#CdnELTchat Summary for October 8, 2019 (Using Comics and Graphic Novels to Teach Language)

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October 8, 2019 #CdnELTchat (Using Comics and Graphic Novels to Teach Language)
by Jennifer Chow

My interest in graphic novels began when my oldest borrowed Shaun Tan’s The Arrival from the library. As she grew up, we read many more graphic novels together, including all of Raina Telgemeier’s insightful stories, Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese and most recently, the graphic novel adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. That is why I was especially interested in how graphic novels can be used in the adult EAL classroom. 

On the night of the chat, we were excited to have a couple of first-time #CdnELTchat-ters join the conversation. We hope to have even more first timers join us next time. Thank-you to our moderators, Bonnie Nicholas and Augusta Avram, and all those who added their thoughts before, during and after the chat. 

Here are a few of the ideas that came out of the chat:

  • graphic novels offer opportunities for the development of visual literacy and multimodal skill 
  • although they are easier to read, they bring the benefits of reading a book
  • graphic novels are more conversational, so reading them aloud encourages pronunciation practice
  • webcomics may be more accessible because they are usually free 
  • they can encourage reluctant readers
  • they can be used as a scaffold for writing a coherent story
  • graphic novels offer opportunities for adult ELLs to explore new worlds from a safe space
  • they challenge  us to consider sources of knowledge and learning other than the traditional ones 
  • instructors should model making connections between the images and text and teach the order of reading the text
  • it’s important to pay attention to who the authors and illustrators are when using comics, especially when your goal is to introduce diverse perspectives and ensure representation
  • instructors need more training in how to use them
  • learners need access to them
    • online options are available
    • library outreach might be possible

All the resources that were shared can be found here: Resources for using comics and graphic novels to teach language. Please feel free to add resources to this live document. 

These are the questions that guided the chat:

Q1: Have you used graphic novels or comics in your classes? Which ones?  #CdnELTchat

Q2: What tools and resources are needed to start using comics and graphic novels in your classes?  #CdnELTchat

Q3: Because of the visual element, comics and graphic novels may be more accessible to ELLs, especially literacy learners. How can we use comics to enhance language learning in our classes?  #CdnELTchat

Q4: Fiction can be one way to introduce ELLs to different perspectives and to have a more inclusive representation in learning materials. How can we use comics in this way?  #CdnELTchat

Q5: What learning outcomes could be met by using graphic novels with adult ELLs? How can comics and graphic novels be used to develop skills besides reading?  #CdnELTchat 

You can find the tweets by searching Twitter for our hashtag, #CdnELTchat, but we’ve also collected the tweets from both the live and the follow-up asynchronous chat using Wakelet: #CdnELTchat Summary on Using Comics and Graphic Novels to Teach Language

The #CdnELTchat team is looking for people who would be interested in facilitating one of our bi-monthly chats.  Please let a member of the team know if you are interested in co-moderating a live chat, or in collecting and writing the summaries which are posted on the BC TEAL and TESL Ontario blogs. Other provincial #ELT associations are also welcome to share. If you would like to volunteer, or have ideas for chats, contact any of us: Jennifer @jennifermchow, Augusta @ELTAugusta, Svetlana @StanzaSL, or Bonnie @EALStories.  Post ideas anytime on our Padlet, https://padlet.com/BonnieJean/CdnELTchat

Jen Bio PicJennifer is passionate about learning how technology can empower her students. After experiencing how technology enabled her to stay connected as an educator, a parent and an active citizen, she is motivated to find the same opportunities for her students. Twitter: @jennifermchow

 

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#CdnELTchat Summary for September 24, 2019 (Self-care for teachers)

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#CdnELTchat Summary for September 24, 2019 (Self-care for teachers)
By Bonnie Nicholas

#CdnELTchat returned from our summer hiatus on September 24th with a timely discussion on teacher self-care. We were thrilled that Patrice Palmer (@positiveupside) accepted our invitation to be a guest moderator. Patrice is well-known for her work as an advocate, adult educator, trainer, and writer. As she writes on her website https://www.patricepalmer.ca, “Teachers need to put themselves first and adopt self-care strategies to reduce stress, build resilience, promote physical health and increase their well-being.”

As always, during the live chat, participants had a lively discussion responding to the questions posted by our moderator, Augusta Avram. And as always, people who couldn’t participate in the live chat added to the richness of the conversation afterwards through the #slowburn format. Thanks to everyone who participated! A couple of themes emerged from the ongoing conversation: #ELT can be stressful work, and we need to take care of ourselves and support each other. Some ideas that were shared included having an emergency self-care kit, remembering that “no” is a complete sentence, making  time and space to debrief, blocking off me time, advocating for ourselves as well as for our students, setting boundaries, and remembering the importance of exercise and physical health.

