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    • #36658
      Beth Melia-Leigh
      Moderator
        @beth

        Select one interesting (shortish!) article about training in different contexts to share with your peers. Choose an area that is relevant to you and/or that you would like to know more about. You can select from the list of suggested reading at the end of this unit or find something yourself. Complete this table and then share your findings from the article in the forum below.

      • #37703
        Angharad Vernon-Hunt
        Participant
          @angharad

          Hello everyone,

          I chose to read the article Learner Styles & Preferences as I’m interested in how learners learn, and was aware that (in our industry at least) we tend not to talk about learner styles as much as learner preferences. I’ve attached my thoughts here.  Thanks.

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          • #37830
            NANEES ASGHAR
            Participant
              @nanees

              I agree that learner’s preferences should be taken into account and materials modelled around them. A well observed point Angharad!

            • #38017
              Angharad Vernon-Hunt
              Participant
                @angharad

                Thanks Nanees! Now to try to decide what my own learning preferences are :scratch:

              • #37945
                Jane McKinney
                Participant
                  @erinaceus

                  I find exploring learner preferences quite interesting.  I usually point my students to an online VARK questionnaire to do and encourage them to think about the results in terms of how they organise their study skills.  I enjoyed reading your comments Angharad.

                  Jane

                • #38018
                  Angharad Vernon-Hunt
                  Participant
                    @angharad

                    Thanks Jane – and I might steal your idea for the future!

                  • #38074
                    Beth Melia-Leigh
                    Moderator
                      @beth

                      Hi Angharad,

                      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the article. As you rightly point out, there has been a move away from the fairly fixed concept of ‘learning styles’ recently in favour of the more student-centred and individualised ‘learning preferences’. Indeed, in a CELTA syllabus and assessment criteria review a couple of years ago, Cambridge replaced any mention of ‘learning styles’ with ‘learning preferences’ (although, interestingly, they have not yet done the same with DELTA!).

                      In addition to reading Angharad’s summary, I would encourage anyone who hasn’t already done so to take a read of the article as it includes lots of useful, practical suggestions of ways in which we can make small tweaks to support different learning preferences in our classrooms.

                      As you point out Angharad, many of these ideas can also be transferred to the training room and you make some good suggestions about ways in which learning preferences can be focused on with both pre- and in-service trainees. You also highlight how, as trainers, we should deliver our training programmes in a way that caters for our trainees’ learning preferences (this links with the ‘Change or die trying’ article that Nanees, John and Nosheen read).

                      Best,

                      Beth.

                  • #37828
                    NANEES ASGHAR
                    Participant
                      @nanees

                      Hi everyone,

                      I chose “Change or die trying: Introducing differentiation on initial teacher training courses (guest post)” because I was interested in research on innovating the ICCTs. Attached is my summary of the article and its relevance to my context.

                      P.S. The highly engaging article is in the ‘further reading and follow-up’ section.

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                    • #37946
                      Jane McKinney
                      Participant
                        @erinaceus

                        Being an online teacher I decided to look at the article about Remote Teacher Education.  I am intrigued by some of the perspectives of online teaching.

                        Jane

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                        • #38019
                          Angharad Vernon-Hunt
                          Participant
                            @angharad

                            Interesting to read your comments Jane and I agree that sometimes digital literacy/expertise can be used as an excuse (by both teachers and learners!) who don’t want to engage with online learning – but as you say even the most ‘basic’ online lesson can be very effective!

                             

                          • #38075
                            Beth Melia-Leigh
                            Moderator
                              @beth

                              Hi Jane,

                              Thanks for sharing your thoughts on remote teaching and, as an experienced online tutor, sharing some of your own insights. I think your points about keeping things simple and avoiding using tech just for the sake of it as well as ensuring teachers working remotely have appropriate support networks in place are particularly valid.

                              However, the article you refer to actually focused on remote teacher education (as opposed to teaching) and raised some important points I think. Firstly, there has been much less focus in the literature on the knowledge, skills and digital competences of teacher educators compared with teachers and students. Secondly, of the literature that is available, recurrent themes have been that working online is different (both in terms of educator roles and the skills needed) and that direct transfer of f2f strategies are unlikely to be effective online.

