Monday, 19 June 2017

#ELTchat summary: Times are changing. Are teachers? How?



This topic suggestion for #ELTchat on Wednesday 14 June came from a tweet I saw by @MrCopil.



@TeresaBestwick introduced the topic with a song:


This Wordle attempts to capture the wide range of topics mentioned in the chat in reference to changes and I've used this as a way of organising the summary:


tech

@TeresaBestwick said she thought most teachers use more tech in classes now whereas @SueAnnan said she had colleagues who do and some who don't. @seburn said that change may be individual a lot of times and some teachers make changes at different times depending on their context and needs not globally. @AdeleRaemer told us that she had discovered some great AR (Augmented Reality) tools and provided a link to her blog post Find the Hidden Treasure! @seburnt asked "how exactly are times changing?" and @Marisa_C responded by saying technology was an obvious answer.




topics

@TeresaBestwick tweeted that teachers are becoming more comfortable talking about taboo topics and there was more awareness-raising at conferences. @MarjorieRosenbe agreed saying this was even evident  in the interviews at Glasgow online.  She also said projects such as the NO Project deal with human slavery and there were more presentations at IATEFL on LGBTQ issues. @seburnt wondered whether these have played a role in teaching practice - more so in the last couple of years. @MarjorieRosenbe thought it was a good question but said she only knew they were coming up at conferences and people were working to make them more visible now. @TeresaBestwick said She thought LGBTQ issues were happening in other areas so it was having a positive effect on education too. @SueAnnan said topics and books are a bit more real, true to life, for example Keynote with Ted Talks. @MarjorieRosenbe told us about @Wayzgoose_Press who have a book with photocopiable activities on social issues. @fionaljp posted a link to New Internationalist - a resource for global justice issues in easier English @tesolmatthew asked whether we were post-PARSNIP.

wellness mindfulness



courses 

@vbenevolofranca told us that one of the things that is changing in Brazil is the market, from language course to English in schools - this affects teachers. @Marisa_C agreed that this was the same in Greece but thought this related to bad economic situation and parents' cutbacks @TeresaBestwick also said this was true in Spain with many bilingual Primary and Secondary courses in Spain and that there is a definite exam focus, which was less prevalent before. @David_Broughton said in Mexico, he was starting to notice students being more disappointed in language centres - more aware of what good teaching programs are. @MarjorieRosenbe mentioned the trend in recognising the multilingual classroom to which @Marisa_C said "Very true - much more so also in Greece where monolingual classes were the norm.''  @MarjorieRosenbe remarked that another change was that we also accept that using the first language of the learners was OK. @SueAnnan highlighted the fact that online courses are booming.

top-down bottom-up

@SueAnnan said she though a lot of change that  eminates from management is not respected by staff and is difficult to keep up. 


reflection

@Marisa_C said that another change was the shift to teacher reflection and teachers thinking more about research, though sadly research is an expensive sport.


research 


There was a lot of discussion around different types of research. 


@fionaljp posted a link to ELT Research Bites @ResearchBites in response to @David_Broughton's question and @SueAnnan recommended IATEFL ReSig

methodology 

@fionaljp posted a link to a forum on approaches to developing reading skills that suggest alternatives to the presumed norm.


intersectionality

@seburnt tweeted about changes he likes:
He explained the second point as cross-discipline collaboration, isolating language classes in his context to skills across disciplines, with collaboration with other types of content- saying it works well in EAP contexts.

platforms

@fionaljp responded by sharing her experimentation with Edmodo - learning on an online pilot course for teachers.

HOTS

@AdeleRaemer asked whether Higher Order Thinking skills were big in #ELTchat circles and @SueAnnan responded by saying, 'Books are concentrating more on this now and critical thinking too.' @Marisa_C noted that thinking about education (including Bloom) is more evident now, not in ELT syllabuses, but covered nevertheless.

NNESTs


CPD / tech

@SueAnnan asked:


@Marisa_C said that having this daily contact on Twitter across the globe was a change and @fionaljp agreed saying 'Yes, this is the huge change - availability / opportunity of personalised CPD.'  @SueAnnan asked, "How do teachers stay abreast of changes?' and @fionaljp responded, 'by not staying where they are - by avoiding doing the same thing all the time.' However, this didn't really answer the question as @SueAnnan replied that some teachers rely on top-down CPD.  @Marisa_C asked if this instant information gratification produced better teachers? @fionaljp replied that teachers can be more informed and aware - great way to update skills and knowledge. @NikkiFortova responded by saying, 'information and knowledge are different things - so I'd say no, it doesn't mean better teachers.' @Marisa_C said that connecting with other teachers has made reflective  teaching or the pursuit of excellence more visible.  This resulted in a discussion about passion from @SueAnnan and @AdeleRaemer:



I think @MarjorieRosenbe's question below and some of the replies would be a good way to conclude the summary:





It was a very interesting, very lively #ELTchat and I hope I haven't missed out anything major or mis-quoted anyone - here's a link to the transcript for reference.

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