What would you like to talk about on 23/04 on #ELTchat?

Saturday, April 19, 2014 13:17 | Filled in Propose a Topic
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Our next #ELTchat on Wednesday 23/04 at 21:00 p.m. BST

Red poppies

Royalty free image from www.morguefile.com

 

Propose a topic, vote in our poll and join our #ELTchat!

If you are proposing a topic, please make every effort to  join the chat if your topic  is chosen.

Please also note that the chat moderators do monitor the voting. Cases of block voting are followed up and, in such a case, the votes will be disqualified and results of poll will be announced on our blog.

Since we started #ELTchat in September 2010, we have discussed a wide number of topics, but with many new members joining our conversations every week, it is very natural that we will get requests for topics which we “have done”.

 

Check out our Summaries & Transcripts Index

Make sure your idea has not already been discussed in the past.

Check our summaries page to see if your idea has already been included in a past #ELTchat.

Here you can find links to all the transcripts and summaries available

Click here to find it or look for it on the pages menu on the right hand side.

If you see your topic but would still like to discuss a different aspect or set of issues, do submit it and we will consider including it again!

Read those great posts which we have collected and make sure you visit the pages of the bloggers who contributed them too!!!!

 

Please, include topics which

  • have not been covered already in previous #ELTchats
  • are relevant to ELT teachers and teaching foreign languages
  • are not targeted attacks on individuals or institutions
  • are simply and clearly expressed.

 

Editing your topic

The #ELTchat moderators reserve the right to edit or reword a topic or not to include in the poll if it does not follow the above guidelines.

 

See you on #ELTchat on Wednesday!!!

Marisa Constantinides

CELTA & DELTA tutor at CELT Athens. Love connecting with educators. Moderate #ELTchat every Wednesday. Join & share the learning!

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Sugata Mitra and the Future of Teaching – An #ELTchat Summary (09/04/14)

Monday, April 21, 2014 0:45 | Filled in Summary

This summary was contributed by #ELTchat moderator James Taylor. You can follow James on Twitter at @theteacherjames and read his blog here.

 

 

On Saturday 5th of April at the IATEFL conference in Harrogate, Sugata Mitra delivered a plenary session that proved to be acclaimed and vilified at the same time. I was in the room at the time, and witnessed a large proportion of the room rise to their feet at the climax of his talk. After the hubbub had died down, discussion immediately began and dissenting voices began to appear. The debate hasn’t stopped yet and it continues on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and on Wednesday 9th of April, on #ELTchat.

 

In this look at what has become one of the most contentious issues in our field for a long time, I will first summarise what was discussed in the #ELTchat, before looking at some of the other issues have been brought up by bloggers in the aftermath his talk.

 

According to Wikipedia “His work demonstrated that groups of children, irrespectively of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own with public computers in open spaces such as roads and playgrounds, even without knowing English.” Many people have their doubts about his claims, including me, I feel I should point out before you read on!

 

If you haven’t seen it already, I recommend you watch Mitra’s plenary here, and watch his follow up interview here before you go on. You could also read Graham Stanley’s excellent summary of his talk and Lizzie Pinard’s too, written during the talk.

 

A sense of the size of the backlash can be detected in this tweet by @LeaSobocan:

@LeaSobocan No, I’m just feeling a bit Sugata Mitra’d out. Actually I think some of his ideas are not too bad. Don’t kill me ;)  #ELTchat

 

There was a sense that a lot of what was being said by Mitra was not that revolutionary:

 

@Ashowski @marisa_c @wiktor_k it really struck a chord with me! I enjoy TBL in the classroom so this seemed like extension of that #eltchat

 

@Shaunwilden @theteacherjames @LeaSobocan yeah me too, i think the idea of asking questions, setting projects soto speak is not really that new #ELTchat

 

@LouiseRobertson #ELTchat  Montessori has been doing this for years #sole

Some people questioned whether it was feasible to expect students to learn without a teacher present:

 

@LeaSobocan @natibrandi But not without a teacher, otherwise they just off and play videogames. #ELTchat

 

@ChristineMulla Do you think the children would be able to put their learning into practice? (eg molecular biology) #ELTchat

 

@Wiktor_K @LouiseRobertson …or, unfortunately, watch all the cat videos there are. A computer does not a learning make, imho. #ELTChat

 

But some suggested that he was onto something:

