Tag Archives: #AusELT Twitter chat

Conferences & Presenting (AusELT Twitter chat, Sept 3-4, 2016)

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Note: This chat has now taken place. You can read the summary here. Great tips for conference attendees and presenters, some persuasion for would-be presenters, and definitely some big love for networking!

September’s #AusELT chat is coming up! This time we’ll be talking about conferences and presenting including:

  • why attend a conference anyway
  • how to get the most out of the experience
  • why presenting could be good for you and how to get started
  • dos and don’ts for presenters

We’ll also be using the ‘slowburn’ format for the first time this year. For us, this means the chat will be spread over the whole weekend instead of just 1 hour on Sunday night 🙂

We’ll start early on Sat 3rd September, and run right through till late on Sunday 4th September. You can contribute, read and discuss tweets on this theme at any time in that period, so feel free to drop in and out a few times over the weekend! Just remember to add the #AusELT hashtag to your tweets so we can all see them.

If it is your first time using Twitter, slowburns are a nice and gentle way in to connecting with others. 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? 

Looking forward to e-seeing you this weekend!

This post by @sophiakhan4

Reflective Practice: Benefits, Tips, Feedback (#AusELT Twitter chat on 7/8/2016)

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Dear AusELTers

Our August Twitter chat is happening on Sunday 7th Aug at 8.30pm Sydney time (click here to see the time where you are).

The winning topic, voted for by the #AusELT community, was reflective practice.

 

This topic was suggested after there was a lot on interest in a post on the #AusELT Facebook page recently about using teacher post-lesson reflections effectively. As this is a familiar concept to most of us from pre-service training and in-service observations, perhaps we can use this as as a jumping off point. Some questions we could consider here are:

  • Is this useful? Why?
  • Could we do it better? How?
  • Is RP really a skill that can be developed?
  • How can practising teachers, trainers and managers also benefit from RP?
  • What are some problems or obstacles to effective RP?
  • What are some useful ways to ‘operationalise’ it for individuals or institutions?

Looking forward to discussing these questions or any others you care to bring with you on Sunday.

If you are new to Twitter, please come along, we are a friendly bunch  (send a tweet to me @sophiakhan4 and I’ll look out for you!)

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? 

E-see you on Sunday!

This post by @sophiakhan4

Using phonics in the adult learning context (#AusELT Twitter chat summary)

The last #AusELT Twitter chat of 2015 was on the topic of using phonics in the adult learning context.

With apologies for the long delay, you can now read the summary of what we discussed and pick up some great resources. Enjoy!

This post by @sophiakhan4

Native speakerism in ELT in Australasia (#AusELT Twitter chat 1st May 2016)

 

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In this post, Agi Bodis outlines some of the issues around native-speakerism in preparation for our upcoming chat. This chat has now taken place. Click here to read the summary.

 

 

Some of you may remember that an ad for a pronunciation course recently created an interesting discussion on our Facebook page. The course claims to help ‘overseas-born professionals’ fine-tune their pronunciation to improve employment opportunities. It is interesting to note that the word ‘native’ is not mentioned anywhere, but it prompted us to discuss the role of the ‘native speaker’ in ELT.

The ad addresses – or perpetuates – the so called ‘accent ceiling’ (Piller, 2011, p. 144), a boundary many L2 speakers of English experience at the workplace or when attempting to find employment in an English-speaking country. A few of us have questioned the concept of ‘native’ or ‘native-like’ accent as it appears to be a vague term, but it is still something that many students aim to achieve in order to advance professionally or avoid being judged.

So what is ‘native speakerism’? It is an ideology, a commonly held belief, which considers the native speaker as the ideal model for language use, and in ELT, ‘the expert’ when it comes to language teaching methodology as well (Holliday, 2006). The phenomenon thus has implications not only for what is taught and how it’s taught, but also who is entitled to teach the language itself.

In her recent plenary at IATEFL 2016, Silvana Richardson spoke passionately about the discrimination non-native speaker ESL teachers face and the negative impact this has on their professional identity even though the vast majority of English language teachers in the world are non-native speakers (over 80%, according to Richardson).

She questioned the legitimacy of the term ‘non-native speaker’ as it defines people by what they are not, and emphasised the need to shift from a native-speaker competence to a multilingual competence. She proposed that teacher trainers review their programs to make sure these issues are addressed. She also urged teachers to show their support at work and beyond, and join advocacy groups. One such group she mentioned was TEFL Equity Advocates, whose founder, Marek Kiczkowiak (@MarekKiczkowiak), will be joining us in our Twitter chat.

Another related issue that has come up on our Facebook page is the effect of the market: “students want native speakers” or a certain variety of English. Richardson addressed this issue too pointing out that from research it seems that students value professional qualities more than nativeness.

Join us to discuss any of the following points related to native speakerism on Twitter on Sunday 1 May 8:30-9:30 pm AEST (This chat has now taken place. Click here to read the summary)

  • The role of ‘the native speaker’ in teaching materials and/or language testing
  • The market: student expectations regarding learning a certain variety of English (including accent); expectations regarding native speaker teachers
  • NESB ESL teachers: any experience being employed as a NESB teacher; any experience with NESB teachers
  • Teacher training and the native speaker teacher

Looking forward to our discussion!

