sector as follows:

“Teachers and some DOSes perceive that ‘the board’ and ‘the management’ and ‘the industry’ are all about profit and not students … [teachers cite] students’ keenness to learn as their motivation. This is very different from the talk of ‘profit’ that they perceive dominates the culture on the other side of the wall. Together, these distinct narratives construct an industry that is riven by a professional identity wall between ‘them’ and ‘us’. This is the two cultures problem”. (page 38)

A note on the methodology used in the study. Phiona interviewed 15 experienced management, marketing and sales people from colleges, both university and private. These 15 people held the following roles: school directors, managers, marketing managers, sales managers, business consultants, directors of studies, and a CELTA trainer.

You’ll see on page 32 that the following prompts were used in the interviews:

How do you feel about the following: Teachers’ salary step system and salaries more generally; casual teacher contracts and seasonality; agent discounting and the role of agents more generally; some teachers’ feeling that goodwill is being exploited; teacher attrition from ELICOS; teachers’ professional self-esteem and the image of the sector more generally.

Phiona analysed the interviews in three ways: analysing the content of what was said, assigning themes to the content, and also conducting a linguistic analysis of what was said. This was all aimed at uncovering how the group of ‘ELICOS higher ups’ that Phiona interviewed construct the identities of ELICOS teachers.

Perhaps we can start the discussion by considering our own responses to the prompts in the second box above, and how we each feel that the findings in the article align with our own feelings.

Head on over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/AusELT/ to join the discussion.

Article Discussion Group: October 2017

book-club

Image courtesy of http://kausarbilal.com/book-club-launch-at-south-asian-study-group/

Update

The winning article (by one vote!) is “The two cultures in Australian ELICOS: Industry managers respond to English language school teachers” by Phiona Stanley, UNSW. The article is available to read online here, or download as a pdf here (scroll to page 28).

Some discussion questions will be made available later in the week. In the meantime, happy reading!

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 5.06.51 pm


Welcome to the voting page of the Article Discussion Group. The idea is for us all to vote for our preferred article from the latest English Australia Journal, read it, and then join in a moderated discussion of the article. Authors will either join in on the discussion, or respond offline to points raised and questions asked, facilitated by the moderator. The discussion will take place on the #AusELT Facebook page and is scheduled as such: October 12-15 is reading time; October 16-22 is discussion time.

The articles are all relevant to many of the contexts in which AusELT folk practice. Two of the articles are primary research articles, that is, the authors have devised and conducted their own research study and reported their findings. A third one is a critical review. Each article has been peer-reviewed, meaning that the editor has invited leading TESOL scholars to review and offer suggestions for improving earlier drafts. We have some excellent reviewers who, together with the authors, have ensured you receive the best quality research reports upon which you can make some decisions about your own teaching.

In order to assist those who are new to reading research articles, the moderator will orient you by providing a summary of the research design and the overall purpose of the research. The discussion will not only focus on how the article can inform your own teaching, but also on opportunities for further research in any form. It will hopefully spark ideas for improving the quality of life in many classrooms! Each article has an abstract for you to read; after all, just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a research article by its title. The complete articles are all open access, freely available online and downloadable in pdf here. The chosen article will be made available as a pdf and available for download on this page.

Abstracts


The employability of non-native English speaking teachers: An investigation of hiring practices and beliefs in Australian adult ELT

Victoria Phillips

Navitas English, Manly

Previous studies into the employability of non-native English teachers (NNESTs) show discriminatory attitudes and assumptions in recruitment processes. This article reports on a mixed methods investigation into the employability of NNESTs in the Australian English language teaching sector, namely, private language schools, university English language centres, and the Australian Migrant English Programme (AMEP). An online survey followed by participant interviews were conducted to ascertain which hiring criteria participant recruitment decision makers deem important when recruiting teachers. The results suggest there is evidence of movement away from notions of native speakerism in Australian ELT but that hiring managers’ beliefs and assumptions may negatively influence perceptions of NNEST ability and validity as competent teachers of English. Implications for different stakeholders are also discussed.