 

@HanaTicha What struck me was the implication that T’s presence can actually hinder learning. I can’t say I disagree totally #eltchat

 

@NinaEnglishBrno My view is that SM suggests learning environment where the teacher only facilitates learning and becomes a supportive coach #eltchat

 

The role of the teacher now as presented by Mitra…

 

@Laila_Khairat At school, teachers are much more than vehicles of knowledge. Socialization is a key element. That can’t be learnt online. #eltchat

 

@Shaunwilden @natibrandi @NinaEnglishBrno but how are we redefining? A good teacher has always assumed many roles in the classroom #ELTchat

 

@LeaSobocan @Shaunwilden @EdLaur The role of the teacher needs to be updated, sure, but not to “granny” #eltchat

 

@theteacherjames And it seems to me that Grannies are just mediocre teachers. I can encourage, but I can do other things too. #eltchat

 

@NinaEnglishBrno Task-based, individualized, self-organized, connected, goal-oriented ed. I see my role in here: guide, facilitator, mentor, friend. #eltchat

 

And in the future…

@Marisa_C Another thought is that what SM visualises is so far into the future that lots of other jobs will be obsolete- even doctors #eltchat

 

@Ven_VVE @HanaTicha @Marisa_C scary what we’re doing to ourselves. Sometimes think making ourselves obsolete thru tech. advances. #eltchat

 

@Shaunwilden @Ven_VVE  its not about obsolescence its adapting & making use of whatever enhances learning, good teachers have always done that #ELTchat

 

@HadaLitim There’s a difference between saying we don’t need Ts and we live in places where we need to cope in the absence of Ts #eltchat

 

@Marisa_C My own feeling is that he is expressing a prediction – when or how this will happen not clear or certain – could be 1000 yrs #ELTchat

 

There were questions regarding the lack of research and evidence for his claims

 

@mary28sou His scientific method seems to lack a control group (children who didn’t learn well on their own with a computer). #eltchat

 

@Ven_VVE Any research on how parents/guardians see this? Would they send children to school in cloud? #eltchat

 

@harrisonmike @natibrandi @theteacherjames @Shaunwilden @LeaSobocan it’s very anecdotal research though, isn’t it? #eltchat

 

And the kind of learning that took place:

 

@LeaSobocan @muranava @Shaunwilden @ChristineMulla So how deep was the learning then I wonder. #eltchat

 

@dreadnought001 @theteacherjames #eltchat SM’s eg of kids learning molecular biology seemed just like memorisation, didn’t seem like learning

 

@harrisonmike @theteacherjames or are they just reciting Wikipedia? #eltchat

 

@Marisa_C And who will then produce the experts, the doctors, the scientists – will they qualify themselves? #eltchat or pass some tests?

 

And a word of warning…

 

@naomishema Do you all remember the “Lord of the flies” book? The kids didn’t do so well on their own as I recall. #eltchat

 

Perhaps what was most surprising about this chat was how it didn’t reflect the polarised opinions that his talk created in the online ELT community. While there were disagreements, thankfully it stayed very polite and collaborative, which is to #ELTchat’s credit I think! But as someone who is, as I mentioned, very sceptical about what Mitra is claiming and fearful of the result of its possible implementation, I was surprised at the lack of support his ideas had during the chat. I expected stronger advocates to be present, arguing his case, but it felt like nearly everyone had doubts about what he was claiming.

 

Of course, it’s entirely possible that that is just a reflection of the people who were present on the day and I’m sure there are people who would have argued more vociferously in his favour at a different time. But I think part of this is a result of the discussion that sprung up after the original plenary, and the numerous blog posts may just have placed some doubts in the minds of those who were originally persuaded by Mitra’s ideas. As many people have commented, he’s a brilliant and charismatic speaker, and it’s easy to be wowed the first time you hear him. I know I was. We mustn’t, however, let this get in the way of a deeper, critical analysis of his thesis and the bloggers listed at the bottom of this page managed to do exactly that.

 

@LeaSobocan Okay, signing off, thanks for a thought-provoking #eltchat I feel we only scratched the surface on this one.

 

And just like Lea Sobocan, at the end of the #ELTchat I felt there were more questions to answer, so I’ve been reading through as many articles and blog posts as I can in order to compile a list of questions which I think Mitra needs to address. If you’d like to read the 25 questions I compiled, click here to read them below this #ELTchat summary on my blog.

