Creating and structuring successful interactive moments of language use (languaging) are perhaps the most empowering things teachers can do for their students. The successful use of language to convey our meanings not only helps us learn more language (grammar, vocabulary, etc.) but it provides us with a feeling of agency (we can act meaningfully with more resources) in our environments. This is actually one of the greatest thrills that can happen in language classes, i.e to actually use new material purposefully. I contend that it greatly depends on the creativity of teachers to scaffold and structure moments when students can assume creative control over language and use it mindfully. To the degree that we are successful, we are agencing others.
Tim Murphey (PhD Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Applied Linguistics) professor Kanda University of International Studies, TESOL’s Professional Development in Language Education series editor, co-author with Zoltan Dörnyei of Group Dynamics in the Language Classroom, presently researches SCT applications with particular emphasis on student voice, agency, identity, and community construction. He has published books with a dozen publishers; given plenaries in half a dozen countries; taught graduate school in the US, Taiwan, and Japan; and produced nine freely downloadable videos at the NFLRC, University of Hawaii. He loves creatively scaffolding students’ languaging abilities—otherwise known as “agencing”—and teaching people to juggle.
Take a look at your students. Are they often to be seen plugged into some sort of electronic device, such as an iPod, or a mobile phone? Even if your students are not part of the digital generation, technology has become a part of their everyday lives, whatever age group they belong to. And these days, language teachers are increasingly expected to include technology and web-based tools in their classroom teaching. However, it’s often difficult for teachers to know not only what resources and tools are available, but how they can be best be exploited in the language classroom. Where to start? What to use with students? And most importantly, how? This plenary examines the pros and cons of using technology in our teaching, and takes a close look at five Internet-based resources and tools, providing practical examples of how they can be used by English language teachers.
Nicky Hockly is the Director of Pedagogy of The Consultants-E http://theconsultants-e.com. She is co-author of How to Teach English with Technology (Longman, 2007), which won the 2007 Ben Warren International House Trust Prize, and English as a Foreign Language for Dummies (John Wiley, 2009). She has also written Teaching Online: Tools and Techniques (Delta Publishing, 2010). She specializes in online teaching and training via virtual learning environments such as Moodle, but is also involved in the application of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) in the language classroom. She is an ex-technophobe, turned technophile.
Is education about opening up the diverse creativity within everyone, or about ensuring a life-threatening conformity? I will begin by critiquing the current paradigm, which seems dedicated to conformity, achieved by narrow curricular specification, an almost religious devotion to tests and examinations, and an industrial metaphor. I will suggest an alternative paradigm based on an aesthetic view of education. I will focus on how this might be done through the Matter (the content) of teaching, the Method (the kinds of activities we use) and the Manner (the human climate in which it is done).
Alan Maley worked for the British Council from 1962-88 in Yugoslavia, Ghana, Italy, France, China and India. He was Director-General of the Bell Educational Trust in Cambridge from 1988-93 and then worked as Senior Fellow at NUS, Singapore until 1998. From 1999-2003, he set up and ran the graduate program in ELT at Assumption University, Bangkok. Currently Visiting Professor at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, Alan is also a freelance writer and consultant, having published more than 40 books and numerous articles.