It’s been a while since a guest post on ELT Planning. Michael Walker is a PGCEi-qualified teacher who has spent a while teaching EAP at a university in the Republic of Korea. In this cool post, Michael describes the impact of using reflection journals on his practice and on student learning.
I may be a bit of an anomaly in the EAL field, truth be told, teaching English doesn’t excite me, never has. What does get me up in the morning and into the classroom is developing a student’s interest in learning.
Like many EAL teachers, I fell into language teaching. Spending a year in a foreign clime teaching well-behaved children was and probably still is a cushy option for a recent graduate. However, my interest in learning never left me. In fact, after several years teaching elementary students I found myself voluntarily searching for pedagogical literature, having discussions with other staff members on how to excite and inspire students, and spending hours developing materials that will appeal to a diverse bunch of learners. Not because I was overly passionate about instilling an understanding of comparative adjectives into my students, but just because I wanted the students to develop a love of learning. (more…)
I really like the #ObserveMe movement (see Robert Kaplinsky’s post here or the hashtag). However, I’m going to have to tweak things to make it work. (more…)
A summary of Loraine Kennedy’s main points from the talk ‘In one ear and out the other: does feedback work?’ You can access the session here (again, won’t embed).
This talk was specifically about in-service feedback for teachers, not about feedback on training courses
If we are not giving feedback for the right reasons, and getting the right results, then why bother?
Studies (e.g. Kluger and Denisi 1996) have shown that only a third of feedback has a positive effect – two-thirds has either a negative or no effect. With this in mind, Kennedy considers how to change the way we approach professional learning, and the impact of feedback on teaching performance and ultimately student learning.
What is feedback?
- Feedback is limiting the discrepancy between current performance and future goals.
- We often think of feedback in narrow terms (e.g. observations). Hattie and Timperly (2007) point out that even reading a book related to teaching can be a form of feedback.
- Only feedback that is sought and accepted is likely to have an impact
A quick post-task for poster work. We’ve been doing quite a bit of post-it note voting recently, students seem to like it.
Display posters around the room. In this case, we were designing environmentally friendly parks. Tell students that we will vote for the best ones. Elicit/negotiate different categories to vote for:
- Most environmentally friendly park
- Best English
- Craziest design
Choose 4 or so categories. Give learners 4 post-it notes each. They write a category on each post-it, then go round and read/look at each poster. Once they’ve chosen their winner for each category they stick the post-it note next to it. Remember to point out that they can’t choose their own work!
When everyone’s finished, do a quick tally and announce the winners.
What happens if some teams don’t get any votes? I normally rig it so that doesn’t happen!
Quick, simple, fun.
I’m writing a series of short posts in response to Martin Sketchley’s blog challenge. You can view his new blog here.