 

The wise words of Kurt Vonnegut

 

The Secret DOS

Lizzie Pinard

Fiona Mauchline

Mike Harrison

Gavin Dudeney

Jeremy Harmer

Mark Hancock

Mura Nava

David Deubelbeiss

Hugh Dellar

By The Way
Philip Kerr

Sylvia Guinan

Robert McCall

Michelle Sowey

Donald Clark

 

Image taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics by @cerirhiannon, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Learner Oriented Assessment #ELTchat Summary 4/12/2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014 16:58 | Filled in Summary

This ELT 1200GMT chat took place on Wednesday 19th of March. It involved a lot of healthy discussion and ELT professionals sharing, adapting and evaluating a variety of ideas and approaches to assessment in ELT. Here’s a summary of what was said.

Getting Started

 

 assessment

Initially, the discussion was taken slightly in the wrong direction to begin with, as I said that I understood LOA to be the idea of not testing learners on “what they should know” but on what “they do know” and gave the example of tests which involve productive tasks so that learners can demonstrate their linguistic skills. This sort of assessment was later referred to throughout the chat as ‘can-dos’.

@teflgeek quickly pointed out that while it was a valid point, I was rather looking at LOA from the wrong perspective: LOA is rather about using data collected from summative and formative testing to inform teaching.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: giulia.forsythe via Compfight cc Read the rest of this entry »

Marisa Constantinides

CELTA & DELTA tutor at CELT Athens. Love connecting with educators. Moderate #ELTchat every Wednesday. Join & share the learning!

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What would you like to talk about on 16/04/14?

Saturday, April 12, 2014 14:49 | Filled in General Announcements

Propose and join #ELTchat!

Photo credit: Priscila Mateini cc ELTpics – Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0

Please bear in mind that if you are proposing a topic you should try and join the chat if it is chosen (though time zones can make that difficult).

Please also note that the chat moderators do monitor the voting. Cases of block voting are followed up and, in such a case, the votes will be disqualified and results of poll will be announced on our blog.

Since we started #ELTchat in September 2010, we have discussed a wide number of topics, but with many new members joining our conversations every week, it is very natural that we will get requests for topics which we “have done”.

 

Our Summaries & Transcripts Index

Check our summaries page to see if your idea has already been included in a past #ELTchat.

Here you can find links to all the transcripts and summaries available

Click here to find it or look for it on the pages menu on the right hand side.

Read those great posts which we have collected and make sure you visit the pages of the bloggers who contributed them too!!!!

 

Please, include topics which

  • have not been covered already in previous #ELTchats
  • are relevant to ELT teachers and teaching foreign languages
  • are not targeted attacks on individuals or institutions
  • are simply and clearly expressed.

The #ELTchat moderators reserve the right to edit or reword a topic or not to include in the poll if it does not follow the above guidelines.

Before you propose a topic, do please check the summaries page on this blog or go to the #ELTchat wiki and click on the Transcripts or Summaries Links to see what has been covered so far.

If you see your topic but would still like to discuss a different aspect or set of issues, do submit it and we will consider including it again!

See you on #ELTchat on Wednesday!!!

ELTChat is back 21.00 BST Wednesday

Monday, April 7, 2014 9:08 | Filled in Propose a Topic

First of all, while we took a week off the clocks changed.   This means #eltchat is now at 20.00 GMT / 21.00 BST this week

It was great to see so many #eltchatters at IATEFL, we hope everyone got home safely and are not suffering too much from post-conference blues

Given the furore of the Saturday morning plenary, it would be remiss of #ELTchat not to discuss Sugata Mitra’s talk  in this Wednesday’s chat.

If you didn’t see it you can watch it at IATEFL online by clicking on the image below:

welcom-harrogate-640x385

 

There have also been a couple of blogs posts you might went to read:

 

 

 

 

See you Wednesday

What would you like to talk about on #ELTchat on 26/03/2014?

Saturday, March 22, 2014 8:56 | Filled in Summary

Vote for  a Topic & Join #ELTchat!

.

kaleidpscope

 

Photo Credit: Lucy Nieto via Compfight cc

 

 

Please bear in mind that if you are proposing a topic you should try and join the chat if it is chosen (though time zones can make that difficult).

