Category Archives: Reflections

Video – Teaching, learning and reflective practice in ELT

Here is a clip from the talk I gave at Oxford Tefl in Barcelona in February about using mobile phones for teaching and learning. I really enjoyed sharing my ideas with the attendees and all the feedback and interaction which helped me for giving further talks on the subject, and presenting my ideas in general.

Seeing myself on film has been been invaluable for learning how I come across when presenting.  I have watched the footage repeatedly for reflective practice and to observe my presentation style, and as a corrective tool to consider any changes or improvements that could be made to my presentations.

I will be sharing my ideas about the use of video for teaching learning at the Innovate ELT conference on the 9th May.

Reading on line: Differentiating the construction of meaning between exposure to online texts afforded by Web 2.0 technologies and printed texts

Do learners use a bottom-up learning process which shifts from implicit to explicit knowledge, or top-down, learning which goes from explicit to implicit?

Online reading has become a major source in the field of ELT. It is easy to access, up to date and diverse, but it relies on self-regulated reading strategies to construct meaning.

As teachers, we need to help learners cognitively respond to online texts and attempt to reduce the many distractions that reading on the internet can offer. Does it really matter if they are reading anyway? Well, yes, it has been argued, (Barbules 1998), that the linear nature of printed texts makes them selective and exclusive, whereas there is no limit to the distractions online texts can provide; voice threads, further links, moving images, audio, pop ups… which means that different strategies need to be employed to filter the information and ensure that input, storage and retrieval are as effective as they would be with exposure to a static printed text.

The future of the textbook…

I often wonder about the juxtaposition between learners enrolling on language courses and proudly picking up their shiny new textbooks, and the use of technology for language learning. I mean, if you don’t have a kindle yourself, you definitely know somebody who does, and I am sure we all have some form of digitised printed matter on our computers. So, then, what does this mean for the future of the textbook? Will the integration of technology result in the obsolescence of printed matter? Can synchronous language learning become fully digitized? What do you think?

Technology – Enabling or disabling

Can the affordances of technology provide enough opportunities for the net generation to successfully learn a language or have they become limited by its complexity, glitches in hardware and software, and feeling isolated in the sea of cyberspace? Does the flood of VLE’s inhibit learning because they serve as CMS’s that confuse learners as they attempt to navigate their way around them? Has faculty become dazzled by the opportunities to integrate technology into language learning without considering real learner needs and the realities of its integration from a learner and a teacher perspective?

Just a thought