Upcoming MOOCs for ELT educators | Jun – Jul 2018

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Here are some Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to keep you occupied over the next couple of months. All of these courses are free but you also have the option of  upgrading and buying a certificate from the course provider. Some of the courses have already started but it’s not too late to join.  A good way of keeping track of upcoming courses is using Class-Central‘s alert function. They’ll send you an email when courses you’re interested in become available.

Adult learners

Assessment

Behaviour management 

CLIL

Language teaching

Linguistics

Special needs and inclusion

Teacher education 

Technology

Young learners

Other topics

 

Image attribution: Photo by Ciprian Boiciuc on Unsplash

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Developing as a CLIL practitioner | Resources

CLIL resources

When exploring career options with CELTA trainees here in India,  I find that there’s understandably some apprehension in response to the question ‘what next?’ The range of options available is considerably more limited than other countries. It’s technically illegal to employ a teacher who doesn’t have a Bachelor of Education, which essentially locks trainees out of the formal K12 education sector.

However with the rise of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) across South Asia and the exponential growth in private EMI schools who often have questionable standards, there’s immense untapped opportunity here for CLIL.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) “is a dual focused educational approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and language. For example, CLIL has involved Malaysian children learning maths and science in English. CLIL has been used for Norwegian students to do drama in German, Italian students to learn science in French, Japanese students to learn geography in English and Australians to learn maths in Chinese. The combinations of languages and subjects are almost limitless.”

Uncovering CLIL, p.9

As a CLIL practitioner, you could consult with school networks and tertiary institutions (EMI is as much a reality in colleges as it is in schools) on a project basis. Your work might include writing materials, planning curriculum, teacher training, monitoring and evaluation activities and co-teaching.

Here are some ways of developing as a CLIL practitioner. While courses can be useful, I think we are sometimes too quick to discount the role books can play in our professional development and I’d recommend creating a professional development plan that includes resources from all of the following categories.

Books

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  • Putting CLIL into Practice by John Clegg, Keith Kelly, and Phil Ball (OUP). You can preview this book here.
  • CLIL Activities by Liz Dale and Rose Tanner (CUP)
  • Content and Language Integrated Learning by Do Coyle, Philip Hood, and David Marsh (CUP)
  • The CLIL Resource Pack by Margaret Grieveson and Wendy Superfine (Delta)
  • Teaching Other Subjects through English by Sheelagh Deller and Christine Prince (OUP)
  • Uncovering CLIL by Peeter Mehisto and Maria Jesus Frigols, and David Marsh (Macmillan)
  • The Roles of Language in CLIL by Ana Llinares, Tom Morton, and Rachel Whittaker (CUP)
  • The TKT Course CLIL Module by Kay Bentley (CUP)

Note that only Teaching Other Subjects through English and The TKT Course CLIL Module are available as low priced South Asia editions.

Assessments

The Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) has a specialist module on the CLIL. Here’s a free handbook from Cambridge for candidates who are preparing for the TKT – CLIL. While it’s information light, it outlines syllabus areas for the CLIL and could be useful in designing your own development plan. The TKT Course CLIL Module book describes these syllabus ares in greater detail.

Courses

  • Exploring content and language integrated learning (CLIL) is a 15 hour course spread over 5 weeks from the British Council. This is an online moderated course and is run periodically. I think it’s reasonably priced at £100 and covers a range of relevant topics and includes virtual sessions in a webinar format.

  • Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) offered by Oxford TEFL, is a 30 hour online course.  It seems to have good reviews but the syllabus outline included on their site gives you the sense that they cover less on this 30 hour course than the British Council’s 15 hour course. However, they state that participants “will read articles, blogs and watch videos and then discuss the content with your tutor via forum discussions and live tutorials. For each module you have to complete an assignment.” An assignment for each module might be the clincher.  However, at €350, it’s a bit dear.
  • English for Teaching Purposes is a free MOOC from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona on Coursera. It’s offered quite frequently and there’s one starting on June 18, 2018. It focuses on CLIL in a tertiary context and its intended audience is university lecturers who are required to deliver their sessions in English. You can purchase a certificate for under ₹2000 (NB: Coursera has differentiated pricing based on location you may see a different price in your own currency)
  • CLIL Teaching Method is a face to face course from Kaplan International which is offered as a 15 hour, 20 session course at language schools in the UK and Ireland. I don’t know much about this course and it would be sensible to connect on social media with people who’ve done it.
  • Postgraduaat CLIL is a year long diploma (?) course offered by UC Leuven Limben in Belgium. It’s taught in French and English and looks interesting but it seems to be aimed at teachers in Wallonia, Flanders and Netherlands.
  • CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) Methodology in Higher Education from the Summer School at Utrecht University is a week long course priced at €750 – the institution also organises accommodation.
  • Techno-CLIL: Over the last two years, Italian CLIL practitioners have offered a free moderated course as part of Electronic Village Online. If it’s offered again in 2019, you’ll be able to enroll in the first week of January.
  • Free CLIL Video Course: This is a video series rather than a course but why look a gift horse in the mouth. After subscribing to the course, you’ll receive four emails with links to videos that introduce you to CLIL. It might be a good idea to follow the course author Patrick de Boer on Twitter.

