March 12 #CdnELTchat: Teaching Intercultural Awareness and Communication

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On March 12, ELT practitioners from across Canada and the U.S. connected on Twitter for #CdnELTchat to talk about the challenging topic of Teaching Intercultural Awareness and Communication. Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow) kept the conversation moving by posting questions, while Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) helped out by replying and retweeting, and Augusta Avram (@LINCinstructor) and Svetlana Lupasco (@stanzasl) provided background support.

Yecid Ortega (@OrtegaYecid) as our special guest moderator for this chat. Yecid is a PhD candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. Learn more about Yecid and his research interests on his website, AndJustice4All.

This #CdnELTchat was a follow-up to Yecid’s very engaging Tutela webinar on this same topic. Thanks to Diane Ramanathan (@ram_diane), Tutela Community Coordinator, for facilitating this collaboration.  

This was an intense discussion, with many shared ideas and resources. There were so many excellent resources that we’ve collected them in a separate document. This is a living document, so you are welcome to add to the list. 

Click here to access the collection of resources.

We’ve also collected the discussion around each question using Wakelet. Click to read the questions and replies. You can also search for the hashtag, #CdnELTchat, on Twitter to read the full discussion and to continue adding to the conversation.

Q1: What is culture? Do we need a common definition of culture before we can start talking about intercultural competence?

Click here to read the conversation around Q1.

Q2: What is the relationship between intercultural awareness, diversity, and inclusion?

Click here to read the conversation around Q2.

Q3: How can we as teachers be sure that we ourselves are interculturally aware and interculturally competent?

Click here to read the conversation around Q3.

Q4: What elements of intercultural awareness / intercultural competence should be in a curriculum for adult newcomers?

Click here to read the conversation around Q4.

Q5: If we can only do one thing with our classes each term to increase intercultural awareness, what should that be?

Click here to read the conversation around Q5.

#CdnELTchat is a collaborative effort that we hope will lead to more reflective practice for all of us. We collect questions in advance of each chat on Padlet, and then choose 5 or 6 for the hour-long chat. Our Padlet, Questions and Topics for #CdnELTchat, is always open for comments. Here are all the great questions we received but didn’t have time to use.

  • Dialogue and understanding take time. How do we go deeper into time-crunched learning contexts?
  • How is multiculturalism different from interculturalism?
  • Many EAL teachers have heavy workloads and prescribed learning outcomes. What are some low-prep classroom activities to increase intercultural awareness?
  • Where does intercultural communication fit into teaching ELLs? Is our goal to improve the intercultural awareness of our students? or do we want to try to help them reach some level of intercultural competence?
  • Do you have a favourite resource that you use to help newcomers raise their cultural awareness?
  • What are some ways to seamlessly integrate intercultural awareness regularly into our classes?

We always have this final question ready, although we rarely have time to post it. This is something that I use for my own reflective practice after our chats have ended:

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

#CdnELTchat is held about every two weeks during the school year (we take the summers off) on Tuesday nights at 6 Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central, 9 Eastern, and 10 Atlantic. We encourage you to continue the #slowburn conversation after the live chat. Check out the hashtag if you’re on Twitter, and please continue adding to the conversation.

And please contact any of the team members if you have ideas for chats or if you’d like to help out, maybe by co-moderating a chat or collecting the tweets for a summary like this one.  

Compiled by Bonnie Nicholas and Jennifer Chow
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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.

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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February 26 #CdnELTchat: Giving Quality #Feedback

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On February 26th, ELT practitioners connected on Twitter for #CdnELTchat to discuss Giving Quality #Feedback, a topic that was chosen by #CdnELTchat enthusiasts. Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow) kept the conversation moving by posting questions, while Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) helped out by replying and retweeting, and Augusta Avram (@LINCinstructor) and Svetlana Lupasco (@stanzasl) provided background support. Please contact any of the team members if you have ideas for chats or if you’d like to help out, maybe by co-moderating a chat or collecting the tweets for a summary like this one.  

Feedback can be very powerful if done well. Good feedback gives students information they need so they can understand where they are in their learning and what to do next. During the conversation, we shared tips, experiences and resources on giving effective feedback. We’ve collected the discussion around each question using Wakelet. Click to read the questions and replies.

Q1: How do you give feedback to your students? Do you give feedback differently for the receptive skills than you do for the productive skills?

Click here to read the conversation around Q1.

