Goal #1 2015 : Support a movement #30 GoalsEdu

Here is my first Goal for 2015. I hope you enjoy it!

Transformative Learning 

na casa dele em São Paulo - Brasil Todos os Direitos Reservados Proibidas Cópias sem Autorização

na casa dele em São Paulo – Brasil
Todos os Direitos Reservados
Proibidas Cópias sem Autorização

There is a history with the term ‘Transformative learning’ because it emerged several decades ago as a particular conceptual framework for understanding how adults learn. The first one to articulate this theory, Paolo Freire, believed that learning is interconnected with the development of a critical consciousness which will eventually lead the learner to take political and social action and be liberated from oppression. Learning is nothing else then than an emancipatory process for Freire. More theorists have followed after him, with the most famous of them being, perhaps, Jack Mezirow, who considered reflection as a central moment to his thinking of how adults make meaning.

For me, both of them present a way of teaching that takes me beyond any strategy I should learn to use when teaching. They represent a vision of life, and within it a vision of life with my students.

You can learn more about Freire’s work and ideas here Freire Institute and about Jack Mezirow here .

ART in ESL

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Why use Art in a foreign language context? Art can enhance instruction is so many levels that perhaps we should not even have to ask this question. Art can help us explore and thus, deepen our understanding of the world around us. It can provide us with rich aesthetic experiences. It can result in cultural awareness. Most of all, it allows for levels of high critical analysis, reflection and communication. That makes it an invaluable tool for us.

Some possible links for information are the following :

(Photo  @Louise Bourgeois. ‘Untitled’ sculpture, 2002)

MOMA

Getty Museum 

Harvard – Project Zero

Save the strays

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Not relevant to ESL, but ….I have a life, too, you know, outside teaching! One of my daily routines is to care for stray animals, whatever this means. It is a fulfilling job because it means caring for the community above all. 

You can of course find an organisation that supports stray animals in your area or just care for them yourself by regularly feeding them, providing water and trying to find foster families. It does not take up much of your time and every little thing helps!

 

Review and discussion of Ferreday & Hodgson – The tyranny of participation

This is my 3rd post for my PGCE in Technology Enhanced Learning. For this post, we were asked to review several papers. This is the first one of these : Ferreday & Hodgson – The tyranny of participation

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tyranny

The main issues the authors are engaging with

  • The ‘darker’ sides of participation in learning are under the spotlight in this paper.
  • Participation is not necessarily a utopian ideal but it could be experienced as oppressive
  • Participative learning without reflexivity can be tyrannical
  • The possibilities offered by the disruptions of a heterotopian space posing as an alternative

What their position (arguments) are

  • Participation without reflexivity can be seen by some learners as an exercise of power and oppression
  • It is suggested that online spaces should not necessarily be seen as utopian spaces, as a lot of pedagogists believe, but as spaces characterized also by disruption which in the end can disturb the notion of the learners. They are ambiguous spaces which can offer possibilities exactly through these disturbances
  • There are different identities of individuals in the way they participate. Failing to recognize them is not given enough attention and this causes many problems in the way these learners are seen in an NL environment.
  • Feelings of guilt are manifested but heterotopic spaces allow space for such feelings to be in the open, and they could result in support and critical reflection. This is what a non-perfect community is but it is a diverse and open space.

How this relates to my experience of the TEL course

I can tell that there have been instances that I, too, experienced, these ‘dark sides’. More specifically, one of the problems was that we were provided too much information at times, and there was not always enough time to learn and practice all this new information. Since the group forum was the main way of communication and participation, there were participants (including myself) that did not respond to the reflective tasks within the time limits given but only later. As a result, there was no response to these posts by other participants, leaving these ‘late’ participants with a feeling of exclusion or with an obligation to apologise constantly for not being prompt in their replies, exactly as Ferreday discusses. From a personal point of view, once writing a post, there is the expectation of a dialogue and when this does not occur, disappointment follows. Not being bound by space and time makes online learning convenient for busy professionals like us, yet it seems that, no matter how many the obstacles, interaction remains an essential as well as a much expected part for the learning process to be fulfilled. Yet, even if these feelings were out there, they did not cause a great disturbance rather than showing that these are just some possibilities that can occur in these online spaces.

