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Recent me in ELT

It’s been a little while without a post… I’m sorry to myself most of all because writing for 4CinELT merges two important practices for me: academic writing for a wider audience and reflective writing. I need both of these to keep going for my own growth and mental health, frankly. I’m slowly working on a post about my teacher talking time, another about the impact of connecting with learners over the course of a 24-week program, and finally a third regarding professional decisions that can significantly change identity.

Having said this, worthy things have diverted my attention and I’d like to share them because they contribute to these two practices in their own ways. Perhaps one will resonate.

Article 1: LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the language classroom: attitudes and considerations 🌈

I wrote this article for TESL Ontario Contact magazine, Spring 2018 edition based on a talk I gave at its conference last November. In it, I discuss how acknowledging the need for changes can be easy, but going beyond clicks and shares is more important. When considering how to become more inclusive for LGBTQ+ learners, it’s first necessary to recognise that it’s necessary, what attitudes have contributed to this necessity, and where we can question our own actions in either providing space for improvement or hindering its progress. Here is an excerpt from this article:

Click here to read the full article or here to download the snazzier PDF.

Article 2: Resources: Up for debate 🤐

EL Gazette approached me a while ago about writing a follow-up piece to my post, Use of debates about LGBTQ+ in ELT Materials, for their April 2018 IATEFL Edition magazine that focussed solely on considerations for the debate activity itself with another LGBTQ+ purposed article at a later date. In this article, I keep to the point of how debate activities can be useful to generate discussion and practise language chunks with learners, but that there are situations where debates may cause further marginalisation among learners. Here is an excerpt from this article:

Click here to read the full article or here to get the print version.

Article 3: Fake news, questioning, and happiness proteins 📰

For Garnet Education–a publisher I wouldn’t mind exploring for ARC in fact–I wrote a piece that builds off of both a plenary I gave last year and an article I wrote for EFL Magazine on the importance of practising critical questioning of information in the language classroom in these times of oversharing through social media. In it, I give two examples of popular shares on Facebook (one happiness protein strutting its stuff included…), and discuss how time pressures, confirmation bias, and lack of critical reading can lead to negative impacts on students (and everyone, really). I follow these with an example activity to use with learners, as well as resources that can facilitate critical questioning. Here is an excerpt from this article:

After examination, however, one can realise that these descriptions only include a kernel of truth. I then go on to set up the remaining argument for critical reading:

Click here to read the full article.

IATEFL TDSIG Coordinator is now just me.👸 

You may have seen me sharing a number of IATEFL Teacher Development Special Interest Group events and posts over the last few years on Twitter and Facebook. After two years on the Committee helping out with website and social media, I became Joint Coordinator with someone I’ve grown to admire, Sinéad Laffan. Over the last year or so, she’s been showing me the ropes (there are a lot of ropes…) and as of the IATEFL Conference in Brighton, I took the reins as sole Coordinator. I’m 🤩, 🤔, 😄, 😵, 😬, 🤗, and 😇. I do believe this role shall generate quite a few topics for blog posts to come. My main consideration now: What role can TDSIG play for teachers in differing contexts? How can TDSIG adapt to the changing landscape of teacher development issues?

Two birthdays on the 4CinELT project.🎁 

In May, I tend to start new projects because the academic year is finally over, spring finally shows its face in Toronto, and I seek new life. Also in May: these things tend to distract me from noticing the anniversaries of these new projects. But not this year! 🎉 It was May 2010 when I began 4CinELT and am now approaching my 200th post! 🎉From this project, it’s gone from a blog to spurning other projects (on the menu above), like #tleap, ARC, design.ed, and the ELT Event Calendar (which also turns 4 years old this month!). I should not let these pass by without some sort of commemoration. Any ideas? Maybe wait till they all turn 10…

Thanks for reading. I’ll now get on with business.

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Carolyn Blume

Hi Tyson, This article is impt. to me! Can you provide a full bibliographic reference so I can include in course materials for my students who are future TEFL?

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