Q2: How can we make feedback meaningful for students and less time-consuming for teachers?

Click here to read the conversation around Q2.

Q3: What ideas do you have to help learners attend to feedback? How do we make sure that learners not only read the feedback provided to them, but also act on it?

Click here to read the conversation around Q3.

Q4: Does feedback even make a difference to student learning?

Click here to read the conversation around Q4.

Q5: How has technology changed the way you give feedback?

Click here to read the conversation around Q5.

#CdnELTchat is a collaborative effort that we hope will lead to more reflective practice for all of us. We collect questions in advance of each chat on Padlet, and then choose 5 or 6 for the hour-long chat. Our Padlet, Questions and Topics for #CdnELTchat, is always open for comments. Here are all the great questions we received but didn’t have time to use.

  • What tips do you have for group or whole-class feedback?
  • Have you tried peer feedback? Has it been successful for you?
  • What role do rubrics play in giving feedback?
  • How can we give meaningful feedback that helps students become more independent learners?
  • Are we wasting our time even giving feedback, if students don’t attend to our feedback? Are there better ways for student to improve their language skills than through formative assessment?
  • How can we give action-oriented feedback without spending hours in the evenings and on weekends?
  • How do you decide when to give feedback, how to give feedback, how much feedback to give, and what kind of feedback to give?

#CdnELTchats are held about every two weeks during the school year (we take the summers off) on Tuesday nights at 6 Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central, 9 Eastern, and 10 Atlantic. Even if you’ve missed the synchronous part of #CdnELTchat, it’s not too late to join the conversation. We encourage you to continue the #slowburn conversation after the live chat. Check out the hashtag if you’re on Twitter.

February 12 #CdnELTchat: Supporting Teachers New to the #ELT Profession

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On February 12, ELT practitioners from across Canada and the U.S. connected on Twitter for #CdnELTchat on the topic of Supporting teachers new to the #ELT profession. Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow) kept the conversation moving by posting questions, while Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) helped out by replying and retweeting, and Augusta Avram (@LINCinstructor) and Svetlana Lupasco (@stanzasl) provided background support. Please contact any of the team members if you have ideas for chats or if you’d like to help out, maybe by co-moderating a chat or collecting the tweets for a summary like this one.  

During the chat, we shared stories about what we know now and what we wish we’d known then. There were lots of great ideas by and for both new and experienced teachers. The conversation was a good reminder for me that everyone struggles when they first start out teaching, and that the struggles can continue even if you are an experienced teacher. We’ve collected the discussion around each question using Wakelet. Click to read the questions and replies.

Q1: Where are you in your career? What was the biggest challenge you had as a new teacher?

Click here to read the conversation around Q1.

Q2: If you could write a letter to yourself at the start of your career, what advice would you give yourself?

Click here to read the conversation around Q2.

Q3: How do you overcome the nerves of teaching your first few classes?

Click here to read the conversation around Q3.

Q4: How can continuing teachers mentor and help each other, as well as those new to the profession?

Click here to read the conversation around Q4.

Q5: What is the best way to transfer what you’ve learned to actual practice in the classroom?

Click here to read the conversation around Q5.

Q6:  What role do professional associations play in supporting teachers new to the #ELT profession?

Click here to read the conversation around Q6.

#CdnELTchat is a collaborative effort that we hope will lead to more reflective practice for all of us. We collect questions in advance of each chat on Padlet, and then choose 5 or 6 for the hour-long chat. Our Padlet, Questions and Topics for #CdnELTchat, is always open for comments. Here are all the great questions we received but didn’t have time to use.

  • What kind of support can you offer teachers new to the #ELT profession? What kind of support do you need from experienced #ELT teachers?
  • How can we mentor each other throughout our careers?
  • How can experienced teachers be encouraged to support new teachers?
  • How can new teachers support each other?
  • What kind of mentoring do new teachers need?
  • As a teacher new to the #ELT profession, what is your greatest worry?
  • As a teacher new to the #ELT profession, what questions do you have for more experienced teachers?
  • Is there a best practice/structure when transferring what you’ve learned to actual practice in the classroom (such as grammar)?
  • How do teachers stay motivated?
  • What do you wish you had known when you started teaching?
  • What is your top tip for new teachers?
  • How can continuing teachers mentor and help each other, as well as those new to the profession?
  • What do you wish you had known when you started teaching?