What the paper’s main strengths and weaknesses are from my experience of the TEL course

Approaching online spaces and participation as not utopian spaces that can embrace diversity and offer more opportunities for reflection. In this way, these spaces are seen in a more realistic way and not as idealistic spaces where perfection is expected and nothing less.

Perhaps a negative side to this is that for a heterotopian space to function positively in the end, even through disruptions, there has to be reflective practice and therefore engagement of the learners with each other and another prerequisite is the creation of a more informal/less academic atmosphere, both of which require time to happen.

Never say never

Never say never. Joanna’s first painting!!!

My Elt Rambles

This is going to be short and sweet and of course non ELT-related. Even if someone tells you that you can’t do something, but you feel you can, do it. This is what my painting looks like. I have no idea what the colours are any more. I do not know how well they match. I used what I learnt about colours, my teacher helped me and I made something, even though I thought I couldn’t! Yes, there are loads of imperfections, and of course it could be ten times better but.. who cares? I did it 😀 Here is my first painting, and as I am colour blind, this is ‘my mountain’ and I kinda climbed it! Yay!

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Till next time…..

Δείτε την αρχική δημοσίευση

My letter to my ‪#youngerteacherself‎ for Joanna Malefaki’s (@joannacre) blog challenge!

167210_1877392374923_6869167_nVicky mou,

Would you be surprised to know I am talking to you from the future? Perhaps, yes.. You are starting out as a young teacher and I am pretty sure you would appreciate some advice from a more experienced professional than you. What could I tell you then that you don’t already know? Here are a few suggestions :

  • Learn to appreciate your students. They are going to teach you as much as you are going to teach them, too. If not more!

  • Be patient. Rome was not built in a day! It takes time to learn and you need to remember this as well as to remind this to your students , too.

  • Make them feel special because they are! And make them smile or laugh in every lesson. If you want them to come back, you need to create a very pleasant environment that will make them want to study.

  • Don’t ever believe you know enough. There will always be something more you can learn. Broaden your horizons and your knowledge. Do not limit yourself to obtaining only a professional education . Make sure you acquire a broader education. It will open up your mind.

  • Do not hesitate to open up and ask for advice . Talk over your possible teaching problems with a more experienced teacher.
  • Be prepared to work long hours because your job never finishes once you leave that classroom.

  • No one promised you a ‘rose garden’, which means you are going to face difficulties. At the same time, it is a very rewarding job .

  • Be genuinely interested in your profession. Be passionate about it because this is the only way you will be able to overcome obstacles but , most of all, enjoy every moment of it!!

Hope to talk to you again! You know where to find me!!

Interview with Christina Martidou on the making of ‘Dylan & Lydia’ : a digital storybook for young learners of English.

This is my 2nd interview in which I present another creative colleague and a very dear friend, Christina Martidou. We first met here  in Thessaloniki, our hometown, and we ‘clicked’ immediately. I particularly like her inquisitive and restless spirit which led her to create, along with her sister Marina,  a little ‘gem’ : a digital storybook  for young learners of English, «Dylan & Lydia», which is actually the theme of our interview!  I have to tell you though that this is actually a ‘double’ interview. After interviewing Christina, I asked her to interview her students who took part in the making of this storybook by lending their voices. I think she did an excellent job and we have come up with a wonderful video which I hope you will enjoy watching and which will also give you a better idea of her work.

Interview with Christina Martidou 

Vicky : Christina, so nice to have you here!

Christina : It’s my great pleasure and honour, Vicky!

Vicky : Christina, I hear 2 little kids, Dylan and Lydia have stolen your heart!!! Who are they?

Christina : That’s right! Dylan and Lydia are the main characters of my first digital storybook designed for young learners of English around the world.

Vicky : Now, how did you come up with the idea that two small children like them could actually ‘choose’ their own fate?

Christina : I generally believe in the power of choice and creating one’s own destiny. Throughout our lives we face various dilemmas and the decisions we make, lead us to different paths or can even change our lives forever. For me, it’s good to let children know early on that actions have consequences and we should use our power to choose as wisely as we can.

In the case of our storybook, we also thought that offering ‘Dylan’ and ‘Lydia’ the opportunity to choose their own fate empowers the user who can pick the direction of the story in the role of the protagonists and create his own reading path.