Patrice shared a favourite quote from Eleanor Brown, “Replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” Wise words! We’d like to thank Patrice for generously sharing her time and expertise with us. 

These were the questions that we used to ignite discussion during our chat:

Q1: What are some beliefs around what it means to be a “good teacher”  that impacts or impedes self-care? How can we challenge these beliefs to positively influence our well-being? 

Q2: Most of us went into ELT because we care and want to make a difference. Our work has a lot of inherent stress. How can we learn to set boundaries and say no?  

Q3: Many of us have stressful work environments, with ever-increasing demands. How can we advocate for ourselves? 

Q4: How can we carve time in our day for self-care? 

Q5: Many of us are once again back in the classroom after the summer, hoping to avoid the stresses and near burn-out that often happens as the term progresses. What’s one thing that we teachers can do to take care of ourselves?

You can find the tweets by searching Twitter for our hashtag, #CdnELTchat, but we’ve also collected the tweets from both the live and the follow-up asynchronous chat using Wakelet: #CdnELTchat Summary on Teacher Self-care

The #CdnELTchat team is looking for people who would be interested in facilitating one of our bi-monthly chats.  Please let a member of the team know if you are interested in co-moderating a love chat, or in collecting and writing the summaries which are posted on the BC TEAL and TESL Ontario blogs. Other provincial #ELT associations are also welcome to share. If you would like to volunteer, or have ideas for chats, contact any of us: Jennifer @jennifermchow, Augusta @ELTAugusta, Svetlana @StanzaSL, or Bonnie @EALStories.  Post ideas anytime on our Padlet, https://padlet.com/BonnieJean/CdnELTchat

zAB6NaOy_400x400Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) is an enthusiastic participant in the bi-monthly #CdnELTchat as well as a member of the #CdnELTchat team along with Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL), Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow), and Augusta Avram (@LINCInstructor). Bonnie teaches LINC at NorQuest College in Edmonton.

 

June 25 #CdnELTchat: Encouraging reflective practice for ourselves and our students

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#CdnELTchat summary for June 25, 2019
Encouraging reflective practice for ourselves and our students
Bonnie Nicholas

A small but mighty group of ELT gathered on Twitter on the last Tuesday in June to reflect and discuss questions around reflective practice. These are the questions that guided our discussion:

Q1: What does reflective practice mean to you? What does a reflective classroom community look like?

Q2: What are some ways to weave reflective practices into our daily routine? How much time should we spend in reflection? What’s the best timeline for reflection – daily? weekly? moments throughout the day? How can we find (or make) time for reflection for ourselves with all the demands being placed on us?

Q3: How can we guide students to become reflective learners? What are some strategies you use that help guide student reflection? What are some obstacles and possible solutions to student reflections in your class?

Q4: Is it best to do reflective practice individually (eg. keeping a journal to write reflections on our teaching practice) or with others (eg. debriefing with colleagues to reflect on our teaching practice)? Or, if one isn’t better than the other, what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches?

Q5: What are two things in your practice that are working for you? Looking back, how did you grow as an educator this year?

Q6: Looking ahead, what is something in your practice that you think you should either change or let go in the following year? What professional activities, resources or relationships do you need to have access to in order to make these changes?

You can find the collected tweets on Wakelet: https://wke.lt/w/s/3hudfv. Thanks to Jennifer Chow for keeping the questions coming during the chat. Special thanks to Augusta Avram for finding and sharing some articles on reflective practice to get the conversation started. You’ll find the links in the archived tweets. 

The #CdnELTchat team will be taking a break during the summer months. @jennifermchow, @ELTAugusta, @EALstories, and @StanzaSL will be back in the fall with more Tuesday evening chats. In the meantime, please contact any of us if you have any ideas for topics or questions, or if you’re interested in helping with the chats.  As well, our Padlet is always open for comments: https://padlet.com/BonnieJean/CdnELTchat. And of course, please continue to tweet your ideas and links using the #CdnELTchat hashtag. Happy summer!

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Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) is an enthusiastic participant in the bi-monthly #CdnELTchat as well as a member of the #CdnELTchat team along with Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL), Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow), and Augusta Avram (@LINCInstructor). Bonnie teaches LINC at NorQuest College in Edmonton.

 

June 4 #CdnELTchat: Good Practice in Teaching Vocabulary

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Compiled by Bonnie Nicholas

On June 4, 2019, the #CdnELTchat community brought their best and briefest words to talk about good practice in teaching vocabulary. We chose good practice over best practice because what is best can change and can depend on context. Agree? Disagree? Tweet your comments using the #CdnELTchat hashtag.

Here are some brief highlights of the tweets for each question:

Q1. What does it mean for students to learn or know a word? What strategies do your students use to consolidate this knowledge?