Links

Silvana Richardson’s plenary at IATEFL 2016: http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2016/session/plenary-silvana-richardson

Interview with Burcu Akyol and Marek Kiczkowiak on the issue of non-native speakers in ELT – at IATEFL 2016: http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2016/interview/interview-burcu-akyol-and-marek-kiczkowiak

TEFL Equity Advocates: https://teflequityadvocates.com/

Lexicallab on CELTA and the NS bias: http://www.lexicallab.com/2016/04/celta-the-native-speaker-bias-and-possible-paths-forward/

References

Holliday, A. (2006). Native-speakerism. ELT Journal: English Language Teaching Journal, 60(4), 385-387. doi:10.1093/elt/ccl030

Piller, I. (2011). Intercultural communication : A critical introduction Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

This post by Agi Bodis, @AgsBod

The student data blueprint: We’re moving forward but do we know where we’re going? (Upcoming #AusELT Twitter chat, 6/3/16)

A 2015 post promoting an #AusELT chat on m-learning lamented that, despite a widely held belief amongst educators about the value of m-learning, ‘we are often stuck in a situation where institutions or colleagues still advocate the blind banning of mobiles in the classroom’. The post asks, ‘Are we really moving forward?’ 

I would argue that, when it comes to m-learning and the use of technology in education more broadly, we are certainly ‘moving forward’. If anything, there is a danger of moving so quickly that we ignore the many conscientious and valid criticisms of ‘edtech’.

In the name of ‘moving forward’, concerns about the privacy and security implications of students using internet-connected technologies on their own devices at the behest of their educational institution are often relegated to the status of a brief footnote or a vague concession in a subordinate clause.

In their 2014 book Digital Literacies, Nicky Hockly, Gavin Dudeney and Mark Pegrum frequently mention ‘privacy’ but their treatment of it is limited to making students aware of their ‘privacy settings’:

Privacy guidelines can help students limit the amount of personal information they share online, as well as how widely they share it. It’s important to remind them to tighten up their privacy settings on social networking sites in particular. (p. 28)

This view of ‘privacy’ – that, armed with a few ‘digital literacies’, we can take control of our online data – is naive. It is becoming increasingly clear that we should never assume that we know what information about us is online, who has access to it or what use is being made of it.

The student data blueprint

Those of you in the #AusELT community who have taken the IDLTM will remember Shostack’s notion of the ‘service blueprint’ from the ‘Customer Service Management’ module. It involves ‘mapping out all the various interactions and actions that occur when customer and company meet.’ During the IDLTM, we are asked to reflect on our own organisations from this perspective; for example, how and when does a potential student first come into contact with our organisation, what experience do they have and how could it be improved?

During our next #AusELT chat, we will apply this concept to the accumulation, storage, transfer, analysis and use (Harvey 2005) of students’ personal data and consider the ‘Student Data Blueprint’:

  • What technologies do our students and staff use as they interact with our organisation at various stages of their ‘journey’?
  • What data is generated about them?
  • Where does it go?
  • Who does it benefit?
  • How secure is it in transmission and storage?
  • Who has access to and control of it?
  • Why should we be concerned about this?

 We will also discuss what practical steps students and staff can take to minimise any risks to them that arise from these data processes.

This chat took place on Sunday March 6, 8:30pm AEST. To see the summary of the chat, click here.

This post by @elkysmith

Beyond ‘testing’ receptive skills: #AusELT Twitter chat

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The pedagogical framework for teaching receptive skills that is taught on pre-service teacher training courses such as CELTA and reflected in the majority of popular EFL coursebooks is often something like this:

  • talk about context – check vocab – predict content (activate schemata)
  • read/listen to check predictions or some other gist task (global comprehension)
  • read/listen to perform a more detailed or specific task (more detailed or specific comprehension)
  • some sort of follow-on task (‘using’ or responding to the text in a new or personalised way)

So in essence, typical receptive skills lessons give students the chance to test/practise their comprehension but not to actually understand, build upon and develop the whole range of sub-skills that will make them truly effective readers/listeners.

We’re going to be discussing this issue on Sunday 7th Feb at 8.30 pm Sydney-time (this chat has now taken place – scroll down for the summary).

Some things to think about before the chat:

  • Is it ‘wrong’ to use the skills framework described above? why?
  • What ARE the other sub-skills we should/could be focusing on?
  • CAN we teach receptive sub-skills – or simply practise?
  • What activities/lessons have you used that can help develop these other sub-skills?
  • What can we do to adapt/vary our strategies while still using the same coursebook material?

A few bite-size posts for background reading:

To view the summary of what was discussed in this chat, click here.

This post by @sophiakhan4

Upcoming: #AusELT Twitter chat Thursday 3 September 2015: LGBTQIA issues in course-books and classrooms

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Our next #AusELT chat will look at LGBTQIA issues in course-books and classrooms. While some communities and countries are moving rapidly towards greater equality and acceptance, others go more slowly, and there are places where it isn’t safe to identify as LGBTQIA at all. From these communities and countries come our students (and also our teachers) into classrooms which are diverse in more ways than just nationality mix.

Things to consider:

The course-books that we use are, for the most part, heteronormative in their content. How could those who identify as LGBTQIA be better represented?

Does the language that we teach need to change to reflect growing equality and acceptance?

What issues are faced by LGBTQIA teachers and students and those who study and work with them?

A brief introduction to the topic can be found in the pre-reading below:

https://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/tag/heteronormativity/

https://queeringesol.wordpress.com/