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    • #18937
      Manuel Flores Lasarte
      Moderator
          @manuel

          Post a summary of your research here.

          Read your colleagues’ research and reply with any comments or questions you have. e.g. Does something they say resonate with your own experience? Is there anything you find particularly surprising? What else would you like to know about the issues your colleagues have discussed?

        • #60717
          Gajinder Kaur
          Participant
              @gk

              What is the topic or trend?

              Made Hery Santosa, in his article Current Research Trends in ELT, identifies 8 major trends and changes making headway in ELT :

              1.     Changing perspectives on English teaching and learning

              2.     Changes in goals of English teaching and learning

              3.     Changes in approaches to teaching

              4.     Changes in teaching content, curriculum design, and assessment

              5.     Changing views of an effective English educator

              6.     Changing roles and increasing responsibilities of teachers

              7.     Rapid development and integration of information technology in ELT

              8.     Expanding the dimension of communicative competence

              Why do you think it is important? How can you see this trend developing in the future?

              We can see from the headings above that there has been a major paradigm and foci shift in ELT : it’s not just all about methods and methodologies and grammar and curriculum textbooks anymore, the role of teacher/ teaching/ the taught/ content of what is taught and how it is taught have gained prominence over the years, especially in today’s context of a  constantly changing and evolving digital age and space.

              It is important to note these trends and keep abreast of them, update ourselves as Educators so we don’t become old school and redundant. With the advent of AI and Meta, even roles of the Teacher as a physical being might be under threat in the near future!

              Why might a teacher implement these ideas into their teaching?

              It is indispensable to do so. The very goals of ELT have expanded to include adeptness at 21st century skills and using language communicatively in a global/international context.

              “The goal is to produce effective language users competent to use English as an international language, not just learners who mimic the “inner-circle” countries’ languages and cultures. ”- Santosa.

              Multi-competency is an aspiring goal for language learners now.

              What are the advantages and disadvantages of the topic?

              It is always good to know- an advantage to be well informed about the industry one works in and keep up with the developing trends.

              What assumptions about learning underpin the topic you have researched? What reasons would a teacher have for using the topic you have identified in their classroom?

              The digital/cyber development in the post pandemic era has disrupted the education sector bigtime. Artificial Intelligence, Xtended Reality (Virtual, Augmented, Mixed Realities), Blended Learning, Gamification, Digital Stories, Mobile Apps, Internet, YouTube, Web.2.0, ELT apps, etc., have changed how we prepare our lessons and instruct our students.

              As such, the roles and demands of the teacher/educator have evolved overnight expeditiously. Teachers are now expected to, (amongst other things):

              1.     Collaborate/co-teach/teach online/blend learning and teaching

              2.     Use content/communicative/project based/ interdisciplinary curriculum

              3.     Use digital tech in varieties of ways and encourage students to do the same

              4.     Prepare language users to be responsible global citizens

              5.     Develop students’ 21st c skills/ critical skills/ soft skills

              6.     Use eclectic methodologies in a post-methods era

              “The effectiveness of English teachers should be determined by their linguistic, instructional, and intercultural competence rather than simply by their linguistic identity.”- Santosa

              It has been assumed worldwide the teaching technological competency will boost learning in the classroom, besides making the interest levels of the learners rise. Learners are more digital natives than immigrants unlike the teachers, so it is also a way of keeping engagement and motivation healthy.

              Another assumption would be using the best tactics of all  methodologies for more effective learning and teaching.

              Using content as a means to teach language not only expands student’s knowledge horizon, but also to turn content into a passive carrier of language features.

              Now using any resources you have available (online or off), find out more about the topic.

              To cite an example of changing trends:

              According to employers, a candidate of the 21st century must have the following soft skills, as enlisted by Forbes:

              ·       Teamwork

              ·       Critical thinking skills

              ·       Decision making

              ·       Empathy

              ·       Flexibility/ adaptability

              ·       Taking accountability/responsibility

              By and by, teachers have been increasingly asked to develop these skills in their students across disciplines, using relevant activities and practices in class.

               

               

              • #69118
                Nicholas Northall
                Moderator
                    @nick-northall

                    Hi Gajinder,

                    Thanks for sharing your ideas here with us. I have attached the article if anyone wants to read it.

                    As you mention, as teachers it is important that we keep up with current trends and changes in our industry. A way to do this is obviously to read as much as you can. Another way is to attend conferences.

                    You make some good points about the role of the teacher changing as technology changes. However, I think that changes in the use of technology have always been around and have always ensured that teachers’ roles are changing (e.g. when I started, I used a blackboard and a cassette deck and had no use of a computer). I think that no matter how technology changes, there will always be a role for teachers – perhaps the implementations of Chat GPT might change this though…

                    I wonder if some of things you mention, such as team teaching and using content have always been around and are not really new things? I often think that researchers see things that already exist and perhaps try to put a new spin on them?

                    As I’ve mentioned before, I take umbrage with the 21st century skills obsession. I wonder how many maths teachers have been tasked with developing such skills with their learners? Why is it the TEFL teacher who has to do all of this? Although I think the skills you mention (such as team work) are very important – indeed they are part of the UoS employability strategy – I wonder how many teachers are equipped to teach them? If you, as a teacher, are not very flexible, how can you teach this? And indeed, once again, is it the TEFL teacher’s role to do this?

                    I also disagree with the digital natives point of view that many researchers mention. First of all it implies that all those under say 20 are able to use tech effortlessly but this is simply not true, as many young people do not have the resources to available to them due to socio-economic barriers. And even those from more affluent backgrounds are not always able or indeed want to be immersed in tech!

                    Again, thanks for sharing this interesting article!

                    Cheers,

                    Nick

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                • #62457
                  Robert Dailey
                  Participant
                      @robertd

                      What is the topic or trend?