Additionally, it makes the storybook even more interesting and rich in content since the readers can enjoy two completely different stories with different endings and morals in one App!

Vicky : Can you tell us a bit more about the plot?

Christina : Dylan and Lydia are two amiable 9 year-old- twins who live in Oxford. On a day trip to London, they meet Madame Sonya, a famous Fortune teller, who will slyly try to trick them into her evil plans. The twins have the chance to travel to a wondrous place for children called ‘Fantasy Land’ or experience adventurous moments with notorious pirates on a real pirate ship! Dylan and Lydia end up learning important life lessons about the value of true friendship and trust.

Vicky : Who wrote the story? How did you get inspired?

Christina : My younger sister Marina and I came up with the stories on a boat trip to Corfu, a beautiful Greek island. Then, I set out to write the stories in English and design the accompanying activities, dictionaries and games.

Our sources of inspiration have definitely been all the fairytales and Disney movies we have read and watched throughout the years. Writing and publishing our very own children’s book was one of our childhood dreams. This storybook is the outcome of a greater need to be creative in a time of deep financial crisis and stagnation in Greece.

Vicky : How difficult was the realization of this dream (making this app) and how long did it take?

Christina : It was much more challenging than we had originally anticipated. It took us about 6-7 months of full-time work to complete this project. However, this has been by far the most enjoyable and creative experience of my professional life and we really look forward to the ‘Dylan and Lydia’ sequel. Needless to say that this App wouldn’t have been realized, without the invaluable help of remarkable colleagues like Hanna Kryszewska, Charles Boyle Edmund Dudley, John Hughes and Esther Martin. My students’ contributions also make this storybook stand out.

Vicky : I know that several of your students took part in the making of ‘Dylan and Lydia’. Can you tell us more about this experience? How easy or difficult was it to include them in this process?

Christina : My students participated in the whole process very actively! Firstly, we had all the materials (texts, graphic designs, games& activities) tried and tested by 9- 12 year old students (boys and girls) from different backgrounds and language levels. Their feedback was really valuable and we actually implemented many of their ideas in the storyline.

More importantly, the roles of the main characters have been narrated by students of mine who are non-native speakers of English.  Thus, when children read the storybook, they can easily relate to other fluent young learners of English. The experience at the recording studio was unique! My students were more than happy to participate and thrilled to visit a recording studio! However, some of them were initially intimidated by the microphone. The tricky part for us was to achieve a satisfying level of performance (good pronunciation and acting) without losing students’ spontaneity by having them repeat their lines again and again. Luckily, with a little encouragement, the recordings were completed successfully. 

Vicky : What kind of important life lessons can the children learn? Tell us a bit more about one of these life lessons!

Christina : Through the stories children empathize with the main characters and in this way learn useful life lessons. One of them is that true friends are important in life, they can help us through difficult situations and we must never betray them!

Vicky : What are your plans from now on?

Christina : I usually avoid making long- term plans. However, I do wish to keep developing both personally and professionally. Right now, I’m working on a handbook for all teachers who wish to read and explore our educational App with their students. It will include extra language activities, worksheets, DIY crafts and drawings for further practice and fun! This will soon be published on my personal edtech blog (http://christinamartidou.edublogs.org/) and it’ll be free to download.

Thank you for this interview Vicky mou !!!

In fact, just before we were ready to publish her interview, Christina had already prepared this handbook and was kind enough to offer it to all our readers today. Here it is!

DYLAN-LYDIA-HANDBOOK (1)

10988927_10152577872971360_8151353815085493654_nChristina’s bio

Christina Martidou has been an English teacher for the past 14 years. She holds a degree in ‘English Language and Literature’ from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and an MA in ‘Media, Culture and Communication’ from UCL.

She has worked both freelance and in private schools with students of various ages and levels. She currently works at Perrotis College, American Farm School of Thessaloniki. Christina has a genuine interest in educational technology, mobile learning and continuous professional development.

Christina is the author and creative director of ‘Dylan& Lydia at the Fortune Teller’s’, a double- path digital storybook created for young learners of English (http://bit.ly/1pzv6O8 ).

