Sessions / Featured Speaker Workshop
Strategies and New Perspectives for Teaching Academic Writing Online
Teaching academic writing online is hard to do well. This workshop coalesces around three key pedagogical tactics for teaching academic writing: scaffolding, chunking, and interrogative methodology. The workshop lays out strategies for combining these approaches and provides an overview of digital technologies that can aid in the teaching of English-language academic writing at the college or university level. This workshop reflects on past practice and offers new perspectives for an online or hybrid educational future.
COVID-19: A Disruption to Reflect on Our Wisdom of Practice in ELT
Year 2020 will go down in history as the year that gave language teaching an almighty thwack in the head. In haste, we dramatically altered the ways we went about our routines, moving online to teach remotely. In a fundamental sense, 2020 has forced us, explicitly or implicitly, to re-examine our language teacher wisdom of practice. This workshop provides a framework and initial opportunity to articulate these changes in our orientation to language and learning.
Interest Pursuit: Choosing and Using Narrative Texts
Learners reading narrative texts has a long tradition in second language classrooms. We have students read, answer some questions, and then talk to them about prioritized language points. Missing from this equation is agency and choice for teachers and learners, particularly when it becomes clear narrative texts have deep and unpredictable riches to offer for concepts and language. This workshop takes up questions of, and alternatives for, text selection and use by teachers and learners.
Diagnosing Reading in a Foreign Language: How Do We Get There?
This workshop introduces a framework for diagnosing foreign language reading skills (Alderson et al., 2015). The session will cover the foregrounding principles and stages in diagnostic testing: observation, initial assessment, hypothesis testing, decision making and feedback. By looking at individual student differences and bottom-up reading processes, teachers can identify learner strengths and weaknesses to support them in reading challenges and development opportunities. Tasks from various diagnostic tools will be trialed through experiential learning activities.
Reflections on the Pandemic: Coming Back Stronger
The COVID-19 pandemic challenged educators professionally. This session reflects on how the pandemic provided initially unwelcome, yet ultimately rewarding, professional development opportunities, especially regarding technology. This session explores how to improve in-person teaching practices with these newly acquired expertise. Using differentiated instruction theory (Tomlinson, 2005), we will focus on repurposing the methods and materials developed for distance learning to scaffold learning more successfully, assess progress more efficiently, provide more effective remediation, and encourage learner agency.