We’ve just finished the English 2.0 Seminar! I’d like to thank the Languages Department and school authorities at Escuela Superior de Comercio for accepting this proposal. It was hard work and a real challenge but we succeeded thanks to the institutional support and, above all, to students’ commitment and enthusiasm.
According to the new school curriculum (2010), 3rd year students have to take two elective seminars, which are to be delivered throughout a semester mainly online, with a maximum of 5 face-to-face meetings.
The English 2.0 seminar is a blended learning experience of Academic English which focuses on the development of reading and listening skills through the use of web 2.0 resources and tools. It is carried out through Comunidades, the Moodle-based University virtual campus
The seminar aims at learning about other academic subjects through adapted and authentic online resources in English, as well as providing students with tools and strategies to use the web 2.0 autonomously to develop their own learning.
For the final assignment, students worked in pairs or small groups to design their own digital posters about a topic related to the academic subjects included in the seminar.
This morning I had the pleasure of sharing the paper I presented at FAAPI with a group of local teachers at ARCI. Here’s the first part of the presentation:
During the second part of the presentation, I shared a summary of the sessions I attended as well as my personal reflections on the conference.
I’m sharing the presentation I gave at IPS last May during the school’s book fair. It was a real challenge to speak to an audience composed of almost a hundred teenagers. They didn’t take it seriously at first. Fiction? On Twitter? But the compelling pun on words, extreme brevity, multiple meanings and intertextuality did the trick! Far from being easy to read, these microstories required their full attention and language awareness. Amazing how much we can do with 140 characters!
User-generated content at the core of the Web 2.0, content for intercultural awareness and reflection, content across the curriculum, content that matters, the bare essentials of content, content as meaning…. as simple and as relevant as that!
Content for context: El inglés como lengua extranjera: perspectiva Intercultural y transversalidad
Content in the works…
Striving for Relevance – Content and Language Learning for secondary EFL students
This presentation aims at reflecting on the challenges and opportunities of teaching English in a secondary school setting and the importance of redefining learning goals, aiming at what students can do with and learn through the language rather than just how much they know about the language. The use of the web and other authentic resources to create learner-centered cross-curricular tasks and projects can help students find meaningful connections between English and other subjects as well as with their own needs and interests while preparing them to deal with real life situations in the foreign language.
Image Flickr CC: C Mosaic
Last Wednesday I taught my first two high school classes of the year: two groups of 14-year-old post-elementary level students. I always start my first lessons with an introductory getting-to-know-you type of activity and a survey to let them know that their ideas matter and that I’ll do my best to meet their specific needs and interests. Last year, for example, I asked one of my classes (pre-intermediate level) to answer their surveys individually and then I collected them and created a Wordle with the results and brought a printout to the classroom for them to discuss and analyze.
This year – probably inspired by the PD 2.0 experience – I wanted them to work on the surveys in groups and on paper. Each group prepared a poster to tell the class what they liked and didn’t like about learning English, what they’d like to do this year and how they think they learn best. With both groups I noticed that they were somehow taken aback by the proposal and in some cases it was very difficult for them to think of ideas for each category during the previous brainstorming. In other cases, they produced what they regarded as teacher-expected answers and only after I asked them to take risks and imagine more, were they able to contribute some original ideas.
It strikes me that they are not used to being asked for their opinions about their own learning so often and that they are used to “playing school” and complaining about it. Of course, it was only our first class, but it is clear right from the start that we’ll have to work on building a different learning culture in class based on active participation, collaboration and creativity.
I was really surprised this morning when I received an e-mail from SlideShare saying:
“Professional development 2” is being talked about on Facebook more than anything else on SlideShare right now. So we’ve put it on the homepage of SlideShare.net (in the “Hot on Facebook” section).
– SlideShare Team
A couple of hours later I received a similar one saying that it was also in the “Hot on Twitter” section.
I’d really like to thank all of you for spreading the word on this presentation. It has been a great way of expanding my PLN and finding more like-minded colleagues to share and learn from.
I’d also like to invite you all to join the open group on Facebook: Professional Development 2.0