Please also note that the chat moderators do monitor the voting. Cases of block voting are followed up and, in such a case, the votes will be disqualified and results of poll will be announced on our blog.

Since we started #ELTchat in September 2010, we have discussed a wide number of topics, but with many new members joining our conversations every week, it is very natural that we will get requests for topics which we “have done”.

Check our summaries page to see if your idea has already been included in a past #ELTchat

 

Please, include topics which

  • have not been covered already in previous #ELTchats
  • are relevant to ELT teachers and teaching foreign languages
  • are not targeted attacks on individuals or institutions
  • are simply and clearly expressed.

The #ELTchat moderators reserve the right to edit or reword a topic or not to include in the poll if it does not follow the above guidelines.

Before you propose a topic, do please check the  summaries page on this blog or go to the #ELTchat wiki and click on the Transcripts or Summaries Links to see what has been covered so far.

If you see your topic but would still like to discuss a different aspect or set of issues, do submit it and we will consider including it again!

 

Our Summaries & Transcripts Index

Here you can find links to all the transcripts and summaries available

Click here to find it or look for it on the pages menu on the right hand side.

Read those great posts which we have collected and make sure you visit the pages of the bloggers who contributed them too!!!!

 

 

See you on #ELTchat on Wednesday 9pm GMT!!!

 

How do you design good ICQs and CCQs? #ELTchat Summary – 12/03/2014

Friday, March 21, 2014 16:50 | Filled in Summary

How do you design good ICQs and CCQs?

 

When I saw the topic for #ELTChat was CCQs, I simply had to join. They were always one of the main points of feedback during my observations – CCQs a little untargeted, ambiguous, using target language etc. The bane of a small part of my existence one might say. Naturally, this topic was right up my street. I am still learning, (aren’t we all?), and knew that my chat peers tonight would have lots to pass on to me.

Oh so they did!

Stock image from http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-question-mark-sky-image28278715

Stock image from http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-question-mark-sky-image28278715

 What is a CCQ?

@SueAnnan kicked off the chat by asking if everyone knew what a CCQ was.

 

There were mixed responses from participants with @noamishema not being entirely positive and @HanaTicha and @HadaLitim tweeting “concept checking questions”. @Eilymurphy added “Short questions to check Ss understand vocab and grammar.”

 

There was a bit of confusion throughout the chat as to the classification of CCQs with @naomishema using questions for reading comprehension, called ‘comprehension questions’, not concept checking, and yours truly forgetting the difference between the CCQ and ICQ (instruction checking question), for a spell. Summary writing was also mentioned, but again rejected as a CC method.

 

In short, @Marisa_C explained that “CCQs originate from semantics (componential analysis) [] Transformational Generative Grammar (deep vs surface meaning).” Doing a quick Google search for ‘Transformational Grammar’ will lead you to some papers based around the subject.

 

Going back to a definition for CCQs, it seemed the consensus centred around Eily’s thoughts, with final responses coming in from @KateLloyd05 and @ClassWired:

 

“questions we ask to determine whether students have understood our explanation.”

 

“finding out if a learner has understood a new item.”

Should we limit CCQs?

 

With definitions decided upon, tweeters moved on to the nitty-gritty. At the beginning of the chat @ChristineMulla, well, I, asked whether it was possible to ask too many questions. This was reformulated later on by @KemparisKostas to include whether we should put a limit on the number of CCQs asked in a 60 minute lesson. @ShaunWilden pointed out that too many depended on the quality of the question, with which Marisa_C agreed, adding that lots of questions can also seem like a machine gun. @HanaTicha granted that wholeheartedly and put forward, quite nicely I believe, “Your Ss should definitely not feel as if interrogated by the police.”

 

Asking too many CCQs was generally believed to be ineffective and ran the risk of “students tuning out” (@MicaelaCarey). It was also agreed upon by all that, “Do you understand?”, is quite taboo .

