Not “just a bit of homework” – Engaging learners outside the classroom (#AusELT Twitter chat 4/11/18)

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Our students have travelled a long way to find themselves in our language classrooms. Uncomfortable or alone, they sign up with a friend, or quickly identify and sit with a peer with the same culture and language background. They’re able to help each other navigate life and study and getting by in a strange land, and why not. This is a good thing.

However, our students have travelled a long way also because they need or want to make a life over here for a period of time. They want to feel like they can really get to know this place and make it their own, in some ways at least.

But the networks they establish at language institutions and in own-language communities often work against this goal. They provide solidarity and familiarity – but they don’t help make that leap to owning this new context and becoming participating members of the new language community that surrounds them.

For the last #AusELT Twitter chat of 2019 we’ll be swapping ideas on engaging learners outside the classroom, and hopefully going a step further than “just a bit of homework”.

  • Can you think of ways you have helped your learners engage with the wider local community?
  • What fears and obstacles might learners have around this, and how could we allay them?
  • What initiatives or activities have you found that genuinely spark learners’ passion for exploring the world through the medium of English?

Come and share your ideas on Sunday 4th Nov at 8.30pm AEDT. Click here to see the time where you are.

As you’re still up, just a little bit of reading to whet your appetite:

Chappell, P., Benson, P. Yates, L. (2017). ELICOS students’ out-of-class learning experiences: An action research agenda. English Australia Journal 33(2), 43-48. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/2RwtgO2

Wilson, S. (2018). The Rejection Project. An action research project encouraging student interaction outside the classroom. English Australia Journal 34(1), 22-40. Retrieved from eajournal.realviewdigital.com/?iid=161637#folio=28

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This post by @sophiakhan4

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