#CdnELTchats are held about every two weeks during the school year (we take the summers off) on Tuesday nights at 6 Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central, 9 Eastern, and 10 Atlantic. We encourage you to continue the #slowburn conversation after the live chat. Check out the hashtag if you’re on Twitter.

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.

January 29 #CdnELTchat: Balancing language and #Edtech in the classroom

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The creative tension of #edtech and language instruction was the topic of the January 29 #CdnELTchat. Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow) and Augusta Avram (@LINCinstructor) co-moderated this chat, which saw participants sharing ideas and resources.

#CdnELT chats are held about every two weeks from September to June. Topics are posted in advance, and we collect questions and ideas on our Padlet wall, Questions and Topics for #CdnELTchat. Everyone is welcome to participate, or simply to follow along. Summaries of our chats are posted on the @BCTEAL and @TESLOntario blogs.

You can read the discussion around individual questions here, or search for the hashtag #CdnELTchat on Twitter. Many #CdnELT professionals tweet and retweet articles, links, and resources between chats using the #CdnELTchat hashtag.

Q1: How has technology changed the way you teach?

Click here to read the conversation around Q1.

Q2: How do you determine which #edtech tools to use in your classroom? Do students have a say in this?  

Click here to read the conversation around Q2.

Q3: What are some #edtech tools or resources you couldn’t do without? If you were to choose just one to recommend to a novice teacher, what would that be?

Click here to read the conversation around Q3.

Q4: What strategies do you use to stay informed about the latest #edtech tools and their relevance to your teaching context?

Click here to read the conversation around Q4.

Q5: Should we teach digital citizenship skills, or should we just focus on using #edtech tools to help students improve language skills?  

Click here to read the conversation around Q5.

As always, there were some additional thoughtful questions posted on our Padlet that we just didn’t have time to discuss. We’ll continue the topic in a future #CdnELTchat.  In the meantime, here are the questions for reflection:

  • How can we address the inequity in tech resources and support in programs across the country? Is there an advocacy role for EAL instructors in thIs?  
  • It’s not just language and #edtech that need to be balanced; tech skills are also part of the equation. How do we decide where to focus and place our time and energies in the classroom?
  • What tech tools make a teacher’s life easier?
  • With all the pressures on ESL/EAL teachers (especially in LINC) how much time can we reasonably allot to teaching tech skills?
  • Is there one digital skill that students need more than any other?
  • In foundational classes, should we be teaching tech skills as an end in themselves? or should we just be using edtech tools to help students improve their language skills?
  • What are some ways you use technology in your day to day life that you feel the students in your class should also use?

Thanks to all the participants from across the country who shared their ideas in this chat. #CdnELTchats are held about every second Tuesday on Twitter. Please join the conversation!

January 15 #CdnELTchat: Resolutions in #ELT

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#CdnELTchat got off to a thoughtful start in 2019 with a focused chat on Resolutions in #ELT. Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow) led the discussion by posting the questions, with Augusta Avram (@LINCinstructor) and Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) welcoming participants and replying to posts, and Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL) providing support in the background. The team has published an article reflecting on their experiences with #CdnELTchat, Building a Community of Connected ELT Professionals on Twitter. The article appears in the most recent issue of the TESL Canada Journal Special Issue, The Shifting Landscape of Professional Self-Development for ELT Practitioners.

#CdnELT chats are held about every two weeks from September to June. Topics are posted in advance, and we collect questions and ideas on our Padlet wall, Questions and Topics for #CdnELTchat. Everyone is welcome to participate, or simply to follow along. Summaries of our chats are posted on the @BCTEAL and @TESLOntario blogs.

Although the chat question responses are separated out here, as the chat unfolded organically there was a lot of back and forth. It is possible to go back to Twitter and search for #CdnELTchat. One advantage of doing this is that you will be able to read tweets that people send in between chats as people use the hashtag to share ideas and resources that they think will be of interest to other #CdnELT professionals.

Q1: Looking back at 2018, what educational opportunity did you take that you are proud of? Who supported you to achieve this?

Click here to read the conversation around Q1.

Q2: Some education people on Twitter are choosing #OneWord to inspire themselves throughout the new year. What would be your #OneWord for 2019?  

Click here to read the conversation around Q2.

Q3: If you were to make one resolution for your professional self for 2019, what would it be? What support do you need to be able to carry out your resolutions for 2019?