 

 

While we cannot ever predict completely the language that will come up in a lesson, and therefore require concept checking, it was widely agreed by all participants that CCQs should be concise and limited to a couple per language item. One way to help limit this, a method used by @HanaTicha is to focus on weaker Ss when asking. “If they know, the stronger ones will too.” On the whole it was agreed that we can’t really limit the number of CCQs without limiting language items, but we can alternate interaction patterns. (@KemparisKostas)

 

Naturally, some Ss still won’t get a concept even after CCQs, but what can we do about this? Well, says @ShaunWilden, get Ss to generate questions themselves. @SueAnnan wasn’t sure about this if we are supposed to be checking students’ understanding. @Marisa_C offered an approach she calls ‘ideas behind’ as an activity. The idea is that you have a handout with the target language on it, which is given to students. They then write “ideas behind” each sentence. e.g. “I wish you wouldn’t smoke.” Ss have to say, “But you do.”; “I don’t like it.” Another idea was to pair Ss up to set a couple of questions for another pair. @mary28sou and I plan to try both of these out. How about you?

 

Moving back towards the initial #eltchat topic, types of CCQs, design, planning, examples and language came up.

When should we ask them?

 

At any point, though usually, “after the presentation stage to check sts are on the same wavelength.” @ShaunWilden

Can we use them for things other than vocab?

 

Definitely!

 

All agreed that when using CCQs to check a grammar point, the target language should be avoided at all costs. An example given for this came from @eilymurphy:

 

“Has gone to lunch vs has been to lunch – Where is she now?”

 

‘Lunch’ is substituted with China by @KateLloyd and bathroom by @HanaTicha.

 

When asked if things like pronunciation, register, form etc.  could be checked as part of a CCQ – @SueAnnan offered that register is important, but she doesn’t do this during CC.

Can we use timelines and clines?

 

Oh indeed! The question, asked by @Marisa_C,  “Can you ask Ss to make a timeline or choose one?” was popular among participants especially for dealing with different learning styles and Ss who prefer visuals. Giving two timelines and asking Ss to choose which suited best generated a lot of interest. I recall doing this during my CELTA and learning a lot about making sure your question was graded perfectly when doing so. (More on grading and the pitfalls of CCQs shortly).

 

On clines, chatters were all for them, in particular when checking gradable items like adverbs of frequency and adjectives. “A thermometer activity,” was mentioned by @Marisa_C; getting Ss to draw thermometers or glasses of water to show grading. A nice one to steal I reckon.

 

 

What are the pitfalls of CCQs?

 

#ELTChat’s hour began to come to a close with one final question remaining unanswered. @HadaLitim broached the all important subject:

 

“What are the pitfalls of CCQs?”

 

Making lessons inauthentic at times was mentioned, in addition to the possibility of students sometimes feeling  a little patronised (I know I’ve had some looks of disdain). Inane questions, it was added, can heighten this feeling. The amount of grading and planning involved was also touched upon here, with questions which aren’t well thought out leading to confusion, a circle back to the initial language point and sometimes having to start over.

 

A flood of approval came in for as much planning as possible when it comes to CCQs, at any level. Although agreed that not all language can be planned for, @harrisonmike summed up tweeters well saying, “I think it’s better if frames are planned out, as you can never be sure what concepts will need checking.”

On not using CCQs with higher levels:

 

There was a slight to and fro on the approach to the finish line on using CCQs at higher levels with @SueAnnan admitting; “am guilty of assuming they understand.” Conceding it was a common assumption, @ShaunWilden retweeted an absolute truth from @Marisa_C, “What can go wrong will go wrong.”

 

@Ashowski posted the closing  top tweet of the evening on this  issue:

 

“I always use CCQ and ICQ even with highest levels – can a native always 100% understand a task?”

 

Gold for this writer. We most certainly cannot I am sure you will agree.

 

 

Well readers, that brings us to the end of this weeks’ stimulating #eltchat on CCQs in the classroom. You’ll find a link here to a wonderful post on CCQs by Marisa_C.

 

In similar fashion to the way @Marisa_C ended our chat,  by sending some T/F CCQ’s, I shall leave you with some CCQs to check what you understood from this summary:

 

  1. Summaries and comprehensions are types of CCQ, T or F?
  2. We should limit the number of CCQs we ask, T or F?
  3. CCQs can only be used for vocabulary, T or F?
  4. CCQs can be asked at any point, T or F?
  5. CCQs should include target language, T or F?

 

If you’re still not sure,  scroll down and check the answers.

 

 See you next time!

 

About the Summary Writer

Christine Mullaney

Christine Mullaney is an IELTS and Business English teacher currently working in Kaplan International English in Dublin. She is currently a communications officer on the committee for the newly established ELT Ireland, building a PLN and learning about blogging, Twitter and anything else that can help her enhance, learn and share.

