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#AusELT and Cambridge University Press video competition: How to engage learners online.

How to engage learners online:

An #AusELT and Cambridge University Press video competition

Student working on a laptop

To usher in the New Year, #AusELT and Cambridge University Press are running a video competition open to all #AusELT members.

Details

Participants make a video that we will post on our new #AusELT YouTube channel. The video needs to be focused on How to engage learners online. There are three ‘strands’ that can be covered:

  • In the class (Activities that can be done inside the class)
  • Outside of the class (Activities learners can do outside of the class but which are set up by the teacher)
  • Learner autonomy (Activities that learners are in complete control of)

The video needs to show the activity and briefly discuss the rationale behind it. Materials can be shown in the video, but cannot be copyrighted materials; only self-designed materials. Website links can be given (for example Kahoot, Textivate etc.)

The video should be a narrative of the activity with instructions to set it up in class and how to manage it.

Prizes

3 copies of Interaction Online will be awarded by Cambridge University Press at the end of the competition.

Interaction Online by Lindsay Clandfield and Jill Hadfield is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to incorporate an aspect of online interaction in their language teaching.

Judging

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Usefulness to the target audience
  • Creativity and originality
  • Practical applications for teachers
  • Ease of preparation

Two students working together on a laptop

Competition rules

  • Entrants must be members of the #AusELT community, demonstrated through joining the #AusELT group on Facebook, contributions to #AusELT on Twitter, or otherwise demonstrating meeting the community membership guidelines.
  • Send videos to #AusELT at auselt.videos@gmail.com. Videos will be distributed to committee to ensure rules have been followed and then uploaded to YouTube.
  • The videos will then be judged according to the judging criteria (See above).
  • There will be no correspondence after winners have been announced.
  • Activities must be the participant’s own work. A copy of a published activity will be immediately disqualified.
  • Participants may reproduce the activity elsewhere, but should credit #AusELT if the video is published or shared elsewhere.
  • No students can be present in the video for privacy issues and we are too small to deal with consent forms.
  • The video cannot exceed 5 minutes.
  • Videos must be clearly labeled using the following naming convention: participantname_monthofsubmission for example gerharderasmus_January2018
  • Quality should be sufficient to be viewed on YouTube. Submissions which are of poor quality will be returned. If you use a mobile, please turn the phone on its side when recording to avoid black stripes along the side of the video.
  • No mention of any promotional materials.
  • No textbooks or other published materials may be used or referenced.
  • Activities that require printed material or is a novel way of working with a textbook should be highlighted with self-designed materials and the textbook cannot be mentioned.
  • There is no limit on the number of submissions. Participants can submit as many videos as they are comfortable with.
  • Closing date: 28th February.

Watch this introduction video where Gerhard explains and demonstrates a lesson idea.

Intellectual Property

#AusELT is the host of the competition and Cambridge University Press is the sponsor. All intellectual property remains with the person who produced the video and will not be published by any party without consent. We do, however, ask that should you publish elsewhere, that it is mentioned that the activity first appeared in the #AusELT and Cambridge University Press YouTube competition.

Please follow the YouTube channel as we will be posting more ELT related videos in months to come and might run another competition in the future if this one proves to be useful and fun for #AusELT members.

Photos taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/eltpics/5285506614 by @yearinthelifeof, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

 

What if…? How prepared are you / can you be? – #AusELT Twitter Chat 5 Nov 2017

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(photo by @Clare_M_ELT)

Have you ever been stuck at work because rain has shut down transport?

Do you remember the earthquake in Christchurch?

Were you and your students in class during the Lindt Café siege?

What happens when one of your students is seriously injured?

How do you cope with the sudden death of a colleague?

How prepared are you? How prepared can you be?

This chat has now taken place. Click here to read the transcript.

This is a hard topic to write about but the reality is some of us will face major events which affect our students and colleagues and ourselves, from extreme weather and natural disasters to traumatic injury and tragic accidents. So this chat is devoted to discussing how we might be prepared to respond and to cope, and what we can put in place ‘in case’.

You may want to start thinking by having a look at the summary of English Australia’s Best Practice Guide to Disaster Management. 

Please join us on Twitter this Sunday to share your experience and questions and strategies. As suits a topic that requires reflection, this is a ‘slow burn’ from 10am to 10pm. It will be good to connect with you over this, for the last #AusELT Twitter chat of 2017.

This chat has now taken place. Click here to read the transcript.

This post prepared by @Clare_M_ELT

#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: What would you like to talk about on Sunday 5th March 2017?

We are approaching March which means we need to start planning for our next Twitter chat. That’ll be on Sunday, March 5, at 8:30pm Sydney time.