She loves blogging about edtech- related topics at: http://christinamartidou.edublogs.org/

E-mail: martidouchristina@gmail.com

Twitter: @CMartidou

My first positive MOOC experience

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One of the requirements for the PGCE in Technology Enhanced Learning is that I blog about several topics involving Education Technology and this is my first post of this series.

Nearly everybody involved in education has already heard about Moocs (Massive Open Online Courses). They are offered not only by universities internationally but also from various other educational Institutions.  The most popular providers are Coursera, Khan Academy, Udacity, EdEX  and  FutureLearn. Generally speaking, a lot of the most famous Universities all over the world offer them now .

Like most of my colleagues, I heard about Moocs about 3 years ago and decided to give it a try and look into the possibility of attending one or more. The first one was a total failure because even though I registered, i never even bothered to attend. Yet, about a year after that first attempt, I did commit to completing  a Mooc and six months after I finished the first one, I completed a second one, too, both on the same subject (Art and ESL).  Before attending any of them though, I did a little research and this was what I came up with.

mooc

Why are they so popular?

  • You only need a reliable internet connection and some free time to dedicate
  • The majority of them are free (if you want, you can pay an extra fee – only a small amount, normally around 30 to 40 dollars – and receive a “Verified Certificate” that securely links the assessment to the student)
  • There are thousands of courses from across the world available
  • There is a huge variety of subjects to choose from (mathematics, biology, computing, business marketing, education, art, etc.) and it keeps growing
  • There are no real requirements for anyone to attend a course like the ones that exist in formal education
  • A lot of the Universities organizing Moocs are trying to make them count as credit toward a higher education award, like COURSERA’s Moocs, for example (Hammods, 2013).

Some scepticism

  • Skepticists claim it is a delusion to believe the masses can be educated in this way, mainly because of lack of research about how students learn in massive open online platforms (Sharma, 2013)
  • There are high dropout rates (Stein, 2013).
  • Even though Moocs are supposed to be reaching poor and uneducated people, the ones actually taking Moocs do not actually fall in this category (Mazoue, 2013)

My own experience and why it was successful

Why did I complete mine then and then went on for a second one, too? I think the main reason was that the Moocs I finally attended  in full were courses I was really interested in. MOMA (the museum of Modern Art in N.York) was the provider. MOMA had already started organizing these courses in N.York, they had great success and decided it was time they targeted a more global audience. The truth is that I would have even gone to N.York to attend these courses! And I had applied, in the first place. That was before the Moocs. But the number of participants was limited at the time (only 70 people), and they only accepted people from the States.  So, once they announced the same course would be offered in a Mooc, I grabbed the opportunity!

Still, it could have been a disappointment for various reasons: a new platform, distance education, too many participants, not formal education, not receiving any credits for it. I can go on and on… What, in fact, made a difference was the fact that I enjoyed the way they had organized it, at least most of it.  Why?

First of all, each week a new medium was introduced : the first  2 weeks there were video presentations , readings, 1-2 topics for discussion on the forum and a short quiz for the readings. The third week, the videos became more practical and the questions on the forum more challenging. Also, a google hangout was introduced where all the participants could take part in the discussion or watch it asynchronously. The fourth week, there were discussions about the final project. Generally, we were encouraged starting from the first week to interact with the other participants (there must have been over 20.000 enrolled in the course). Our interaction with the other participants also counted towards our final mark. Finally, our projects were posted on the forum the 5th week and were peer reviewed by 3 other participants who had to evaluate each of the projects based on 3-5 specific criteria which appeared on the evaluation page . The projects we had to review were anonymous and each evaluator was chosen randomly. It was the web system that decided which projects each of us would evaluate in an attempt to ensure objectivity.

Even though the truth is that I did not make any connections or acquaintances, I truly enjoyed the 2 Moocs and I would definitely come back for more. The way of organization appealed to me, I was encouraged to participate, the material was relevant and the presentations were excellent! Everything made sense! To ensure I would be more dedicated, I also signed up for a signature track certificate, which means that I also paid a small amount of money for it. It did motivate me more… But it is not obligatory. If you do not pay for a verified certificate, you do not have to complete the final project necessarily. But this also gives more freedom to anyone who just wants to attend a Mooc without being too much involved.