The two cultures in Australian ELICOS: Industry managers respond to English language school teachers

Phiona Stanley

University of New South Wales

This article reports on a qualitative study that sought to understand managers’ perceptions of teachers’ professional identities in the Australian ELICOS sector. The study found that there is a powerful, socially imagined ‘wall’ that divides two cultures in the sector: the managers on the one hand, and the teachers on the other. While generally unproblematic in operational, marketing, and sales terms, the continued existence and ongoing strengthening of this wall is shown to be counter productive to the sector’s desire for improving quality. As a result, there is a need to address structural issues rather than simply continuing with a quality enhancement model that hopes to inspire teachers to undertake professional development.


A critical look at NLP in ELT

Russell Mayne

ELTU, University of Leicester

This article examines Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). It looks at claims made by practitioners and highlights criticisms of these. The spread of this approach through its inclusion in journal articles and books is also examined. I suggest that teacher trainers, experts and journals risk giving legitimacy to, and spreading questionable beliefs and practices throughout the ELT world.

Voting


So, without any more fanfare, please cast your vote! Closes Wednesday October 11, 2017 at 5 pm DST

Your moderator, Phil Chappell (@TESOLatMQ, Executive Editor of the English Australia Journal)

#AusELT Twitter chat – Conference/PD Swap Shop – Sunday 1st October 2017

Photos from QATESOL Regional Conference in Mackay: Arizio Sweeting presenting and the book display

Arizio Sweeting presenting and the book display at the QATESOL Regional Conference in Mackay, August 2017 (photo by @cioccas)

Note: This chat has now taken place. You can read the transcript here

The 2017 English Australia Conference was just a week ago, and we know many of you were there based on the volume of posts on Facebook and Twitter. Possibly you’re still processing and reflecting on what you learned and want to discuss it with others?  Well, join us on Twitter this Sunday to share your highlights and ask questions.

If you weren’t in Adelaide last week, that’s no problem – you can share your experience and learning from any conference or other PD from throughout the year. Share with colleagues from around Australia what you saw, what you loved, what you found interesting or controversial. Let’s identify the hot topics for 2017 by comparing experiences from different events.

If you presented at a conference or other event, especially if it was your first time, share your experience with others to inspire them to step up next time!

At this time of year #AusELT hosts a chat on Twitter where we swap experiences, reflections, resources, links, etc. from PD we’ve done the year. If you haven’t been lucky enough to get to any events this year, come along and get a taste of what was on offer from those who did. It’s a good opportunity to ask questions and/or share new/interesting ideas that have come your way lately from sources other than conferences.

This#AusELT Twitter chat took place on Sunday 1st October 2017 at 8:30 pm AEDT (Canberra time). You can read the transcript here.

New members/New to Twitter?

Why not have a go? We can help you out. Get in touch with any of the #AusELT admin team on Facebook or Twitter (eg, @cioccas) or by leaving a comment below. Here are some posts that should also help you get started:

QATESOL Regional Conference, Mackay,August 2017 - Carmel Davies workshop

Carmel Davies leading a song in her workshop at the QATESOL Regional Conference in Mackay, August 2017 (photo by @cioccas)

This post by @cioccas

Conference and Networking Tips – A summary of the #AusELT Twitter chats in July & August 2017

Audience at a conference

This post is a summary of the #AusELT Twitter chats of July and August 2017.

I’d like to extend a very big thank you to everyone who took part during the chats as well as those who commented and made suggestions afterwards. Unlike our other chats where we have used Storify to summarise the chats, this post is a step by step summary that will hopefully be easy to follow and help all of us make the most of the conferences we attend both in terms of learning and networking. We are publishing it now with all eyes on the upcoming English Australia conference, but the information will be useful for any other conferences as well.

Before the conference

Planning is a key element in making the most of a conference. These before tips focus mostly on activating your contact list and planning what you intend to learn at the conference.

  1. Research the presenters

This gives you a hook to chat about later and might make it easier to approach the presenter and thank them for the session or ask questions. It also helps with structuring which sessions you can or should attend and which you might not learn much from.

  1. Read about the topic of presentations

In classrooms we try to activate students’ background knowledge before dealing with a topic. Going into a session with that ‘schemata’ already activated and with some additional knowledge about the topic allows you to make more of the session.

  1. Get your questions ready before the session

Go into a session with questions you want answered and if the speaker doesn’t answer them ask. Presenters generally appreciate questions and if you do ask a question they cannot answer, most presenters will get back to you via email.

