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.

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.