Summary of the #InstructionalDesign discussion with Anna Bartosik

December 11th, 2020 marked our final #teslONchat of the year. We gathered on Twitter to discuss Instructional Design with Anna Bartosik (@ambartosik). Anna is a doctoral candidate, an instructional designer, a teacher, and a teacher trainer. Anna develops online and blended courses and works on curriculum development. Her interest in self-directed professional development informs her work as a teacher and instructional designer, but also inspired her research of teacher professional development on social media platforms, like Twitter.

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I Speak, Therefore… I Teach?

Foreign language speaking icon. Outline foreign language speaking vector icon for web design isolated on white background
Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

I have been an English Language Teacher for 20 years. When I started my career, I didn’t think it would take much effort to teach others something I had learnt during my childhood and teenage years. I could even make some “easy” money while I was at it!  “How hard could it be?” I thought to myself.

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Does Online Learning Enhance Learners’ Language Ego?

Person covering one side of face while smiling.
Image source: Photo by 青 晨 on Unsplash

Language ego is a real phenomenon. A concept coined by Guiora (Brown, 2000) “language ego” is a learner’s second identity as they come to see themselves picking up a second language. One of the most vitally important responsibilities of an ESL teacher is to ensure that students’ language ego is well protected.

Conventionally, in physical classrooms, due to the existence of face-to-face communication, learners might experience more fragility and defenselessness with their peers.  I have personally experienced the sheer fear and anxiety that the physical interaction and presence of others with their eyes placed all on one person can create.  However, through online platforms of teaching and learning, I have noticed that learners feel safer and more secure about their language ego, and I have seen improvements in learning.

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Looking at 2020 through Rose-Coloured Glasses

image source: John Allan

In spite of all of the negative effects of the COVID-19 crisis, do you think you could find some positive events that you experienced in 2020?   It is difficult to imagine, as we are still in the eye of this storm.  Over the winter break, however, I started a brainstorm sketch about the positive effects that have come during the pandemic in order to reframe my focus for 2021. This is my list below; possibly you might try the same exercise to reset your expectations for your teaching and personal life in 2021. 

Teaching

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Have a Holly Jolly Practice!

A person using a laptop while surrounded by holiday gifts, decorations, and treats.
Image by Samira Rahi from Unsplash

You may be wondering if you need to send off students with some work over the holidays to make sure they keep practicing. The reality is that everyone wants to feel free for a couple of days! So why not make the practice fun for them?!

Due to COVID students probably are spending most of their time at home, so they may thrive watching fun movies or exploring websites. Here are some fun websites that your students could use to practice their English language skills for free:

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Reflective Writing for Students and Teachers

Channel Your Thoughts

Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

The educational reformer and philosopher John Dewey once said, “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” If, like me, you agree with him, you may find this post on reflective writing meaningful.

It is important to note that writing reflectively does not have to involve only one area of your life. You should be open to write about anything you want, knowing it is going to be for you and your benefit only. It does not really matter what you write about. The key is reflection to enhance mindfulness.

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Summary of the #ELTResources discussion with Diane Ramanathan

On November 20, 2020 we gathered on twitter to discuss English Language Teaching resources with Diane Ramanathan. Diane is the Tutela outreach coordinator as well as a @LINCHomeStudy instructor and TESL professor at @AlgonquinCollege.  In her free time she can be seen in Ottawa paddling up the Rideau with a merry band of friends. You can connect with Diane via Twitter (@ram_diane).

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#CDNELTCHAT: JOIN THE CHAT ON TUESDAY!

If you’re a Twitter user, join the next #CdnELTchat on Tuesday, December 8 with Tanya Cowie co-moderating a chat on intersectionality.   Below is a recap of the November 10 chat written by #CdnELTchat moderator Jennifer Chow.

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