                              The author (Simon Borg) goes on to draw some conclusions about the required competences of remote teacher educators – definitely worth taking a look at in the article – before drawing on his findings from a BC-funded project that explored the experiences of in-service language teacher educators in less well-resourced contexts as they made the transition to remote teacher education in 2020. Again, I would highly recommend taking a look at these findings,  but, to summarise, the key competences required were found to be creating a positive online learning environment, motivating teachers to be active in online groups and helping teachers to improve their own digital competences.

                              The article concludes that more work is needed on particular areas of remote teacher education, so there may well be a research opportunity there if anyone is interested?

                              Best,

                              Beth.

                          • #38011
                            John Rustage
                            Participant
                              @johnrustage

                              I am bit behind all you efficient types. Like Nanees the article ‘Change or die trying’ attracted my attention so I read it yesterday and all this morning I have been having laptop problems – at the moment I am on a borrowed power cable.

                              I will complete the table asap and post it here with further comment on the article. All I can say for now is that it seems to me that regarding catering for highly varied CELTA trainees’ backgrounds; doesn’t at least some responsibility lie with CELTA syllabus writers?

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                              • #38012
                                Jane McKinney
                                Participant
                                  @erinaceus

                                  Hi John

                                  I completely sympathise, I am crazily trying to catch up now as I have no internet at home (a tree brought down the wires and they are still hanging down the side of my house).  I’m hot desking and hope I can get it all done in time.  I’m not sure I can make enough notes fast enough!

                                  I thought your point about the syllabus writers was interesting – I suppose there would be a difference between raw pre-service teachers and those who have been teaching for a long time but now just need to get certified.

                                  Jane

                                • #38025
                                  NANEES ASGHAR
                                  Participant
                                    @nanees

                                    A valid point John, just would like to add that one starting point could be to keep it flexible and model it around the teachers’ aims and needs as suggested in the blogpost. It would mean deviating from the standard outline, but that’s what makes it more dynamic. This, however will need time and a willingness to experiment.

                                • #38014
                                  Gabriela Cazan
                                  Participant
                                    @gabi

                                    One idea I really liked was in this article:

                                    IMMERSE: an institutional approach to pre- and early service teacher development.

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                                    • #38076
                                      Beth Melia-Leigh
                                      Moderator
                                        @beth

                                        Hi Gabi,

                                        Thank you for sharing your write up of the article you read on the creation of a TD programme for pre- and early-service teachers. Could you share a link to the article in case people want to read it in full?

                                        I think the support that was put in place for the teachers (e.g. being assigned mentors, opportunities for observation, focusing on reflective practice) sounds excellent and would undoubtedly be invaluable for early career stage teachers.

                                        Best,

                                        Beth.

                                    • #38037
                                      Nosheen Asghar Mirza
                                      Participant
                                        @noshin

                                        I found Karin Krummenacher “Change or die trying: Introducing differentiation on initial teacher training courses” an honest, interesting read.

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                                        • #38078
                                          Beth Melia-Leigh
                                          Moderator
                                            @beth

                                            Hi Nanees, John and Nosheen,

                                            As you all read the same article, I have taken the liberty of replying to you all together – I hope you don’t mind.

                                            Thank you for your summaries of the blog post, which, essentially, suggests that initial teacher training courses (ITTCs) (e.g. CELTA or Cert TESOL) should be differentiated in order to take trainees’ backgrounds, goals, strengths, weaknesses, etc. into account. The author suggests several ways in which this can be done, many of which the three of you have outlined in your responses. For anyone who hasn’t read this blog post, I would strongly recommend doing so for further information about some of the practicalities and logistics that may be required in order to implement such an approach as well as some practical suggestions for how to do so  (e.g. taking a flipped approach, Q&A slots and specific pre-course tasks to name but a few).

