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Showing posts from November, 2012

Buzzwords: Mindfulness & Reflexivity

In the midst of writing my dissertation and preparing myself for the job market, I have become acutely aware of certain buzzwords in the field of English language teaching, or perhaps in the field education generally.  Mindfulness and reflexivity are characteristics that teacher educators would like other teachers to develop if they haven't already.  I decided to blog about these terms for a couple of reasons.  First, I'd like to share these institutional buzzwords with newcomers to the field.  Second, I think the meaning of these buzzwords can help bridge the research and practice gap.

I have encountered the term mindfulness in and outside the field of education.  In education, I've seen it applied to situations in which a teacher must adapt to a new teaching context (such as in my dissertation) or when a teacher needs to resolve a conflict.  Slightly outside the field of education, mindfulness is used in psychology for stress reduction.  In both cases, to be mindful mean…

Online Professional Development

Today and yesterday, I attended the Iowa Culture and Language Conference where I co-presented about online professional development for STEM and special education teachers with English language learners in the classroom.  The presentation can be accessed here: http://tinyurl.com/uiowa-iclc-2012.

Dr. Pam Wesely was the lead presenter with Zeynep Bilki and I providing examples of online resources to help STEM and special education teachers learn more about English language learners and/or learn about certain approaches to engage English language learners in their classroom.  The three I presented were from the British Council & the BBC, the Internet TESL Journal, and a site from George Washington University about ELLs in special education.  I also contributed a significant portion to the list of additional resources at the end of the presentation.

As a Senior English Language Fellow, working along with the U.S. Department of State, I felt a little conflict of interest advocating the…