Click here to read the conversation around Q3.

Q4: What resource or book are you looking forward to reading in 2018?  

Click here to read the conversation around Q4.

Q5: What do you need to start, stop, or continue doing in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance in 2019?

Click here to read the conversation around Q5.

Q6: What are you concerned about in #ELT in 2019?

Click here to read the conversation around Q6.

New to #CdnELTchat?

If you have never participated in #CdnELTchat before, go to www.lincchat.ca for more information. #CdnELTchat is self-directed PD, so you determine the level of your involvement. #CdnELTchats usually occur every other Tuesday, with occasional exceptions. Please use the #CdnELTchat hashtag between chats to share thoughts and links with others. If you have any have comments about #CdnELTchat , please send @StanzaSL, @EALStories, @Jennifermchow, or @LINCinstructor a tweet. Add your ideas anytime on our Padlet HERE.

December 11 #CdnELTchat: Mindfulness in #ELT

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We hear a lot about mindfulness these days, but what does it mean to be mindful? And how can mindfulness impact our lives and our work in ELT? This was the topic of our final #CdnELTchat of 2018.

Thanks as always to the enthusiastic participants who contributed their ideas and shared resources during this chat, and to those who liked, retweeted, and added to the conversation post-chat. Using a platform like Twitter for PD means that busy ELT professionals can choose to participate synchronously or asynchronously, or by reading the summary here on this blog.

To read all the tweets on this topic, follow the complete discussion HERE.  

Q1: What does it mean to be mindful in ELT?
Click HERE to read A1 tweets.

Q2: What are some ways for educators to be mindful in our busy ELT world?
Click HERE to read A2 tweets.

Q3: Do you bring mindfulness into the classroom? If so, how do you do this?
Click HERE to read A3 tweets.

Q4: How can mindfulness help teachers?
Click HERE to read A4 tweets.

Q5: How can being mindful help our students?
Click HERE to read A5 tweets.


New to
#CdnELTchat?

If you have never participated in #CdnELTchat before, go to www.lincchat.ca for more information. #CdnELTchat is self-directed PD, so you determine the level of your involvement. #CdnELTchats usually occur every other Tuesday, with occasional exceptions. Please use the #CdnELTchat hashtag between chats to share thoughts and links with others. If you have any have comments about #CdnELTchat , please send @StanzaSL, @EALStories, @Jennifermchow, or @LINCinstructor a tweet. Please join us for the next #CdnELTchat in the new year. Add your ideas anytime on our Padlet HERE.

November 27 #CdnELTchat: Fossilized Errors

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I have been learning how to speak Mandarin for the better part of twenty years, but I still can’t produce the fourth tone correctly. I automatically say the first tone instead of the fourth tone in conversation. I am aware that I do this, yet I can’t seem to correct this bad habit. Is this a fossilized error? Is there anything I can do to overcome this error? What is the best way for my teacher to help me overcome this error? On November 27th, a group of educators discussed these questions and more on #CdnELTchat.

Thank-you so much to the enthusiastic participants who contributed their ideas and shared resources during this chat.

Q1: What are fossilized errors? What are some examples of typical fossilized errors that your students make?
Click HERE to read A1 tweets.

Q2: What causes fossilized errors? How do we push students to move on from interlanguage and ensure that their errors don’t become fossilized?
Click HERE to read A2 tweets.

Q3: How can we identify which errors to correct, especially in larger classes?
Click HERE to read A3 tweets.

Q4: Is it possible to change fossilized errors? Is it worth the effort on the students’ part? How can we approach error correction in a way that helps students tackle fossilized errors?
Click HERE to read A4 tweets.

Q5: How does the concept of English as a Lingua Franca impact how we see fossilized errors?
Click HERE to read A5 tweets.

To read all the tweets on this topic, follow the complete discussion HERE.  

New to #CdnELTchat?

If you have never participated in #CdnELTchat before, go to www.lincchat.ca for more information. #CdnELTchat is self-directed PD, so you determine the level of your involvement. #CdnELTchats usually occur every other Tuesday, with occasional exceptions. Feel free to use the #CdnELTchat hashtag between chats to share thoughts and links with others. If you have any have comments about #CdnELTchat , please send  @StanzaSL, @EALStories, @Jennifermchow, or @LINCinstructor a tweet. Please join us for the next #CdnELTchat in December. Add your ideas HERE.