We have a choice of three topics, based on topics which have generated some interest on the #AusELT Facebook group recently.

Please vote in the poll below and we’ll announce the winner on our Facebook page and on Twitter towards the end of next week. The chat will take place on Sunday 5th March at 8.30pm Sydney time (click here to see the time where you are).

Vote here:

For those new to Twitter chats, these posts should get you started:

If you are not sure about Twitter and need a hand to get started, do message Gerhard on Facebook or Twitter (@heimuoshutaiwan) or by leaving a comment below.

Transitions and Transfer: From EAP to Uni – #AusELT Twitter chat, 5th February 2017

puzzle-1020221_1280In this post, Meredith MacAulay discusses how we can better help students transfer their knowledge from preparatory courses to the real world. (NB: The Twitter chat referred to has now taken place, but please check the pre-chat post and links below.)

Despite the increasingly high enrolments in EAP courses in Australia, particularly Direct Entry courses, there is still limited published research into what impacts these courses have on students’ success at university. It can be argued that the ultimate goal of an English for Academic Purposes course is for students to transfer the language, skills and strategies they learn to the tertiary context. However, to what extent does this occur? What affects whether our students use what they learn in their EAP courses? And are we teaching what they really need?

This Twitter Chat will focus on issues surrounding the teaching of EAP courses and learning transfer, that is the application of skills or knowledge learned in one context to a new context. The inspiration for the chat comes from my personal interest in learning transfer and research I carried out on the transfer of learning from a Direct Entry EAP program [DEP] to students’ university mainstream subjects. It focused specifically on speaking skills and the related assessments from the DEP course, and you can read more about it here.

In the Twitter Chat, I’d like to draw on three factors that have been suggested as possible influences on transfer of learning, and which also featured in my results.

They include:

  • students’ perceptions of task similarity – do tasks that students are required to do at uni seem similar to tasks they have done before?
  • students’ perceptions of transfer ‘climate’ (James, 2010) – do students feel supported by the context, including their peers, teachers and assignments?
  • instructional strategies – we can teach for transfer by making our courses similar to the target context and by making students aware of these similarities. We can also encourage students to reflect, plan and monitor their activities and to anticipate future applications (Green, 2015). These strategies are outlined in the  ‘hugging and bridging’ model.

So bring your experience and ideas and let’s discuss the following:

  • What skills do you expect your students to take from your class to uni?
  • To what extent do your students transfer what they have learnt in their mainstream classes? How do you know?
  • How can we strike a balance between near transfer (learning for the test) and far transfer in a DEP course?
  • What can we do to familiarise our students with the target context?
  • What else do you (or your institute) do to facilitate transfer?
  • What information or research would help us to plan our courses and teach for transfer?

All are welcome to this chat, even if you don’t teach EAP! Transfer from our courses to a ‘real life,’ context is relevant to all teachers-General English, Business English, English for Migrants, Teacher Training, etc…Look forward to seeing you there!

This chat has now taken place.

Further Reading & References

Green, J. (2015). Teaching for transfer in EAP: Hugging and bridging revisited. English for Specific Purposes, 37, 1-12.

MacAulay, M (2016). Transition and transfer: Effects of an EAP direct entry course on students’ discussion skills at university. University of Sydney Papers in TESOL, vol 11, pp. 97-130.

James, M.A. (2006b). Teaching for transfer in ELT. ELT Journal, 60 (2), 151-159.

James, M. A. (2010). Transfer climate and EAP education: Students’ perceptions of challenges to learning transfer. English for Specific Purposes, 29(2), 133-147.

merMeredith MacAulay (@MeredithMacAul1) is an active AusELTer and currently teaches a Direct Entry EAP course to international students pursuing tertiary study in Sydney as well as training pre-sessional and in-session teachers. She presented on this topic last year at the University of Sydney TESOL Research Colloquium and the English Australia Conference. This is her first time to moderate a Twitter chat!

What would you like to talk about on Aug 7th?

Dear AusELTers

We’re getting ready for our monthly Twitter chat, which is happening this Sunday 7th Aug at 8.30pm Sydney time (click here to see the time where you are).

To vote for a topic, pick your favourite from the poll below. Topics were proposed by group members and/or near misses in previous votes. The result will be announced on the #AusELT Facebook page and on Twitter and whatever they may be I look forward to hanging out with you lovely people for a chat!

If you are not sure about Twitter and need a hand to get started, do message me on Facebook or Twitter (@sophiakhan4) or by leaving a comment below.

You might also be interested in these posts:

Need help with Twitter?

#AusELT 1-page guide to Twitter

So you have a Twitter account – now what?