March 26 #CdnELTchat: Dealing with Sensitive Topics in ELT

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On March 26th, ELT practitioners from across Canada and beyond connected on Twitter for #CdnELTchat to talk about Dealing with Sensitive Topics in ELT. Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) kept the conversation moving by posting questions, while Augusta Avram (@LINCinstructor) helped out by replying and retweeting, and Svetlana Lupasco (@stanzasl) and Jennifer (@jennifermchow) provided background support.

We’ve also collected the discussion around each question using Wakelet. Click to read all 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.

Having diverse students in our classrooms means that there are usually diverse perspectives, especially when it comes to sensitive topics. Discussing sensitive topics can be a minefield, but it can also be a rich educational experience. Click below to read the conversation around each question.

Q1: What are some examples of sensitive topics that you have encountered in your classroom? How did you deal with them?

  • Click here to read the conversation around Q1.

Q2: Do you try to avoid all things PARSNIP (politics, alcohol, religion, sex, narcotics, -isms, pork)? What do you do if a students brings up one of these topics?

  • Click here to read the conversation around Q2.

Q3: Do settlement teachers have different responsibilities with regards to sensitive topics than teachers in general ESL or EAP programs?

  • Click here to read the conversation around Q3.

Q4: Is it better to wait for students to raise issues or is it an expected part of our work in ELT?

  • Click here to read the conversation around Q4.

Q5: How do you handle disagreements among students about sensitive issues?  

  • 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.

  • In a multicultural class, many topics need to be handled with sensitivity. Are there any resources that you can recommend  to help teachers navigate difficult conversations?
  • In your class, how do you handle tragic world events like the cyclone in Africa, the airliner crash in Ethiopia, or the mosque shootings in New Zealand?
  • Do settlement teachers have different responsibilities with regards to sensitive topics than teachers in general ESL or EAP programs?

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 Jennifer Chow

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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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

 

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.

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.

November 6 #CdnELTchat: Encouraging Learner Autonomy and Accountability

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What does it mean for learners to be autonomous and accountable? How do you teach students to take responsibility of their own learning? What roles does metacognition play in learner autonomy? These are some of the questions that a group of educators tackled on November 6th.  Bonnie Jean Nicholas (@EALStories) and Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow) moderated a #CdnELTchat to explore this topic.

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

Q1: What does it mean for learners to be autonomous and accountable?

Click HERE to read A1 tweets.

Q2. What are some obstacles that stand in the way of learner autonomy and accountability?

Click HERE to read A2 tweets.

Q3: How do you teach students to be autonomous learners? i.e. to be accountable, to take responsibility, to self-assess, and self-monitor their own learning?

Click HERE to read A3 tweets.

Q4: How can we give feedback in a way that fosters learner autonomy and accountability?

Click HERE to read A4 tweets.

Q5: What role does metacognition play in learner autonomy? What activities do you use to help students develop metacognitive strategies?

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 on November 27th. Add your ideas HERE.

 

October 23 #CdnELTchat: Teaching Learning Strategies and Study Skills

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Being able to use learning strategies and study skills can empower students to become independent learners. What learning strategies and study skills do English language learners need to support their language learning journey? Bonnie Jean Nicholas (@EALStories) and Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow) moderated a #CdnELTchat to explore this topic.

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

Q1: Do you distinguish between skills and strategies? How? How do you define these terms? 
Click HERE to read A1 tweets.

Q2. Do you think learning strategies and study skills need to be explicitly taught to students? Why or why not?
Click HERE to read A2 tweets.

Q3: What learning strategies and study skills do you teach your students?
Click HERE to read A3 tweets.

Q4: What paper-based or digital tools or apps do you introduce to your students to help them study?
Click HERE to read A4 tweets.

Q5: How do you (or do you) teach the “soft skills” (people skills, emotional intelligence) necessary for success, like stress management, anxiety reduction, and time management?  Is there room for this in your program?
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 on November 6th. Add your ideas HERE.

October 9 #CdnELTchat: Content Curation

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With the increase of accessible information and resources online, what can educators and students do to curate content effectively?  Bonnie Jean Nicholas (@EALStories) and Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow) moderated a #CdnELTchat on “Content Curation” to explore this topic.

Thank-you so much to the enthusiastic participants who chatted about the following questions and more:

Q1: What does content curation mean for you? How do you benefit from curation?
Click HERE to read A1 tweets.

Q2. What online tools do you use to curate resources?
Click HERE to read A2 tweets.

Q3: How do you organize your resources? By skill? By level? By competency? By topic? Click HERE to read A3 tweets.

Q4: How do you decide if a resource is worth keeping? With so many accessible online resources, are ELT books obsolete?
Click HERE to read A4 tweets.

Q5: Why should students learn how to curate resources? What skills do they need to do this?
Click HERE to read A5 tweets.

Q6: What are you curating now? What can you share that you want others to see or contribute to?
Click HERE to read A6 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 on October 23rd. Add your ideas HERE.