On the other hand, there were some downsides. If you are expecting a more direct and prompt communication with/from the organizers, then it is most probable this is not going to happen! Sometimes, the participants can be thousands and thousands. It is really difficult to answer every single person promptly, especially because of the huge numbers of participants. The peer review also might mean that a lot of people might end up dissatisfied. The participants come from various academic and professional backgrounds so their judgement might be questionable. Not to mention that some people might not consider the evaluation a serious commitment from their part (so they might award a mark without all the necessary consideration) and again their objectivity might be questionable.

All in all, this was a very positive experience.  I honestly believe that these particular Moocs were as effective, if not more so, than any traditional classroom teaching (Glance et al., 2013).  Yet, when later I tried to follow another Mooc which proved to be much much less well planned, more time consuming and a bit confusing, I just quit. Just like that! Yet, isn’t there here a positive side, too? You will only commit to something that you really find interesting. These Moocs target a wider audience so they are flexible, not very academic and as long as they are well planned, to the point, and ensure interaction, they can be very enjoyable and practical!

 

 

  1. Glance, D.G. & Forsey D. & Riley M.(2013). The pedagogical foundations of massive open online courses. First Monday, Volume 18, Number 5. Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4350/3673
  2. Hammods, W. (2013). MOOCs for credit?. Retrieved from http://blog.universitiesuk.ac.uk/2013/02/14/moocs-for-credit/
  3. Mazoue, J.G. (2013). Five Myths about MOOCs. Educase Review, Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/five-myths-about-moocs
  4. Sharma, G. (2013). A MOOC Delusion: Why Visions to Educate the World Are Absurd. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blogs/worldwise/a-mooc-delusion-why-visions-to-educate-the-world-are-absurd/32599
  5. Stein, K. (2013). Penn GSE Study Shows MOOCS Have Relatively few active users, with only a few persisting to course end. Retrieved from http://www.gse.upenn.edu/pressroom/press-releases/2013/12/penn-gse-study-shows-moocs-have-relatively-few-active-users-only-few-persisti

 

 

What’s your story? Blog Challenge by Vicky Loras

“Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?” ― Garth Nix, Sabriel

79d44971a9d7097ae2a41e6355859ff6 (by BluePueblo)

I always go early to work and I always wait outside my room because I hate being late. That also gives me the pleasure and the opportunity to chat with one or two students that most of the times also arrive earlier.

Just before Christmas, I was outside a classroom waiting to go in and start my class. That day, N.T. ( one of my students) was there and we started chatting. He was telling me about his dreams, his expectations and how he was unsure about the studies he had chosen. One thing led to another and I started telling him how sometimes it is life itself that leads the way for us and helps us find ours. So, I told him my story.

My dream was to become an art historian. So, in the beginning my studies were mostly oriented towards that goal. I was not really thinking of being involved in teaching. For some reason, I was afraid of it. I thought of it instead, as something that I could do but not for ever. Something that would give me an income for some time until I could make a permanent income from art history.

So, I went to London, did my Diploma and then my MA in Art History at Goldsmiths (at the same time, I also taught at a Community College) and when I came back to Greece, I started working again as a language teacher and at the same time, I started networking with young artists in my home town. Everything seemed to go according to the plan ( I managed to have an income so I could build a career in a more challenging sector, in the arts) .Until I made a mistake….

A suggestion from a friend to invest in a language school seemed initially as a good opportunity that could give me financial independence , which I needed at the time. I had some money and I had to borrow the rest of it and work hard to get it back. I figured that I went on with that plan, I could combine the two : art and a business plan in a different sector. Inexperienced as I was, I went ahead with it…unfortunately.

It turned out though, business was not in my…blood!No, I wasn’t cut out to have a business. I also soon realised my partner and I did not share the same vision about how the school should be run. Five years later, I decided that enough was enough and I sold my part of the business. But there were…casualties : the stress had a serious toll on my health and my dream about my art history career had been abandoned in the meantime.