  • form(s), meaning, use, pronunciation, collocations, colligations, connotation, context, register, theme, frequency, grammar, lexical chunks, pragmatics, regularity

Q2. What does the teaching of vocabulary look like in your classroom? What informs your decisions to teach specific vocabulary? Would you describe your approach to teaching vocabulary as more structured or more eclectic?

  • principled eclecticism
  • thinking about receptive and productive tiered vocabulary
  • strategies, modeling, scaffolding, interleaving
  • realia, surrender value, back to the well

Q3. What are some quick and engaging ways to review vocabulary in class?

  • lead-in phrases
  • Quizlet, vocabulary cards or notebooks

Q4. What websites or tools do you use with your students to help them learn vocabulary?

Q5. How do you utilize word lists, like GSL or AWL, or concepts, like tiered vocabulary? How do you  create vocabulary activities based on corpus analysis?

  • always in context
  • Think about receptive vs productive vocabulary

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow a Twitter chat by searching for #CdnELTchat hashtag, but we’ve also collected the relevant tweets. All the questions and answers have been collected in this summary on Wakelet.

We collect questions and comments for each chat on this Padlet. There are always more questions than we can discuss in an hour-long chat, so we are sharing these extra questions for self-reflection or for tweeting your thoughts using the hashtag #CdnELTchat.   

  • How do you encourage vocabulary acquisition outside of class?
  • What are some misconceptions regarding the teaching or learning of vocabulary?
  • What have you found to be effective when teaching vocabulary? What have you found to be ineffective when teaching vocabulary?
  • How do you tackle spelling  when teaching vocabulary?
  • How do changes in society impact our teaching of vocabulary? (#SOGIE, #reconciliation, #settler, #Fakenews, etc. )

And our favourite final question, which we almost never have time to use:

  • What are you going to do differently as a result of our chat?  

If you’re new to Twitter or curious about how a Twitter chat works, you can check out this post on the BC TEAL blog, How to join a Twitter chat. The #CdnELTchat community on Twitter is always helpful, and the #CdnELTchat team can also answer questions. Just tweet or DM any of us: Augusta (@ELTAugusta), Bonnie (@EALstories), and Jennifer (@jennifermchow), or Svetlana (@StanzaSL).

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Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) is an enthusiastic participant in the bi-monthly #CdnELTchat as well as a member of the #CdnELTchat team along with Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL), Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow), and Augusta Avram (@LINCInstructor). Bonnie teaches LINC at NorQuest College in Edmonton.

 

BC TEAL Grab and Go

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BC Teal Grab and Go

Vancouver Island Regional Event

There were lots of laughs and fun interaction as teachers from UVIC’s English Language Centre (ELC) presented ideas to a gathering of BC Teal members and EAL teachers at The Grad House at UVIC on Friday, June 7th.  Teachers presented ideas on how to create greater success for students in speaking exams when answering abstract questions to injecting drama and music into your icebreakers and closers in the classroom.   Some brilliant ideas for vocabulary development were presented using student created vocabulary books, along with using relevant short films with worksheets from Ready to Go.   All four presenters created a fun afternoon of learning and discussion.

Snacks and finger food followed in The Grad House restaurant. It was a relaxing and informative mixer for everyone.

May 14 #CdnELTchat: Challenging Assumptions in ELT

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Compiled by Jennifer Chow

On May 14th, #CdnELTchat enthusiasts discussed assumptions that teachers and students had in #ELT. It was very useful to uncover and question our assumptions because they can impact the way we interact with our students, and the way they interact with each other. 

Here are the highlights of the tweets for each question:

Q1: What assumptions do students in your classes have about #ELT?

  • passive learning and active learning
  • ownership of learning
  • student learning
  • cross-cultural awareness

Q2: Have your assumptions about ELT changed since you began teaching? How so?

  • unpaid hours
  • PPP model (Presentation, Production, Practice)
  • English-only policy
  • the fun factor

Q3: What assumptions do teachers have about their students that may negatively impact their teaching practice? How can teachers avoid making these assumptions?

  • the best way to teach/learn
  • student behaviour, motivation and behaviour

Q4: What assumptions do students in your classes have about particular groups of people? What strategies do you use to challenge these assumptions?

  • intercultural perspectives
  • safe classrooms

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow a Twitter chat by searching for #CdnELTchat hashtag, but we’ve also collected the relevant tweets. Because the conversation was so wide-ranging, all the questions and answers have been collected in this summary on Wakelet.  

We’ve created a Google Doc with ideas for further reading and resources: http://bit.ly/ChallengingAssumptionsinELT. Thanks to everyone who shared resources! Please add any additional links and resources that you have found useful; we will continue to update this Doc as well.

We collect questions and comments for each chat on this Padlet. There are always more questions than we can discuss in an hour-long chat, so we are sharing these extra questions for self-reflection or for tweeting your thoughts using the hashtag #CdnELTchat.   