  1. How will you record ideas and link contacts?

Plan ahead on how you will make notes. I personally scribble all kinds of strange symbols that make sense to only me, but it helps me to scan over my notes to find things I wanted to read more about later, or an idea I wanted to try in a classroom. It also helps me to find ideas in all my notes that I intended to share with colleagues or friends.

  1. Prep essentials charger, phone, business cards, money, etc.

This seems like a very obvious one, but it is better to make a list of all the things you need and be sure to check them of the list as you pack.

  1. Look at the program and plan your day

Find out who else is going and try to cover more sessions by splitting up and sharing later of possible. Sometimes it is also nice to be in a session with someone you know. If it’s a long or complex program, select a theme to follow.

During the conference

  1. Split up

As a group, don’t go to all the same sessions. Share questions, split up, make notes, meet up and share. This allows you to make the most of the conference in more than one way. If you hear others talking about a session that you didn’t attend and you are comfortable with doing so, ask them some questions.

  1. Plan what you will leave with

The freebies are great, but remember you have to carry them in your luggage later.

  1. Rest in between

Take time to reflect mid conference. Pace yourself. You need time to reflect and ensure that the plan you came with is being followed.

  1. Notes

Make notes in the sessions and walk in with your questions so your notes match them as far as possible. Take part in the session especially if it is a workshop. Use a structure that works for you.

  1. Make contacts

Make contact with people you can network with after. Tweet during the conference and/or post on social media. It allows other people to notice you.

Take pictures with people you connect with, or sessions you are in, so you can remember them later on.

After the conference

  1. Email the presenter

Most presenters make their email addresses available. I appreciate a thank you mail and I am sure most other presenters do to. Thanking them for the session and the information is a nice gesture that could lead to future contacts.

  1. Plan time to think about new info and share

It is important to reflect and put into practice what you have learned. Sharing with colleagues also allows you to reflect more deeply.

  1. Experiment

Try new ideas and write reflections. Evaluate how effective they were or not and adjust. Then when you are planning your next conference, use these reflections to structure the questions that you plan beforehand.

  1. Share with colleagues and create discussion groups online or F2F

Compare notes to previous conferences and look for overlap, holes that could generate new questions and other things you need to find out. Uses the ‘Question – Learn – Reflect – Question’ cycle.

5. Create a mini PD share ideas with others.

Write a blog post about the conference or a session you attended there. Or maybe the theme you followed. AusELT will also be interested in these blog posts, so if you are planning one, please let us know and we can guide you through the writing if you are uncertain where to start or how to proceed.

6. Focus on your own learning and development post conference.

Make a record of new contacts and try to stay in touch whether through social media or in person if at all possible. 

Networking tips

General

Networking can be very scary. A comment that quite a few participants made was about how we can be so confident to speak in front of a class, but so petrified to speak to individuals at conferences.

  1. Be interested and be less worried about being interesting

Ask questions and listen to what the other person is saying. It is far less intimidating than having to try and be interesting all the time.

  1. Food and drink allows you to avoid awkward silences

Meeting for a coffee or a drink makes it easier to hide awkward silences behind eating or drinking and people seem to be slightly more relaxed when there is food involved.

  1. Present

Presenting is a great way to get to know people. If the opportunity arises, submit a proposal and present. It is a great way to meet lots of people and you can dictate what the conversation is about as it will often be about the presentation.

Before

  1. Plan

Arrange with people you already know or people that you know online to meet up. This makes networking with others a lot easier as they might know people you don’t and you can be introduced.

  1. Have a goal in mind

Why are you networking? Usually it is to meet people, find a new job, connect with like-minded people, etc. Plan who you want to meet and what you will say as this will remove some of the ‘stage fright.’

  1. Research the presenters and other attendees

If you have researched presenters and other attendees, you will have something to talk about.

During

  1. Speak to the presenter afterwards if you have questions

This will be a lot easier if you have questions prepared. Also say how you felt about the presentation. It is repeated here as it was already mentioned above, but walking in with questions makes it so much easier to make contact.

  1. Social

Join the social program if the conference has one. There is also the opportunity to network during coffee breaks and lunch.