What seemed though, as a difficult and possibly self-destructive period, ended up being very apocalyptic to me in several ways. The partnership was difficult indeed, but I knew that I had taken the right decisions in several matters. I always made sure that there a ‘homey’ atmosphere for both students and teachers. The teachers functioned as part of a small community with a lot of love and respect. They were paid well and their opinion mattered. The students (mainly adults, University students and professionals) enjoyed coming to us not only for the quality of the lessons but also because of the friendly atmosphere. So, I knew I had done something right.. Most of all, I realised that being in a lesson made me forget every problem, it relaxed me. It was my consolation. Once I started teaching, my fears, my anxieties, all vanished miraculously . I found comfort and security when I was teaching! It just felt right ! That meant a lot to me at the time..

When I sold my part of the school, I never looked back. I never went back, could not see how it changed. All the staff quit also after me. There was nothing there for me.

After that chapter closed permanently for me, what I realised was mainly that teaching was not just a kind of comfort. I loved it. This was what helped me come out of a difficult period. I stayed home for the next 2,5 months, time I needed to rest and think, and then I went back to University. First, a PGCE in teaching adults and then a new MA, this time in Education.

It seems that some of us have to go a long way to find our way, even though the right path is there, in front of us. Even with all the detours though, this whole adventure remains very rewarding and it was worth every minute of it!

 

Art in ELT : An interview with Chrysa Papalazarou

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Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.

Paul Klee

I met Chrysa Papalazarou, online first (through social media) and then in person, early this year, and we both thought that we had a lot in common, especially our love for art. Chrysa has been using art in her English class in a systematic way for the last 3 years and has created two blogs for this purpose. Her work caught my attention immediately because it was  the first time I saw a colleague use a systematic research-based framework to ‘marry’ ELT and the Arts. The framework in discussion is Visible Thinking which stems from Project Zero (Harvard University). Even more intriguing though, is the fact that through these lesson ‘proposals’ , as she likes to call them, Chrysa tries to raise her students’ awareness on contemporary issues such as War and Peace, bullying, disabilities, etc.

The following is a video Chrysa created to talk about her work :

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  • Chrysa, I would like to welcome you and thank you for this interview. First of all, please tell us a few things about yourself.

I work as an English teacher in a state primary school in Greece. I have also worked in secondary education and as an educator with adults from socially vulnerable groups.

  • I would like to ask you about your blogs and how they started.

There are 2 blogs I have worked on this year: A personal blog (Art Least http://artleast.blogspot.gr) and a class blog (Art in the English Class http://1stchaidarienglish.blogspot.gr ). I started elaborating on the idea of a personal blog, to share things I have worked on or would be working on, last summer after coming across Kieran Donaghy’s Film English, a website I love.

The Art in the English Class blog was a way to publicize students’ work during the project; a place where they could watch again the audio visual material used in class, their own photos from class work, share and read extracts from their learning journals, and an attempt towards more interaction through their comments.

  • Why ESL and Art?

Art is an extremely effective way of realizing educational aims and improving the quality of learning; language learning alike. I work a lot with paintings, photography and video. I try to use visual stimuli which provide an aesthetic alternative from commercial standards. I also try to choose topics that teach values. I am worried to see children so prone to acquiring a pseudo visual literacy devoid of meanings, true information and feelings. Media over exposure to consumerism ideals is responsible for that. I believe this approach enhances their ability to evaluate the huge amount of visual information they receive daily. It also helps them become active readers of images. Coupled with the powerful effect of thinking routines it can stimulate curiosity, imagination, creativity, and develop their critical thinking skills alongside their English language skills.

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  • What is your relation to art? Have you studied art in any way?

My relation to art is that of someone who appreciates art and looks at it with wonder just like my students. There are always so many things to discover.

  • Do you  think that any ESL teacher without any specific knowledge of art could use these lesson plans? How could they benefit?

Yes, the lesson proposals in Art Least provide step by step guidance. I use the term proposals instead of lesson plans. This is deliberate. To my mind, it means a greater degree of flexibility on how to make use of them. Someone may decide to experiment with the entire idea of the proposal or choose one or more steps and work on them. I was happy, for example, when I got feedback from colleagues who had tried out successfully in their teaching situations specific steps. The greatest benefit is in experimentation per se; in the will to try something different, a change for them and their students.

  • What about the students? How interested were they in these lessons?

The students were very interested and this was really rewarding. Working without textbooks, team work, ample of visual stimuli, meaningful themes, activities that ignited their curiosity, publicizing our work through the blog were some of the sources of their enthusiasm. They also loved the thinking routines we used, and this validates the Making Thinking Visible approach in that it fosters engagement and motivation.