She is @ChristineMulla on Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers upside down

ɟ 5  ʇ 4   ɟ 3   ɟ 2   ɟ 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marisa Constantinides

CELTA & DELTA tutor at CELT Athens. Love connecting with educators. Moderate #ELTchat every Wednesday. Join & share the learning!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
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What would you like to talk about on 19/03/14?

Friday, March 14, 2014 15:28 | Filled in Summary

Vote for this week’s eltchat topic for Wednesday’s chat.

 

The top choice in the poll will be discussed at 12 pm GMT  Wed 19 March

photo credit: @cecilialcoelho cc ELTpics – Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0

Propose and join #ELTchat!

Please bear in mind that if you are proposing a topic you should try and join the chat if it is chosen (though time zones can make that difficult).

Please also note that the chat moderators do monitor the voting. Cases of block voting are followed up and, in such a case, the votes will be disqualified and results of poll will be announced on our blog.

Since we started #ELTchat in September 2010, we have discussed a wide number of topics, but with many new members joining our conversations every week, it is very natural that we will get requests for topics which we “have done”.

 

Our Summaries & Transcripts Index

Check our summaries page to see if your idea has already been included in a past #ELTchat.

Here you can find links to all the transcripts and summaries available

Click here to find it or look for it on the pages menu on the right hand side.

Read those great posts which we have collected and make sure you visit the pages of the bloggers who contributed them too!!!!

 

Please, include topics which

  • have not been covered already in previous #ELTchats
  • are relevant to ELT teachers and teaching foreign languages
  • are not targeted attacks on individuals or institutions
  • are simply and clearly expressed.

The #ELTchat moderators reserve the right to edit or reword a topic or not to include in the poll if it does not follow the above guidelines.

Before you propose a topic, do please check the summaries page on this blog or go to the #ELTchat wiki and click on the Transcripts or Summaries Links to see what has been covered so far.

If you see your topic but would still like to discuss a different aspect or set of issues, do submit it and we will consider including it again!

 

See you on #ELTchat on Wednesday!!!

 

Phil Longwell

EFL teacher, EAP tutor and ESOL volunteer

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Time to vote for #ELTchat on 12/03/2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014 13:02 | Filled in Polls

 

Vote for #ELTchat

 

If you have an idea for a topic for Wednesday’s chat then leave it as a comment below this post and we’ll include it in the poll once voting starts on Monday. Since we now only have one chat a week, we’ll add the unsuccessful topics from the previous week to poll.

 

The top choice in the poll will be discussed at 9 p.m. GMT 

 

hada's eltchat

Photo by @hadalitim

Propose and join #ELTchat!

Please bear in mind that if you are proposing a topic you should try and join the chat if it is chosen (though time zones can make that difficult).

Please also note that the chat moderators do monitor the voting. Cases of block voting are followed up and, in such a case, the votes will be disqualified and results of poll will be announced on our blog.

Since we started #ELTchat in September 2010, we have discussed a wide number of topics, but with many new members joining our conversations every week, it is very natural that we will get requests for topics which we “have done”.

Check our summaries page to see if your idea has already been included in a past #ELTchat

 

Please, include topics which

  • have not been covered already in previous #ELTchats
  • are relevant to ELT teachers and teaching foreign languages
  • are not targeted attacks on individuals or institutions
  • are simply and clearly expressed.

The #ELTchat moderators reserve the right to edit or reword a topic or not to include in the poll if it does not follow the above guidelines.

Before you propose a topic, do please check the  summaries page on this blog or go to the #ELTchat wiki and click on the Transcripts or Summaries Links to see what has been covered so far.

If you see your topic but would still like to discuss a different aspect or set of issues, do submit it and we will consider including it again!

 

Our Summaries & Transcripts Index

Here you can find links to all the transcripts and summaries available

Click here to find it or look for it on the pages menu on the right hand side.

Read those great posts which we have collected and make sure you visit the pages of the bloggers who contributed them too!!!!

 

 

See you on #ELTchat on Wednesday!!!

 

Entering and Exiting: The Importance of Beginning and Ending Lessons Well – #ELTchat Summary 05.03.14

Thursday, March 6, 2014 12:44 | Filled in Summary

Entering and Exiting: The Importance of Beginning and Ending Lessons Well

This is the summary of an #ELTchat which took place on 5 March 2014 and was first published on Sue Annan’s blog.

