Learner Oriented Assessment #ELTchat Summary 4/12/2014

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

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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.

 

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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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Teaching English in the corporate World #ELTchat summary 12/02/2014)

Monday, March 3, 2014 19:47 | Filled in Summary

This summary was contributed by Joanna Malefaki - @joannacre on Twitter, and was first posted on her blog Joanna Malefaki – My ELT Rambles - it is reproduced here with her kind permission

____________________________

Teaching English in the corporate World #ELTchat summary

I started attending the #ELTchat on tiwtter (Wednesdays 12.00   or 21.00 GMT) after my tutor, Marisa Constantinides, suggested it. It is an hour well spent on Wednesdays, so when I was asked to write the summary of this Wednesday’s chat, I gladly said, ” sure!” So, here goes!

The topic

Teaching English in the corporate World: which is the best approach and which activities work best with in-company classes?

 A similar topic had been discussed before, so it is a good idea to read that summary too  http://t.co/UJly7MdvLj  as it taps into what was discussed during this chat as well.

 

Challenges of teaching in-company classes

“What are some of the challenges you face when teaching in-company classes?” (@Marisa_C). This was the starting point of the chat and what was discussed during the hour was connected to the answers given to this query.

 

  1. Managers don’t want to attend classes with their underlings(@OUPELTGlobal).Bosses and secretaries having sessions together, especially when the secretary’s English may be better than the boss’s, may not be such a great idea.

 

  • Random attendance,late comers (@rapple18) or no shows due to busy or not so busy schedules.
  • Motivation and mixed classes (@CootterHUE).
  • Poor assessment and people who are forced to attend these classes (@HadaLitim).
  • Working during classes (@ Marisa_C).
  • Homework or actually lack of homework.

Ideas & solutions to the challenges

How should the students be grouped?

Most people agreed that it is better to group people based on language needs, topic, and position due to the fact that some employees find learning with the boss intimidating or because some managers ‘pontificate’ and the rest of the class remains quiet.

Words of wisdom: “Easier to do mixed level teaching than try to reconcile the irreconcilable”(@Marisa_C).

Another idea was to offer one to one classes so as to avoid intimidation and deal with different learner needs etc.

 

How can we avoid absenteeism?

Students need to see that what they get from classes as more valuable than work. Another idea was that companies should give extrinsic motivation and even charge students if they are absent too many times! It is necessary to keep the students engaged and motivated so as to avoid absenteeism. It is essential to show students that what you are doing with them is directly linked to their work!

 

 A bit about methodology

@teacherphili asked if there was a “particular methodology or approach applied to these corporate classes or if depends on the situation?” ”It depends on learner expectations of education experience, but I tend to use more output-feedback” (@teflgeek).

 

What tasks are appropriate for our learners?

Before deciding on tasks, the importance of needs assessment came up. Teachers need to understand their learners’ needs before deciding on what to do in their classes and what homework to assign.

Everyone agreed that learning in this case should be task based. The focus should be on tasks and not just exercises.

  • Role playing(@Marisa_C/@joannacre/@teflgeek).
  • Tasks applicable to work, work related. Business students do not want to waste time!(@CotterHUE).

The chat about tasks overlapped with what to assign as homework so read further on for some more ideas on tasks/homework.

What do I do about homework?

The first question that arose was whether to give homework or not. Most agreed that it is a good idea to assign it but it is necessary to make it related to their work so that they can be more motivated to do it. Ideas regarding homework:

  •  PPT/ Prezi, which help students practise their presentation skills*.
  • Newspaper articles, which learners can read during their coffee breaks : ).
  • Pecha Kucha can help them improve fluency skills (Marisa_C).
  •  A reflection of a daily work done in the context of a job (@jankenb2)
  • Reports, emails, telephone conversations.

 

* @Nouella89 asked the very interesting question of whether students are learning or playing with the technology and there was a bit of a discussion on the benefits of PPT vs Prezi and vice versa(@teacherphili: “PPT can be repetitive/Prezi style over content, mind you”/ @ Marisa_C :”Prezi can be a fun tool for presentations”) .

 

On the whole, there was consensus on the fact that homework needs to be mandatory, something that doesn’t take long, is interesting and challenging!

 

Assessment was briefly discussed during this chat. It is important that there is assessment and different types of it (@HadaLitim). Maybe this is something that can be discussed in another #eltchat?

 

My final thoughts

On the whole, this was a very interesting chat. A lot of useful ideas and thoughts were shared. I think that, in this summary, I covered the main points discussed.  I tried to include the names of  as many of the contributors to this chat as I could. Apologies if something/someone has been overlooked. This is the first time I have written a summary for #eltchat so please be lenient on the newbie : ).

Till next time…..

Links shared during the chat:

 

About the author 

Joanna Malefaki teaches general English in her own school on the island of Crete, in Greece,  has almost sixteen years of teaching experience in various ELT contexts mostly in Greece and Presessional EAP courses in the UK. She is also an online Business English teacher and her blog is   Joanna Malefaki – My ELT Rambles She is @joannacre on Twitter

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 #ELTchat on 05/03/2014?

Friday, February 28, 2014 14:48 | Filled in Polls, Propose a Topic

Vote for #ELTchat?

If you have an idea for a topic for next Wednesday’s chat then leave it as a comment below this post and we will include it in the poll once voting starts on Monday 3 March. Since we now only have one chat a week, we will add unsuccessful topics from the previous week to the poll.

 

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 Photo Credit: [Renegade] via Compfight cc

Time of Next #ELTchat

The top choice in the poll will be discussed at 12.00 p.m. GMT on Wednesday 5 March.

Click here to view the time in your time zone

 

Please bear in mind

  • If you are proposing a topic you should try and join the chat if it is chosen.
  • Chat moderators do monitor the voting. There have been recent cases of block voting which has skewed and manipulated the polls. In such cases 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

Ideally you need to suggest a topic that:

  • has not been covered already in previous #ELTchats
  • is relevant to ELT teachers and teaching foreign languages
  • is not targeted attacks on individuals or institutions
  • is simply and clearly expressed.  It may be edited if too long for the poll. Think 140 characters or less!

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.

Phil Longwell

EFL teacher, EAP tutor and ESOL volunteer

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