  • What assumptions do administrators and other stakeholders have about #ELT
  • What are you going to differently as a result of our chat?

If you’re new to Twitter or curious about how a Twitter chat works, you can check out this post on the BC TEAL blog, How to join a Twitter chat. The #CdnELTchat community on Twitter is always helpful, and the #CdnELTchat team can also answer questions. Just tweet or DM any of us: Augusta (@ELTAugusta), Bonnie (@EALstories), and Jennifer (@jennifermchow), or Svetlana (@StanzaSL).

Jen Bio PicJennifer is passionate about learning how technology can empower her students. After experiencing how technology enabled her to stay connected as an educator, a parent and an active citizen, she is motivated to find the same opportunities for her students. Twitter: @jennifermchow

 

April 30 #CdnELTchat: Trans Canada: Making #LGBTQ+ Materials Accessible

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By Bonnie Nicholas

The April 30 #CdnELTchat was our second follow-up chat to a @TutelaCanada webinar. Participants from across Canada and the U.S. were joined by our special guest moderators, Rowan Furlotte (@rojfurlotte) and Kate Ross (@kate_ross_isans) of ISANS in Nova Scotia after their April 24 webinar, Trans Canada: Making #LGBTQ+ Materials Accessible to Clients and Instructors. Thanks once again to Diane Ramanathan (@ram_diane), Tutela Community Coordinator, for facilitating this collaboration. We hope to do more of these in the future.

Here are some key points from the chat:

  • LGBTQ rights are human rights.
  • Students/clients and staff/admin/instructors/managers need constant, normalized, embedded exposure to #LGBTQ+ people and themes.
  • Ask students to think critically about who is included and who is not in texts and classroom materials.
  • Use inclusive language (think singular they) and images (think non-binary).
  • Teacher training is a must; try to involve local community groups.

We’ve created a Google Doc with ideas for further reading and resources: http://bit.ly/LGBTQinELT. Thanks to everyone who shared resources! Please add any additional links and resources that you have found useful; we will continue to update this Doc as well.

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow a Twitter chat by searching for #CdnELTchat hashtag, but we’ve also collected the relevant tweets. Because the conversation was so wide-ranging, all the questions and answers have been collected in this summary on Wakelet.  

Q1 What are some ways that I can open up a discussion around #LGBTQ issues in my classroom?

Q2 How can I be sure that I am using the right language, especially if I am not a member of the #LGBTQ community?

Q3 How can we tease out the difference between inclusion and belonging? In other words, what can we do in our classrooms to make sure #LGBTQ students really feel like they belong?

Q4 What strategies or resources can you recommend for instructors who may be uncomfortable talking about #LGBTQ+ issues with students?

Q5 What are some ways that someone who is not a member of the #LGBTQ+ community can be an ally to #LGBTQ+ coworkers and students, especially in the education context?

Q6 If I can just take one small step in my class this term, what is the most important thing to do?

We collect questions and comments for each chat on this Padlet. There are always more questions than we can discuss in an hour-long chat, so we are sharing these extra questions for self-reflection or for tweeting your thoughts using the hashtag #CdnELTchat.   

  • What are some ways that someone who is not a member of the #LGBTQ+ community can be an ally to #LGBTQ+ coworkers and students if they experience homophobia or transphobia?
  • What #LGBTQ+ resources can you recommend using with students, especially at lower CLB levels?
  • Can you recommend any online resources for up-to-date information for news and resources for integrating #LGBTQ+ information into our classes?
  • Many of us are already Indigenizing the curriculum, integrating #Indigenous ways of knowing into our teaching. What are some ways to seamlessly integrate awareness of the #LGBTQ+ community in the same way?

Our final question (which we rarely get to during the chat) is always the same:

  • What are you going to do differently as a result of tonight’s chat?

While I was preparing the summary, I came across #queer_educhat. The inaugural chat for this hashtag was held on May 1, and participants not only shared their ideas and stories but also some awesome resources. Read their chat summary here. As well, Tyson Seburn’s (@seburnt) plenary from #BCTEAL19, Our Materials Oxymoron and the Inclusion of LGBTQIA Narratives is now posted on the @bcteal YouTube channel.

If you’re new to Twitter or curious about how a Twitter chat works, you can check out this post on the BC TEAL blog, How to join a Twitter chat. The #CdnELTchat community on Twitter is always helpful, and the #CdnELTchat team can also answer questions. Just tweet or DM any of us: Augusta (@ELTAugusta), Bonnie (@EALstories), and Jennifer (@jennifermchow), or Svetlana (@StanzaSL).

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Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) is an enthusiastic participant in the bi-monthly #CdnELTchat as well as a member of the #CdnELTchat team along with Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL), Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow), and Augusta Avram (@LINCInstructor). Bonnie teaches LINC at NorQuest College in Edmonton.