General

Jamboard (so far)

Jamboard mentioned a lot recently. I decided to give it a go with my Secondary classes. Started using it last week so this is all new to me. Early thoughts.

Jamboard versus (e.g.) whiteboard.fi

This was the first step for me – working out which one I might find more useful. There were far more tools on whiteboard.fi (wait), but Jamboard won straight away because it integrates well with Google Classroom (wait), so that was that really.

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Course review: PGCEi

This review is for the PGCEi from the University of Nottingham. It’s a bit general – see links for more details.

Overview of modules

There are 3 modules on this course.

  • Module 1 focuses on educational aims and values in international contexts. More details in this post.
  • Module 2 focused on learning and teaching in international contexts. More details in this post.
  • Module 3 focused on inquiring into educational practice. It was research-based, we had to do a qualitative study related to our teaching context. I replicated a study by Fitch et al (2020). I summarized that study (not mine) recently for Nexus Education.
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Materials Writing news and views, January 2021

Hi all.

Short one. Diversity features quite a bit.

New releases

Another offering from the George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley of ELT, this time via Waygooze Press.

Other than that, I’ve haven’t seen much released. I’ve been reading some of the John Catt publication books. All quite new and a pretty good range, lacking in criticality at times though. Reviewed one here if interested.

Groups and chats

(If you say ‘groups and chats’ fast enough you can get a good beat going)

There are lots of Facebook groups for ELT writers. These are the main ones I’m in:

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Materials writing and pub quizzes

Before lockdown I was an avid pub quizzer. It’s the perfect hobby for a materials writer because we accumulate tons of useless facts when researching articles. Here’s a list of some random topics I’ve written texts on in the last, pfff, 18 months maybe? I’ve discussed this with Clare Maas before – I’d love to see your updated list of writes, Clare!

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Top 10 reads from the PGCEi

The PGCEi was full of great reads. Here were the articles and chapters I most enjoyed from the course, all of which were part of the core content. I’ll find as many open access links as I can!

10 Roberts (2013) International Education and Global Engagement: Education for a Better World? (Google Books here)

What’s in a word? This book chapter scrutinises the term ‘international’, rants a bit about the concept of ‘international mindedness’, and outlines what it should mean in practice. I like this chapter as you can sense that the author has some beef, but also talks a lot of sense.

9 Bailey (2015) The experiences of host country nationals in international schools: A case-study from Malaysia (open access)

This was a small-scale study but I really like the insight it provides. I see this as research that could be replicated by teachers in a range of contexts. The important thing is that it focuses on student perspectives – and highlights how they differ from those of their teachers’ viewpoints.

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How to get a PGCEi Distinction

I’ve just finished a PGCEi through University of Nottingham. I got a mark of 78 for each of the three modules, which basically means ‘your writing is okay, but your stuff’s not really a contribution to the field or anything; solid but unspectacular’. Spot on, I’d say.

Here are the macro indicators for assessment.

The differences between a Merit and a Distinction might seem subtle/subjective – things like ‘broad knowledge’ versus ‘broad and detailed knowledge’, or ‘originality’ versus ‘considerable originality’. However, based on the conversations I’ve had with PGCEi candidates from my own/previous cohorts, I can say there are three clear areas that set your 60s apart from your 70s. They are:

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Materials writing conversations #7: circles

This is a completely imaginary conversation. No characters in the convo are based on real people – I’m just bored and imagining conversations I might have with editors…

Lead-in

Work with a partner. Perform a dialogue based on the following roles:

Student A: You’re a shop assistant. You are working behind the counter at a high street clothes shop (probably not Topshop as that wouldn’t make this resource future-proof). A customer (Student B) has a request. Deal with the customer’s request appropriately. (more…)

Bad teaching

A ramble from last year. Just came across it again. Ha! When I re-read it I thought, ‘actually Pete, it was pretty bad teaching! What were you on about?!’ Meh. I don’t just post the good. Enjoy.

I’m such a bad teacher sometimes. I’m prone to slack/lazy practice. I mean, take this list of things not to do when teaching vocab (shared on twitter by @bwileducate)

Now consider this dialogue in my class over the weekend…

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