Sunday, 15 April 2018

#IATEFL2018 Day 1 Tuesday 10 April

The opening plenary was What is SLA Research Good for, Anyway? by Lourdes Ortega presenting the benefits of Second Language Research - recommended viewing. The Oxford gallery at the Hilton Hotel was absolutely packed.

 10:40am Values and Short Films in Language Teaching Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy's session focused on exploiting silent film to encourage students to reflect and discuss ideas. Taking a learner-centred approach ensures that values are explored not imposed. We brainstormed different kinds of values and Kieran suggested using a series of generic follow-up activities. We tried it out by watching Alike and discussing the following questions:
  • What values are illustrated in this film?
  • Which values are important to you?
  • Why might these values be important to someone else?
  • Are these values important in society? Why?
Kieran pointed out that these generic activities could work equally well with audio and text-based video (Julio Diaz) or video with audio and visuals and used example clips from short films on his website FilmEnglish

He finished the session with ideas on how to encourage students to create their own media by challenging them to reflect the following values in a 1-minute video:

What is beauty?

11:55am Forum on CELTA

Novice Teachers' Reflections of CELTA six months into teaching Natalie Donohue

Natalie presented her findings in a case study carried out post CELTA on a group of novice teachers as they transition from initial teacher training to working in ELT.  Six months down the line, key concerns included:
  • unexpected situations - e.g.having to teach children
  • in-service support - considered vital
  • context-specific issues
  • teacher's beliefs
  • teaching childre

What impact does CELTA have on experienced teachers' classroom practices? Jason Anderson 

Jason Anderson began by presenting key statistics to highlight the rise and projected continued rise in the number of candidates applying for CELTA courses who have 1year + prior teaching experience and who self identify as non-native.

He cited his article Anderson, J. (2016) Initial teacher training courses and non-native speaker teachers ELT Journal 70/3 261-274.

He questioned these candidates as to why they were doing this course and quoted a typical response as:
 "This is proof that I'm a capable effective English language teacher."

He provided summary recommendations that included:
  • an alternative approach -  a more developmental approach to TP
  • providing the opportunity for critical  discussion
  • key discourse on ELF
  • the need to use experienced NNESTs as a resource
  • include an input session on using L1 effectively
  • raising awareness of all course participants of discrimination towards NNESTs
He specified the need to clearly explain at the beginning of the course that your mandate is ONLY to help candidates to get the qualification. He also highlighted the value of trying to get feedback post-CELTA.

14:10pm Your Exits are here, here and here Shaun Wilden

15:55 Queering your pedagogy: teachers' queries out of the closet Giovanni Licata

This session raised awareness and suggested a way forward by highlighting the need for specific training to address teachers' attitudes towards LGBTQ themes, and the need to acknowledge all sexual identities. This session also emphasised the need for published materials for teachers to use in the classroom to promote inclusivity.

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