  • Are you going to continue with your project next year?

This is an excellent question I keep asking myself, as well. I honestly do not know. The Art in the English Class Project has been a wonderful experience, enriching for students and me alike. But no two classes, no two projects are ever the same. I will be revisiting this question in September.

  • Thank you, Chrysa, for agreeing to talk to me and for your time.

Thank you, Vicky!

Anyone more interested in Chrysa’s implementation of the Visible Thinking Approach as well as Project Zero itself might find useful the links below.

Useful links

  1. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum / Project Zero Educational Collaboration in http://www.pz.gse.harvard.edu/isabella_stewart_gardner_museum.php

  2. Papalazarou, Chrysa. The Art of ELT & the Power of Thinking Routines in http://itdi.pro/blog/2014/06/13/the-art-of-elt-chrysa/

  3. Visible Thinking’ in http://www.visiblethinkingpz.org/VisibleThinking_html_files/VisibleThinking1.html

ELT Wikipedia Project

Today, I would like to present you a project I have started some time ago. The ELT Wikipedia Project.

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What is the ELT Wikipedia Project?

This project started shaping up when, already in the middle of another wikipedia project and while browsing through the website, I realised there was a lack of references especially about significant, prominent ELT people (authors, theorists, etc.) in wikipedia. Yet, I thought that there was room for more than ELT personalities. We could write about terms, associations and anything else relevant to the ELT world. Thinking that such a project would interest several people and not just me, I invited first people that I already knew  they would be interested in taking part in it. 

What does the project involve?

There are 3 main sections in the project :

  1. ELT personalities

  2. ELT terms

  3. English Teaching Associations

1st Section : ELT Personalities

The goal is to :

write short or longer articles about important ELT professionals, e.g. Penny Ur, Luke Meddings, Peter Medgyes, Jeremy Harmer, Ken Wilson, Barbara Hoskins, Nik Peachley, Nicky Hockly, Lindsay Clandfield, JJ Wilson, Rachael Roberts, Vicki Hollett, Chuck Sandy, Marjorie Rosenberg, etc. for WIKIPEDIA. For the time being, there is no reference on any of them except for a short reference on Scott Thornbury and one two more short references.

Section 2 : ELT terms

There are already several ELT terms mentioned in wikipedia, but there is need for more ELT terms to be included. Several terms already exist, but they need more references or need to be edited, or enriched.

Some others do not exist at all.

Section 3 : ELT Associations

Only IATEFL is listed briefly

Possible entries for it could be : ELTA Serbia, IATEFL-Hungary, TESOL GREECE, TESOL Macedonia Thrace, BELTA Belgium, TESL Toronto, SEETA teacher association, etc.

Who can be involved?

  • ELT teachers

  • ELT undergraduate or postgraduate students

  • Anyone related with ELT who is interested in our project and has, at least, ‘some’ writing experience.

How can you can be involved?

You can contact me

Or

Ask to join our facebook group :

https://www.facebook.com/groups/571344006316259/

In what way can you be involved?

Decide what you would like to write about. Check our list (the list can be found in our facebook group, or you can ask it from me) to see if another editor is already on it.

We will help you with the details on how to write a wikipedia article and we will make some suggestions about what should be included.

Also, more than one person can be involved in writing an entry, in case you would be interested in co-writing an entry with a friend/colleague.

How else can you contribute?

If you do not want to write about something, there are other ways you can help :

  1. Suggest more ELT personalities we should write about and explain why

  2. You can suggest an article that you have already written (perhaps for your personal blog) and we can discuss together if this can be a possible wikipedia entry.

  3. Improve on already written terms

 

How long do you have to dedicate?

We suggest that a rough deadline is 30- 40 days

BUT, several entries can be written in way less time!

How will you get credit for your contribution?

Your contribution will be published on Wikipedia, as well as on our blog with your name.

You can also keep a reflective journal of your experience. If you don’t have a blog, we’ll publish it for you.

If you write about an ELT personality, you can also consider interviewing this person.

Already, several entries are ready for wikipedia. Soon, we will start posting them.

I hope you will find the project interesting!