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Towards building a whole-school approach to EAL

I enjoyed Adri’s post on EAL vs ESL the other day. It’s great to read so many positives regarding EAL culture at her school: teamwork, addressing individual needs, building a whole-school EAL approach, etc.

Based on Adri’s comments, I feel like she’s a few steps ahead of my school in her context. As an EAL teacher, I’m still trying to work out how best I can promote EAL support to other teachers at my school, and explain how our approach can benefit the students. Adri seems to have made progress with that already so I’ll be reaching out to her for ideas, that’s for sure!

I do have one idea for building a whole-school approach to EAL. It’s basically to put the EAL dept out there – make it clear what we are doing, why we are doing it, and prompt other teachers to collaborate more with us. I’m putting together a series of videos to explain what we do both during in-class support and in our EAL lessons.

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Materials Development Task 10: Knowledge and the notes

This is a new series of blog posts for teachers looking to become materials writers. It aims to help future writers explore topics and issues in writing, encourage deeper insight into the content of published materials, and promote a principled approach to materials development.

Think…

How would you rate your knowledge and skills in the following areas? Give yourself a mark between 1-10 for each category.

1 = Huh?

10 = I’m an expert!

  • Subject/content knowledge – e.g knowledge of grammar, vocab, pronunciation, language skills and strategies, etc.
  • Pedagogical knowledge – e.g. knowledge of teaching approaches, how students learn, etc.
  • Cognitive knowledge – e.g. knowledge of the science of learning; memory models, encoding, storage, retrieval, etc.
  • Technological knowledge – e.g. knowledge of how to best use technology to enhance learning.
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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 news and views, October 2020

Just a few things this time. I’m out the loop at the moment, enjoying my teaching too much!

Facebook groups for writers

There are a lot of Facebook groups for ELT writers these days. If you would like to share a link to your group then please let me know (or do so yourself in the comments). I don’t know which groups are open to new members/restricted/etc.

ELTon results

Congrats to all ELTons winners, which you can find here.

ELT Footprint – probably the most odds-on victory since the awards started I’d imagine.

Taking nothing away from winners past/present with this comment: I think there are aspects of the ELTons nomination process that could be tightened – BC please get in touch if you’d like to hear my suggestions 🙂

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New teacher induction

I had to induct a new teacher at school once. They were fairly new to teaching and unfamiliar with our in-house product at the time (called myClass). I thought that listening to me ramble on for half an hour about how to approach the planning would be boring. So, I decided a one-page ‘try it like this’ would be better. And a tad less condescending*. Here was that one page.

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Research in brief: Alderfer ESL Program Assessment Tool

What might be optimal ESL provision in international schools?

Alderfer and Alderfer (2011) state that there is no unifying set of criteria to assess ESL programs in international school contexts. Their research sets out to provide one.

The authors outline four categories through which ESL programs can be assessed:

  • Program conditions
  • Student learning conditions
  • Teaching conditions
  • Home culture conditions
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PGCEi Module 2: Understanding Learning and Teaching in International Contexts

Module 2 of the PGCEi (though Nottingham) is in two parts.

Part A starts with framing unit. It introduces various theories of learning such as behaviourism, cognitive constructivism, and social constructivism. Unit 2 then delves deeper into learning theories/approaches with a social focus, exploring dialogic talk, oracy, scaffolding and contingent teaching, and the spiral curriculum. ZPD is only mentioned about 8 billion times during Unit 2.

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Free access to Twinkl

Just a quick one! Twinkl ESL are currently offering free access to users in South America in response to school closures. Miranda’s doing a great job at Twinkl and offering loads of awesome resources, many of which can be adapted for (or are even best suited to) online learning.

I found Twinkl really useful during online learning. I made various guided reading sequences on Seesaw using their resources and my learners responded well to these. I’ve since found other Twinkl resources useful for EAL classes with my Year 4 students (fronted adverbials for the win!).

Here are the access codes:

Colombia: educarjuntosCO

Mexico: educarjuntosMX

Peru: educarjuntosPE

Brazil: educarjuntosBR

Argentina: educarjuntosAR

For other locations just get in touch with Miranda via the Facebook group or via Twitter @Mirandacrowhur1

Hope you find it useful!

Here’s a recent post from Miranda at Twinkl on ELT Planning.