                                            I remember when trainers first started talking about this idea a few years ago (I believe Karin Krummenacher – the author of this post – was one of the first in her talk at IATEFL in 2018), it was seen as a really radical suggestion. However, since then, it is certainly something that I have seen being implemented on more and more CELTA courses, including those we run at the ELTC. These don’t have to be huge changes, but rather smaller tweaks that can be made in order to cater more appropriately to the exceedingly diverse needs of cohorts – indeed, many of the suggestions that we make in the ‘Working with varied cohorts’ topic in this unit can be applied to ITTCs.

                                            John raises the questions of course syllabuses (syllabi!) and the role of syllabus writers. Certainly with CELTA (I’m afraid I have limited experience of Trinity), the overall syllabus/course aims are sufficiently broad to allow for a certain amount of in-built flexibility (even more so with Trinity from my understanding). Courses are designed by individual centres using the syllabus and course aims and are required to adhere to certain requirements (e.g. having at least 120 contact hours and including 6 hours of teaching practice, 6 hours of observation of experienced teachers, input, peer observation, supervised lesson planning, etc.). Every course that is run worldwide is externally moderated by a Cambridge-approved assessor to ensure all the requirements are being met and to maintain quality assurance. I am attaching the CELTA syllabus for your reference in case you’re interested in finding out more about this and getting your head around how this might work in practice.

                                            Best,

                                            Beth.

                                        • #38043
                                          Marusya Price
                                          Participant
                                            @marusya

                                            Hi everyone, I read a recent article entitled: “Teachers’ Dispositions Toward Mindfulness in EFL/ESL Classrooms in Teacher-Student Interpersonal Relationships” as it is related to my work. I’ve provided a link in the Word doc.

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                                            • #38077
                                              Beth Melia-Leigh
                                              Moderator
                                                @beth

                                                Hi Marusya,

                                                Thank you for sharing this insightful article. I think your enthusiasm for mindfulness and your belief in its importance for EFL/ESL practitioners has been evident throughout the course and this article provides further support for many of the points you have made.

                                                As you say, this article is certainly worth a read for anyone who is interested in finding out more about how they can utilise mindfulness both in their personal life and in their teaching. As the review concludes, it seems apparent that mindfulness-based training can help to reduce learners’ and teachers’ anxiety and, ultimately, lead to creating a better learning environment and enhancing learning.

                                                Best,

                                                Beth.

                                              • #38177
                                                Marusya Price
                                                Participant
                                                  @marusya

                                                  Hi Beth,

                                                   

                                                  I can’t agree more with your thoughts. Utilising mindfulness tools in our personal life and teaching methods will have a significant impact on our own and our students’ well-being. You can’t believe how many of my students complain they’re overwhelm, anxious or stressed out. However, seeing them implement mindful breathing techniques out of my lessons is inspiring.

                                                  Interestingly, I met a fellow English teacher a few days ago, who happens to meditate regularly and is considering including meditation in her lessons, and she told me that my work is “20 years ahead of current education”. I really hope we don’t have to wait for so long to see that educators and educational authorities care for students and teacher’s mental health.

                                                  Thank you very much for this insightful course.

                                                  Marusya

                                              • #38079
                                                Beth Melia-Leigh
                                                Moderator
                                                  @beth

                                                  Dear All,

                                                  Thank you to those of you who contributed to this forum task. It enjoyed (re-)reading the articles you selected as well as your summaries and main takeaways. I have responded individually to those of you that posted, so please do read through my comments.

                                                  If you have not yet read the articles focused on in this forum task, please do so – they are all well worth a read. And if you have not yet completed this task, please do so – I think you will find it worthwhile and interesting and I am sure others would like to read your thoughts about different training contexts too.

                                                  All the best,

                                                  Beth.

                                                • #38092
                                                  Gabriela Cazan
                                                  Participant
                                                    @gabi

                                                    Hi Beth,

                                                     

                                                    Here’s the link to the article

                                                    https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/C442_Innovations_PRESETT_FINAL_WEB%20ONLY_v2.pdf

                                                    Chapter 3, page 47 (50 of the PDF).

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