                      Artificial Intelligence in ELT: specifically the use of ChatGPT.

                      Why do you think it is important?

                      ChatGPT is already being used globally by students and teachers alike. For good and for bad, it is a revolution.

                      How can you see this trend developing in the future?

                      It is difficult to say because AI is developing so quickly. One negative possibility is that us ELT teachers might soon find ourselves redundant. On the other hand, there is evidence that social interactions plays a very important role in Second Language Acquisition so perhaps things are not as bleak as they might seem. One study concludes with the following remarks:

                      In both animals and humans, the idea that a social context is critical to communicative learning is gaining traction. In the case of humans, language learning has been suggested as grounded in a rich social setting. Researchers testing this claim in the laboratory have provided ample evidence showing that social contexts provide both motivation in the form of increased attention and social arousal, as well as information, such as eye‐gaze following, that provides added information about speakers’ intentions and goals. These features of social contexts are not present to the same degree in non‐social contexts. (https://ilabs.uw.edu/sites/default/files/2018_lytle_kuhl_socialinteractionandlanguage_neurobiologicalview_.pdf)

                      Even so, is the role of the teacher/ the classroom going to be constrained to providing the human contact and interaction that many students like and in some cases need?

                      Why might a teacher implement these ideas into their teaching?

                      Some implementation ideas for ChatGPT specifically, and AI in general, include the following: (Some of these ideas are taken from the content of the links I´ve included below).

                      • Use Chat GPT to create lesson plans in seconds.
                      • Use ChatGPT to, for example, create collocations and quizzes based on students´ needs (This was done in the Scott Thornbury AI discussion that is on YouTube).
                      • Use ChatGPT to create tests in seconds.
                      • USe ChatGTP to get information about language and to do translations.
                      • AI: Google Assistant. Students take turns asking the virtual assistant questions.
                      • AI: Google Maps. Use it to practice directions.
                      • Use AI to encourage students to take control of their own learning.

                      What are the advantages and disadvantages of ChatGPT / AI?

                      Advantages

                      • Chat GTP can create bespoke lesson plans in seconds.
                      • ChatGTP can, says George Wilson, British Council Academic Manager (see link below) interact in real time with learners and correct their language mistakes. It can translate from one language to another and write texts in many and various languages.
                      • It can also help us teachers to clarify language points in record time. If you are like me, you will spend a lot of time looking up information in various books and online before you teach, say, an item of grammar. It seems that ChatGPT can do this in record time. Students can of course do this as well.
                      • As mentioned, it can translate and even make corrections.

                      Disadvantages

                      • The technology is not perfect nor foolproof (but it´s getting better every day).
                      • It is not human.
                      • To what extent can it trusted to be accurate when it comes to language information and analysis? To what extent are its language explanations useable? Can it actually teach?
                      • As George Wilson asks, with such a powerful tool is there going to be/ is there any point in learning languages? Are students going to bother looking deeply into language learning or indeed anything in the future?
                      • This leads to the broader question of the role of the teacher now and in the future: what is her/his role going to be? As asked above, is the role of the teacher / classroom going to be constrained to providing human contact and social interaction?
                      • Noam Chomsky calls Chat GTP “high end plagiarism” and says that the only way that ChatGPT contributes to educations is by plagiarism and he sees it as a way of avoiding education. How will we know that a student´s work is her/his own? (https://www.openculture.com/2023/02/noam-chomsky-on-chatgpt.html)

                      What reasons would a teacher have for using ChatGPT / AI in their classroom?

                      • ChatGPT can without a shadow of doubt make life much easier and can come up with some interesting plans, ideas etc. in record time. I´m also confident that teachers will be able to use it in some interactive and communicative ways in the physical classroom or in the flipped classroom. We need to try to be ahead of the game. George Wilson argues that we should try to use it to support the World of ELT, rather than replace it. To what extent this is going to be possible remains to be seen.

                      If anyone is interested, in addition to the links I´ve included above, you might find the link below interesting/ useful:

                      https://www.britishcouncil.fr/blog/shaping-future-artificial-intelligence-english-language-teaching

                      Artificial Intelligence in English language learning

                      By the way, this post was written by Chat GPT.

                       

                      Not really, but apart from perhaps writing it “better” than I could, if ChatGPT had written it, how would you know …?

                      • #69128
                        Nicholas Northall
                        Moderator
                            @nick-northall

                            Hi Robert,

                            HAHA – well who knows who wrote or did anything these days! Fake news, deepfake, ChatGPT… How can we trust anything we hear or see?

                            I think you make a really good point about the lack of deep learning that is taking place as learners perhaps look at things superficially or not at all – especially when we have technology that will do things for us. Does make me want to turn the clock back at times…

                            I recently (well today) had a student teacher send me a text written by ChatGPT about zoos that she wanted to use with her learners. Although it was grammatically correct, I find it lacked any real depth and looked like a very superficial IELTS essay – you know the ones (some people agree with the points; whereas other people take the opposite view). Still as this tech evolves, I can see education institutions having to ask learners (and students on courses such as this one) to take real in-person exams as the only way to avoid plagiarism. Hope this doesn’t give you any ideas if you are planning on taking DM2 or DM3…

                            There was an interesting talk on the BBC (4 news) last week about us reaching a tipping point in the use of such technologies. Obviously, there are both advantages and disadvantages of using them (this sounds like an IELTS essay) but many are very worried, wanting to restrict their use and bring in some form of control. Skynet from Terminator springs to mind..

                            I can imagine that the use of AI will be a ‘hot’ topic for a long time now. I don’t think it will feature on the DM1 exam though anytime soon.

                            Cheers,

                            Nick

                            PS: I wrote this!

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