Dear HLT Readers,
Welcome to the February issue. I hope you are doing well, and so are your nearest and dearest. We all hope spring will bring the much desired normality.
First some Pilgrims news. As a result of Brexit, our Teacher Development summer courses are relocating to the University of Limerick, Ireland. This is a historic move for us, as Pilgrims has always been associated with Canterbury and the Universty of Kent. We’re saying goodbye to Kent and we’re getting ready to embrace Limerick and its luscious campus.
On the 23d of January we held the first Pilgrims Café event; this is where more than 200 trainers and teachers met up to talk shop, share ideas, support each other and share the spirit of togeteherness. The café will run monthly, and our next one will take place Feb 13. Details will be posted here: www.pilgrims.co.uk, and on our Facebook page. So, don’t miss out, and remember, the event is free but you’ll need to register in advance.
Obviously Teacher Development has not been put on hold and we have designed a series of exciting online live classes. Upcoming sessions will be run by Senior Faculty Hanna Kryszewska (on Mediation), Senior Faculty Judit Feher (on Developing Language Tasks online) and Senior faculty Peter Dyer (Improvisation for Speaking Practice).
We will also feature mini course run by NLP practitioner and coach Mike Shreeve and educational psychologist Alicja Galazka (Flourishing in Education). The sessions will focus on practical strategies to help teachers work on their Emotional Quotient (EQ) and thrive in difficult circumstances. More details here .
Form more aboutthe developments read Pilgrims News.
This issue is hosted by Australia. I would like to thank Gerhard Erasmus for his hard work and all the contributors who have created this brilliant and thought provoking issue. Working with you has been great pleasure.
Enjoy the February issue
Dear HLT Friends,
Welcome to the second Australia specific edition of Humanising Language Teaching. The first one was published in October 2018, and now almost three years later, we bring you a second one from Australia, but with the inclusion of New Zealand where we have also had a few solid contributions from. COVID-19 has impacted lives and industries all over the globe, and we hope this edition gives us the opportunity to reflect and learn, but also to share ideas and stories. A very special thank you to Hania who helped make this possible, and the team from AusELT who helped by writing articles or encouraging others to write. There are quite a few first time writers, and we hope you enjoy their contributions.
When I first read Phil Chappell’s Meaning-based Feedback to Support Students’ Written Langauge Development, the story aspect of the writing drew me in and I hope it does the same for you. Phil is also an admin of AusELT and a contributed to this edition in many more ways than just this article. I first met Martin Cooke online when he was the IATEFL TDSIG scholarship winner, and although he is currently based in Taiwan, I found his article Combining Timed Reading Tasks With the Academic Reading Circles Approach too good to not put in this edition. The final article in the skills section is Hoang Trieu’s action research report titled Exploring the Effects of Comics in Communication. It is both insightful, and a guide to other teachers who have not done action research in terms of how to write up the results of action research in an easy to read format.
The classroom practice section contains two articles focusing on action research as well. Michelle Oriciano’s Anxiety in the Foreign Language Classroom provides a rationale and action research program for dealing with anxiety through councelling. Jenny Wallace, whom I first met at an IATEFL presentation on action research in Brighton in 2018, discusses Five Sustainable Practices from Action Research to Enhance your Everyday Teaching. I have seen both of them present, read articles they have written, and enjoyed social time with them, both in the UK and in Australia. I hope their caring nature and insight into action research contributes to your everyday teaching and approach to action research in the classroom.
In the teacher training section, we have two article contributions from 3 people I love spending time with, even if most of those times are at conferences between sessions. Sarah Chamberlain and Anna Hasper combine to bring you one article from Sarah’s Pencil case challenge. There are a number of these online, but this one is especially good as Anna is a very experienced and well-travelled teacher trainer and the ideas are bound to inspire trainers and teachers. Sandra Pitronacci, another AusELT admin member, talks about affordances in her article titled Digressions of a Tentative Teacher Trainer and it is another article where the flow drew me in the moment I started reading it.
In the general section, I wrote a summary of a research study I did as part of my EdD in Organisational Leadership, and specifically look at organisational learning and strategic planning post-COVID. The ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) industry in Australia has been especially hard hit by the pandemic, and with education being one of the largest exports of the Australian economy, recovery of the industry would be critical.
21st Century Skills and Lesson Ideas widen the scope of representation with a combination of experienced and new writers. Virginia Mawer shares 99 Ways to Engage Students in Unprecedented Times, while Skye Playstedt’s Encourging Critical Thinking Through a Dialogic Teaching Approach in the Beginner-level English Classroom discusses an often underrepresented level. In lesson ideas, Faezeh Mehrang shares insights and ideas in Emergency Remote Teaching: Teacher Reflections and Teaching Ideas. Anh T. Ton Nu shares two self-written poems and how they contribute to student learning.
In Voices, Yulianto Lukito and Jo Robberts share their experiences in a time of COVID and considering the many possible effects that COVID might have on how we do things going forward, the delivery of teacher training online might open up training opportunities for teachers all over the world. We hope you enjoy the range of articles here, and if you ever do see me face to face at an event, I am always up for a game of chess.
Gerhard playing chess with one of his three children,
Predominantly because he can still beat them…
We hope you enjoy the contributions from the authors for this edition and look forward to a positive and productive 2021.
British Council Taiwan
Gerhard Erasmus is an admin member of AusELT, teacher trainer and academic manager at the British Council Taiwan, and is currently studying towards an EdD in Organisational Leadership. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org