Websites

  • TeachingEnglish: articles and blogs on the British Council’s site for teachers.
  • OnestopCLIL: lots of resources but mostly for paid subscribers.
  • LexiCLIL: this site offers ideas for blending the lexical approach with CLIL.
  • CLIL@India: a project funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme to introduce CLIL methodology to India. You can follow the project on Twitter (@CLILatIndia ).

Blogs 

  • CLIL Seminar in Getxo: An up-to-date blog with lots of CLIL lesson resources from Loli Iglesias.
  • CLIL for success: interesting stuff and some of the posts are bilingual.
  • A CLIL to climb: hasn’t been updated in yonks but I’ve included it because I encountered CLIL for the first time on Chiew Pang’s blog many years ago.
  • CLIL Media blog: this is a successor of the CLIL Magazine which was full of useful articles and resources.
  • Reflections on CLIL: Not been updated in a while but worth a dekko.
  • Nina Spain: has a lot of resources including training materials.

Gaining experience

  • Volunteering with an initiative such as Teach for India which places its ‘fellows’ within low resource, disadvantaged classrooms could be a good way of getting teaching experience.
  • Find out if any affordable private schools in your suburb/town offer EMI classes or are making the transition to full EMI status – offer your services to them. You could co-teach with subject teachers, dealing with English needs while they can focus on maths, science, social science etc.

Are there any other resources you think I should include in this list? Share links in the comments below.

If you’re working with CLIL, your experiences of developing skills in this area might be useful to teachers who are interested in a career in a CLIL. Give me a shout if you’d be interested in being interviewed.

Image by Tra Nguyen on Unsplash

Upcoming webinars for ELT educators | Jun & Jul 2018

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Here are some upcoming webinars that might interest ELT professionals. I have only been able to track down one in July but I’ll keep updating the list if I come across any others. Do let me know if I’ve missed any.

An asterisk (*) means that you’ll need to register to attend.

Approaches

Business English & ESP

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Technology

Testing 

Young learners 

Other topics

Image attribution: Photo by Jeroen den Otter on Unsplash

#EdLitChat: a virtual book club for educators

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I’m a voracious reader but I often find myself shying away from books related to education, ELT, learning research and the like. Even when I have them on my Kindle or on my bookshelf, I seem to gravitate towards a travelogue or space opera rather than reading something that might build breadth and depth of knowledge across different aspects of education. I realise that books are a wonderful and frequently ignored approach to professional development and I’ve been reflecting on how I could remedy my somewhat lackadaisical attitude towards them.

#EdLitChat, obviously modeled on the great #ELTchat, is an initiative that some peers and I have started to motivate each other to read books about our field. All of us have a background in ELT but work in teacher development and education research, and see this as an opportunity to read new and seminal books on education, build our PLN, share experiences and reflect collaboratively on what we’ve read.

Each month, we’ll read one book and come together on Facebook or Twitter to discuss it on the last Sunday of the month at 4 pm India time (check what time it is where you are). I’d like to make the group as inclusive as possible so we’ll have lots of free publications (have a look at my post on where to get free books). We’re starting with one of these free books, Effective Learning in Classrooms by Chris Watkins, Eileen Carnell and Caroline Lodge.

I’d like to invite teachers and education professionals from any background to come read with us. You can stay updated with #EdLitChat through any or all of the following platforms based on whatever you tend to use:

I’ll basically be repeating the same information across the three but the wiki will also hopefully host additional content such as chat summaries and book reviews. I’d love to hear your suggestions for books we could read in upcoming months.

Upcoming webinars for ELT educators | Mar & Apr 2018

Upcoming ELT webinars

Here’s a round-up of webinars scheduled over the next two months. I’ve been told that I neglect webinars provided by North American platforms although I’ve always included ones from Tutela – I’m going to try to cast my net a bit more widely but do let me know if I’ve missed any.