 

4377802647_8479323901

photo credit: http://bit.ly/1hOLiVG

This was a lovely structured topic, as the writer had prepared a series of questions he wanted answered.

Marisa_Constantinides started us off by asking where we were, what time it was and what we had just been doing. As we were based in a variety of different countries and time zones, this was an interesting exercise. It showed the value of a simple question to set the ball rolling- and demonstrated a small talk technique which quickly includes the students.

Adi_Rajan mentioned the research which suggested that students are at their most attentive at the beginning and end of lessons. This was reiterated by Marisa, who also included the mid-point of the lesson when she quoted Nigel Barlow. It stands to reason that teachers should be made aware of this, and will be able to exploit the fact and plan their strategy accordingly.

 

Do you like to be in your classroom when the students arrive? Why, why not?

 

The point was made that although this is the ideal, it isn’t always possible due to schedules and other commitments. When it can be done, the teacher is in place to meet the students as they arrive. 

teacherphili mentioned that classroom layout made it preferable to arrive first. Others agreed with this point of view, and suggested that the time before the students arrived was ideal for moving the furniture around (bealer81).

Shaunwilden and joannacre like the horseshoe –shaped class setting, while teacherphili prefers to establish his class with islands.

kevchanwow had some fun ideas. He said that he was then able to direct the students to their seats. He used ideas such as: people wearing blue sit on the left, stripes next to skirts, in a circle from tallest to shortest, or telling one student the rule and getting them to coordinate the others. He suggested that it made a warm-up as well.

adi_rajan used playing cards and organised students to sit in suits of cards. patrickelt sat his students according to their birthdays, or how many languages they could say hello in.

 

Do you write your lesson topic on the board at the start of the lesson?

 

I asked whether the others wrote their lesson topic on the board. I have colleagues who do, and some who don’t. The answers were mixed: adi_rajan wanted to know what the topic would be. The context of the lesson or the language item you’re teaching?
OUPELTGlobal: Topic or task or what students will learn how to do.
HadaLitim: I used to when teaching YLs but not any more
bealer81: Not a big fan of writing the topic on the board. It can often be met with a rolling of the eyes or a collective sigh! BobK99 agreed.
OUPELTGlobal: A good idea with adult learners especially –they like to know what is going on
Teflgeek: lesson menus can help keep focus and demonstrate goals
bealer81: I prefer periodic recaps and a spectacular summary at the end.
HadaLitim: With EAP and IELTS classes I find it’s good to have the aims on the board          .
adi_rajan:  That might not give you much scope for eliciting the topic from students.

 

How and when do you do the roll call / registration?

 

Teacherphili: Always seems too formal at the beginning, but necessary.
OUPELTGlobal: Registration? Do you mean roll call? I send around a piece of paper if large class, if small, just look round and note
Michaelegriffin: Is it necessary? If so, why? And can it be done during other moments?
SueAnnan: Unless you have an enormous class, you should know your students’ names, so why need a roll call?  patrickeltYes but what if it is new or you are covering for someone. Shaunwilden: To get the paperwork out the way?

 

What if the students are late?

 

Joannacre was interested in the others policies for accepting latecomers. There appeared to be a difference in reasons for lateness. Some students came at the end of their working day and others used spurious excuses to explain their reasons for not arriving on time. Saudi women have difficulty as they are not permitted to drive. HadaLitim works around the problem as well as she can. As bealer81 said, his students pay for lessons and do their best to turn up, even if it is 45 minutes late.

OUPELTGlobal thought that rules on what would be acceptable could be negotiated with the class, or the establishment. She lets her students in, but marks them as missing if they are later than 15 minutes. adi_rajan uses punctuality raffles, where he gives the students a ticket each time they arrive on time, and then does a lucky draw at some point.

 

How do you make your entrance each day?

 

This set off the ‘all the world’s a stage’ gags. Actually we weren’t quite sure what was meant here. teacherphili offered us the monologue “All the world’s a stage…” from Shakespeare’s As You Like It .

bealer81and BobK99 agreed that we should enter with a smile, head up, shoulders back….   We agreed that it doesn’t do any harm to be a bit of an actor, using the classroom as our stage. As joannacre said: Gotta keep the audience engaged!

 

What does the start of your lesson look like?