  1. Look around you

Find someone who was in a session with you and talk to them. This is even more important if it’s your first conference or if you don’t know anyone. Start with a standard opener like ‘I saw you in XYZ session. What did you think?’ Also, look for others who appear alone and talk to them. You are not alone in being alone.

  1. Manners make the person

Don’t snub or be mean. Mind your manners online and F2F. People remember if they were snubbed and it hurts, especially if it is your first conference and a more experienced person was mean to you. Everyone was new at some point in time.

  1. Make yourself approachable

Learn names, use names and wear name badges if they are available. If someone can see your name, they might be more willing to initiate conversation. Make your contact details available. Have business cards or make your email or social media contact information available so it is easy to connect with you.

  1. Be helpful to newbies

Think what you can give not what you can get.

After

  1. Have an accessible online presence

As important as it is to make the information available, you need to have a professional online presence. Avoid silly names or extreme political opinions. You can have two presences online. Make your professional one professional and accessible.

  1. Interact with new contacts

If people contact you, connect and interact. Keep in mind that it is not always what you can get, but more often what you can give that makes these connections worthwhile.

  1. Arrange collaborations or meet ups afterwards

It is so much easier to meet someone for a second or a third time. This also allows you to access contacts in their network and vice versa. Make use of these opportunities if they are available.

Conclusion

Another thank you to everyone who participated in making the two twitter chats a success and we hope that the notes above makes networking less intimidating and that you get to really maximise the benefit in each conference you attend.

Summary written by @heimuoshutaiwan

Photo taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics by Fiona Mauchline, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Who looks after the teacher? (#AusELT Twitter chat Sunday 3 September 2017)

Our September 2017 Twitter chat was held on Sunday 3rd September (NB: The Twitter chat referred to has now taken place but you can read the transcript here.)

Bamberg St Michael'sPhoto by @Clare_M_ELT St Michael’s church, Bamberg

Looking after yourself as a teacher is clearly important.  So, this Sunday, we will be talking about what influences our well-being, and sharing strategies and resources. What are your own stories? What works for you? How have your training and experience in work and life affected your ability to cope and help others cope?

The chat will explore but is not restricted to these avenues:

  • differentiating stressors
  • setting boundaries
  • support from and for others

Need to know more about Twitter?

Why not have a go? We can help you out. Get in touch with any of the #AusELT admin team on Facebook or Twitter (eg @ClareM_ELT) or by leaving a comment below. Here are some posts that should also help you get started:

This post by @ClareM_ELT

Reply

Share this

Networking for Success (#AusELT Twitter chat Sun 6th Aug 2017)

handshake-2009195_640

Our August Twitter chat is happening on Sunday 6 August at 20:30 Sydney time. Click here to see the time where you are.

Our last twitter chat was about making the most of a conference. One key element of this is the ability to network effectively. Networking, however, isn’t just limited to conferences, but plays an important role in career success and satisfaction.

Join us on Sunday to share and discuss online or face-to-face networking tips that will make us all more effective.

The chat aims to cover:

  • General networking tips – online and face-to-face
  • Networking before, during and after an event

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

This post by @ heimuoshutaiwan (Gerhard Erasmus))

Getting the most out of a conference (#AusELT Twitter chat Sunday 2 July 2017)

Our July Twitter chat is happening on Sunday 2nd July at 8.30pm Sydney time – click here to see the time where you are. Hope to e-see you there!

Photo of conference presenter, Anne Burns, taken at UECA PD Fest 2015

Photo by @cioccas taken at UECA PD Fest 2015, Sydney

Conferences form a significant part of a teacher’s professional development and ability to network with other professionals. Our next two twitter chats will be dedicated to these two topics. This Sunday, we will be sharing ideas on how to get the most out of a conference for your own and your staff’s professional development.

There are quite a few good websites with great ideas, but we’d like you to share your own stories and ideas that have worked for you.

The chat will be divided into:

  • Before the conference
  • During the conference
  • After the conference

Not sure about Twitter?

Why not have a go? We can help you out. Get in touch with any of the #AusELT admin team on Facebook or Twitter (eg, @heimuoshutaiwan or by leaving a comment below. Here are some posts that should also help you get started:

This post by @heimuoshutaiwan