Academic skills and EAP

Approaches and techniques

Business English 

Coaching

Corpora

Critical thinking 

Inclusive education

Pronunciation

Psychology 

Research

Speaking skills

Teacher identity

Technology 

Teens

Young learners

Well-being

The following webinars are from a series organised by International House. Many thanks to Sandy Millin for sharing the link.

Other topics

Shelly Terrell runs a webinar every Friday at 4 pm Eastern time. The topics are usually announced through this Twitter account. More details here.

Video for your Business English Classes | Upcoming webinar

I’m going to be coordinating an event for ELT@I BESIG which is a new association that aims to build a community of practice of Business English and ESP practitioners in India.  This is the third webinar in a series and this time round, we have Vicki Hollett who is well known for her YouTube channel and her wry sense of humour.  She’s going to be talking about using video in Business English classes.

The webinar is on Saturday March 3 at 1830 India time. You can register using this link.

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If you haven’t heard of Vicki before, this video may be a good introduction 🙂

Where to get free ELT & education-related books … legally

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Many of the teachers I work with often ask me for recommendations for books to help them with lesson planning, activities, methodology, research and general professional development. I can suggest titles by the dozens but they are often not really affordable – a topic I’ve written about before.

So here’s a list of sites where you can get free ELT and education related books.

1. British Council’s Teacher Development Publications 

There are loads here but my favourites in no particular order include the following:

2. Chris Watkins’ publications

A veritable treasure trove. I could spend a year rummaging through all the free stuff and not even make a dent. Note that many of the files are articles or excerpts. However, the complete version of Effective Learning in Classrooms is available as a free download. This is a very accessible book for getting started on the journey to reflective teaching. I also found Classrooms as Learning Communities very inspiring.

3. ELT Council Publications 

This site currently hosts three free books: The image in English Language Teaching by (Ed. Kieran Donaghy and Daniel Xerri) -definitely worth a dekko, Creativity in English Language Teaching and The Learning ELT Professional.

4. Quick Cups of COCA by Mura Nava

If you’ve started using corpora, explore Mura’s useful little book on different searches you can run in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (CoCA). You can read my review of this book here.

5. Nik Peachey’s free digital books

Nik is always giving away free stuff. While the publications he’s well known for such as Digital Tools for Teachers aren’t free, he often offers huge discounts on these books and you might end up paying something between ₹50 and ₹100 which is an absolute steal for a book stuffed with practical ideas. You can get updates about discounts and free goodies from his Edtech & ELT Newsletter – to subscribe, go to his blog, scroll down and enter your email address in the box on the right that says “My free newsletter”.

6. 50 tips for ELT materials writers by ITDI (ed. Katherine Bilsborough)

7You are the coursebook – Lesson plans by Matt Purland

8. Phil Wade’s books on SmashWords – Lots of ESP and Business English booklets.

9. Free chapters by Zoltan Dornyei has written in a range of books. Dornyei is well known for his writing on motivation and dynamics in the language classroom.

10. Contributions to Creative Classrooms – a collection of activities put together by teachers who attended an ELTA-British Council workshop  in Serbia.

11. Enjoying books together: a guide for teachers on the use of books in the classroom by Joseph Nhan-O’Reilly – a beautifully illustrated book from the Rwandan Children’s Initiative

12. Publications from IATEFL’s Research Special Interest Group – I found Developing as an EFL Researcher: Stories from the field particularly interesting.

13. Articles by Jack C. Richard (suggested by Matthew Noble). While these aren’t books, there are excerpts and papers from books.

14. The Lexical Approach by Dave Ellis thanks to the University of Birmingham.

15. Books by Stephen Krashen including The Natural Approach, Second Language Acquisition and Second Language LearningPrinciples and Practice
in Second Language Acquisition and Summer Reading program and evidence. Many thanks to Marisa Constantinides for sharing these links.

16. Some free books on management and leadership from OReilly – potentially useful for Business English and ESP trainers. There are two titles – The secret behind great one-to-one meetings and Build to lead: how Lego bricks can make you a better leader, which might be interesting for a wider audience.

17. Teaching and Learning Languages: a guide is a free ebook funded by the Australian Department of Education.

18. Flipping the System is a free book from Routledge that explores ways of replacing top-down accountability with bottom-up support for teachers.

19. Getting started with Virtual Reality Guide by Monica Burns, the founder of  ClassTechTips.com

Suggestions for additions to my list are highly appreciated as long as they are related to ELT or education and of course legitimately free!

Image attribution: Free by Foomandoonian – Flickr – CC BY-NC-SA 2.0