 

OUPELTGlobal: students come in, get the vocabulary box and start flipping through, testing each other on vocabulary.
Teflgeek: I always chat to my students, big or small, about their lives when they come into the room.
mary28sou: Students search Google images for thought for the day.
teacherphili: music can be a useful way to set the tone of the day.  Though ShaunWilden suggested being aware that not everyone will like it.
SueAnnan: I often start with a question, sometimes rhetorical.
bealer81: I always get them to recap the last lesson. Slow going but it gets them thinking.
Joannacre: a bit of small talk like : what have you been up to guys?” Then they ask me. :-)
HadaLitim: I work with pictures and videos – that sets the tone well too.
adi_rajan: I was inspired by Shaunwilden to ask students to share an Instagram or Vine vid or picture they took on their mobiles.
bealer81: Jeremy Harmer talks about writing a weather forecast and displaying that for the students. Describing your day, thoughts and feelings. Students read, react, ask Qs and then do the same.
jas_thorNice idea to start with the weather and How is your day? It’s conversationally useful.
HadaLitim: I like spending the first 5 minutes going over useful real-life vocabulary based on the day/context such as: someone’s sick – what do we say?

 

Has anyone tried scent?

 

An interesting aside here. Aromatherapy oils on the radiator. The negatives are the cost of the oils, and the possibility of interference from cosmetics worn by other students. However, there was some anecdotal evidence that students were more relaxed in class and better able to concentrate.

 

Moving to the end: Are you the last one out of the classroom?

 

If the teacher has time to chat to the students at the end of the lesson that’s a bonus. Some have to run to their next class, or have other commitments to honour. Often the students hang around chatting, but the teacher doesn’t always have that luxury.

 

How do you wrap up?

 

Some of us (OUPELTGlobalAbdullahAlgermary28sou) like to recap structure or vocabulary with a game, a quiz, or a song.

Others prefer to summarise the lesson. This works particularly well if the students do the summarising. Marisa told us that, as a beginner in Turkish, she loved the 5-minute written reflection she was asked to do at the end of each lesson. The discipline helps students to vocalise what they have achieved and can provide feedback about what they enjoyed, or didn’t like about the lesson.  This provides teachers with a means to modify future sessions to suit the learning styles and preferences of their students. Learners can offer topics they would like to work on, and teachers can give advance notice of future lessons, or give notice of homework tasks that students could carry out in preparation for the next lesson. This could whet their appetite for the session, or allow them to bring material to class.

We have to remember that this could be conceptually difficult for young learners, but they would certainly be able to draw their feedback.

If setting homework, time needs to be set aside to organise the information correctly. Writing down the details in their notebooks rather than quickly circling the pages is preferable, but requires more than the usual rushed few minutes at the end of the lesson..

Marisa suggested asking the students to rate their course book, or to advise the author on ways to improve the pages or exercises they have just been using. This makes them revisit the page too, which is sneaky :-)

 

Finally, kevchanhow always ends by thanking his students and telling them about one thing he particularly enjoyed, learned or had occasion to be grateful for because of the class. This is something we could all do easily, and it will leave our students feeling that we value them as members of the group.

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Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/P3T1Fp

 

Links:

 

Marisa_C: Nigel Barlow in PET Vol 1 No 2 1980 – oldie but goodie “Memory and the Language Teacher”
Lot’s of good ice-breaker activities here http://t.co/YSo3Lv1i5R.
adi_rajan: I’ve also used newsmap http://t.co/VURl0eoEA3  in my business English classes to kick-off by discussing trending news items.  Adi was thinking about using whatsapp as a means of getting feedback. Shaun suggested  the socrative app as it has an inbuilt feedback questionnaire.
Teflgeek: try Todays meet, https://t.co/LiIMcvxCnm , as recommended by Nik Peachey.
Marisa_C: Couldn’t find the article on memory online but found this one on pattern notes – nice for an end of lesson summary. http://t.co/t7QQBDx6sF.

 

 Summary Author 

Sue Anna – @SueAnnan

 

Sue Annan is an EFL teacher and teacher trainer living and working in Jersey, Channel Islands interested in building her PLN – she blogs at  sueannan.blogspot.com where this post originally appeared. She is a Gold Medal #ELTchat Blogger and since mid February 2014, she has joined the team of #ELTchat Moderators.

Phil Longwell

EFL teacher, EAP tutor and ESOL volunteer

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