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Showing posts from 2013

Social Media & Teaching English Abroad

I am in the data analysis phase of my dissertation, and one of the best benefits of doing this research is learning about the impact of social media on English language teachers abroad.  To clarify, my research is about the adjustment process of sojourning English language teachers, and I intend to complete my research and to publish my findings in peer-reviewed journals.  However, I wanted to share my enthusiasm of the learning process through social media.  This is part of my attempt to bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners.

Through my research and my job as instructional designer at Kirkwood Community College, I have discovered many practitioners learning more about teaching and learning through social media than through peer-reviewed research journals.  This is completely anecdotal evidence as I am witnessing teachers sharing what they learn through their practice more than teachers sharing what they learn through reading research articles.  It's difficult to s…

Excuse the Hiatus

These past six months have been quite chaotic in terms of social media.  This blog went on a long hiatus as I was preparing to start my new professional blog geared towards my new job at Kirkwood Community College.  That blog was then overtaken by the blog I started for my job.  So I am here to announce my new blog organization now that the dust has settled. 

I will try to start posting on this blog again for two main reasons: 1) I want to write to ESL & foreign language teachers more directly than in the Kirkwood (related) blogs, and 2) Both my job at Kirkwood and my dissertation research project have helped learn the relationship between social media and professional development. 

I haven't done much in terms of exploring ideas and concepts of teaching English for glocalized communication beyond my dissertation since March, and I plan to direct part of my learning back this way as my dissertation data analysis eases up.  I have gained a stronger interest in social media'…

Job Update

A few weeks ago, I started my new job at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  My job title is instructional designer, and thus I will be working with the community college faculty across all subjects and disciplines.  Kirkwood has a large ESL program, but I have not yet had the chance to visit the department yet.

Because of my new job and my current dissertation research project, I will not be writing too much on this blog for the next year.  For all things English language teaching, my time will be spent on my dissertation and Twitter @slagoski23.  I expect to blog here a few times, especially when I encounter an engaging question or a brilliant idea.  In the meantime, I will be creating a new blog related to professional development in community colleges with an emphasis on education technology--like we need another edtech blogger.  When the blog is up and running, I will post the link here.

What is glocalized communication?

I came across the term "glocalized communication" a few years ago when I was researching perspectives, on teaching English language learners, similar to mine.  I found the term in a chapter of a book about language policies edited by Suresh Canagarajah.  The chapter is an extension of an article written by the same authors a few years earlier.  Below is the reference to that article.

Lin, A., Wang, W., Akamatsu, N., & Riazi, A. M. (2002). Appropriating English, expanding identities, and re-visioning the field: From TESOL to teaching English for glocalized communication (TEGCOM). Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 1(4), 295-316.

What appealed to me the most came not from the original article but from the last section of the chapter, titled "International TESOL Professionals and Teaching English for Glocalized Communication (TEGCOM),"   in which the authors proposed a research program for TEGCOM.  I believe that providing their preliminary outline for…

Assessing Learners' Multiliteracies

One of the biggest reasons multiliteracies is not implemented in the classroom is that it is difficult to assess.  And if you cannot assess your students' learning, then how do you know they are learning?  I'd like to propose a formative assessment, which is more like an activity.  It also happens to be one of my favorite multiliteracies activities that I would like to implement fully.  I have done bits and pieces of it, and that experience has helped me create this example.

Purpose and Context 
For the past few years multiliteracies has been a secondary research interest of mine. I will define it in the construct section of this posting.  One of the key articles I discovered made a point of concluding the implications of its investigations at the very end of the article, “And finally, there should be alignment between curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. Assessment criteria should include future-oriented new literacies if the latter are to become part of the normal classroom…

Technology Project Based Teaching & Learning

As promised in the previous post, I am going to share an idea, although it has not been tried or tested by me.  Perhaps some other English language teacher has done something similar to this: developing English language learners' information and communication technology (ICT) skills while developing their English language skills.  This is kind of like a hybrid of content-based instruction and task-based instruction.  The content includes academic and workplace language regarding ICT, whereas the tasks can vary.

For the sake of continuity from the previous post, the example task for this blog is more linguistic:  teach another group of English language learners (in their own classroom, in another classroom, or to future students in their current class) a grammar rule and demonstrate its usage as authentic to your life as possible.  Although some novice level students may be able to do this, I would aim this task at intermediate speakers.  For advanced speakers, I would make the tas…

The Flipped Grammar Classroom

Before I begin discussing my ideas about the flipped grammar classroom, here is an infographic providing the essentials of the flipped classroom for general education.
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

I became aware of the flipped classroom in 2010 when I was teaching Technology in the Classroom (07E/S:102) at the University of Iowa.  Khan Academy was becoming quite well known at the time as a popular resource for teachers to turn to for flipping classrooms.   I could easily see how flipping the classroom could help in math and science classrooms.

Although I haven't had many opportunities to teach English language learners since I left my full-time teaching job in 2009, I was playing with many ideas of how flipping the classroom could be applied to English language teaching.  I do not suggest flipping the classroom without a purpose, or else you may be wasting your students time.  For the most part, I am skeptical about flipping the classroom like fellow blogger Larry Fe…

Personality and Context Follow-up

Last week, I quickly finished Rita Carter's book that inspired the previous post.  Although I found the first half of the book informative and inspiring, I was disappointed in the second half, which functioned more like a self-help book of getting in touch with your other personalities.  As an advocate of the skeptical movement, this half of the book rubbed me the wrong way.  It reminded me of plotting my astrological star chart, which I used to do in my undergraduate years.  Granted, there is much more science behind Carter's guidance than astrology.  However, she urged her readers about the fuzziness in implementing and interpreting personality tests like the Big Five Personality Traits (OCEAN) Test in the first half of the book.

I suspended my disbelief and took the test here for each of the roles I play in my life from father to PhD candidate to friend.  Most of this exercise confirmed what I already believed, but I learned that I could not pin down one specific personali…

Personality, Teacher Dispositions, and Schooling Context

I'm nearing the end of my winter break as a PhD candidate.  Winter and summer breaks provide me a little time to pick up a book to read something other than my field and research interests.  Sometimes these books are too close to my research interesta, and this leisure time turns into work.  Other times these books are not too close but close enough to inspire other research interests, and this is one of those times.

I am reading Multiplicity: The New Science of Personality, Identity, and the Self by Rita Carter.  Not only am I learning about myself, which I enjoy learning most about, but I am learning how ideas from this book can be applied to second language education.  The strongest linking idea that comes to mind is bicultural identity that some experience when they learn/acquire another language.  Since my research area is more on teacher education, I am thinking about how teachers develop a personality (best?) suited for their classroom.  I put "best" in parenthese…