Developing Targeted Technology Standards for Avenue language instructors, programs, and learners: an initiative of New Language Solutions

Allan, J., Healey, D., Hubbard, P., Kessler, G., McBride, R., Rajabi, S., and Sturm, M. (2024) Developing Targeted Technology Standards for Avenue language instructors, programs, and learners: an initiative of New Language Solutions. TESL Ontario Contact Magazine, 50 (1) 16-30.

Authors of this report in TESL Ontario’s Spring 2024 Contact magazine provide insight to New Language Solutions’ (NLS) approach to developing technology standards specifically targeted to instructors in Canada’s settlement language sector and that will be integrated into NLS’s online teacher training and leadership training. It describes the ongoing activities related to the standards that are intended to create a culture of continuous improvement around technology in learning environments. This includes regular reviews and updates of the standards as needed.

The report gives examples of the collaborative, online process the team used to trim the language in the standards and the performance indicators so they are as direct and clear as possible. The report links to a request form for the full set of standards but it also gives a brief overview of the seven standards along with a fuller example of “Standard 4, about digital literacy and digital citizenship for yourself and your learners.”.

The report outlines the evaluation process the standards followed, lays out the plan that will integrate the standards in instructor training and microcredentials, with the aim of sector-wide, consistent, deep understanding of the standards; and emphasizes ongoing initiatives that will generate data about the impact of the standards on programs.

A list of references is followed by a sample vignette that describes an instructor’s thoughts and experiences as she incorporates the standards into her instruction.

Teaching the pronunciation of vowels on Zoom

Tiittanen, M. (2022) Teaching the Pronunciation of Vowels on Zoom. TESL Ontario Contact Magazine, 48 (3) 15-20.

The author presents suggestions for teaching vowels using synchronous video. He includes information about the advantages of doing this, e.g., the ESL teacher being able to magnify their mouth, tongue, lips and jaw. A benefit for the ESL learner is that they can see their own mouths on-screen as they attempt the same sounds and compare them with the teacher’s model.

Tiittanen provides a brief reference list to support his suggestions for teaching a number of vowels. In addition to describing teaching methods he also includes helpful videos to illustrate this in action and gives the reader a link to his Pronunciation Channel on YouTube. This enables ESL learners to view the videos to practise as often as they want.

In addition to valuable information about how to teach using Zoom or other synchronous video, Tiittanen discusses the safety concerns that were a key aspect of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as issues of classroom noise and personal space and distance that are still relevant for pronunciation teachers as the pandemic recedes.

Retrievable from:

http://contact.teslontario.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Tiittanen.pdf

Ten years later: Reexamining the TESOL Technology Standards for Language Teachers

Sun, X. (2022). Ten years later: Reexamining the TESOL Technology Standards for Language Teachers. TESOL Journal, 13(e684).

A research team interviewed a panel of practitioners with expertise and experience in language teaching, computer-assisted language learning and instructional technology to explore whether the TESOL Technology Standards for Language Teachers are still applicable today and what updates might be needed. The panel validated the Standards’ continued applicability, with recommendations for how they should be updated.

In addition to addressing these questions, the report includes the four practitioners’ thoughtful responses reflecting their own experience with teaching with technology in the Findings (5). It also includes their recommendations for updating the performance indicators in the Standards and by considering issues that have emerged since they were developed, e.g., mobile applications and learner data privacy among others.

Retrievable from:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/tesj.684

Building ESL Learners’ Digital Literacy Skills Using Internet Memes

Nguyen, N., Chambers, W., & Abbott, M. Building ESL Learners’ Digital Literacy Skills Using Internet Memes. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada, 39(1), 83-103.

This article examines and describes how internet memes can be used to support and enhance ESL learners’ digital skills. Internet memes are humourous and engaging ideas, images, and phrases that spread from person to person through online sharing, particularly on social media. (Here is a link to a short, clear explanation of memes: The Now- What is a Meme?)

Having provided a general introduction to memes and a description of popular internet memes the authors examine memes in the context of language learning in relation to the Digital Literacies Framework for Language Learning developed by Mark Pegrum and colleagues (Digital Literacies Revisited). This framework outlines the essential digital skills which language learners need to participate in a digital society, and focuses on four competencies, the ability to communicate; use information; collaborate; and re-design or create new meanings.

Based on this framework the authors provide a Meme Selection and Implementation Guide for ESL instructors. They also provide  an Exemplar Meme Task  for use with Intermediate ESL learners (CLBs 5-8; Common European Framework (CEFR) B1-2)  intended to support the development of language and digital literacy skills and which has also been piloted in a CLB 5 LINC class as part of a module on Canadian workplace culture

Retrievable from: https://teslcanadajournal.ca/index.php/tesl/article/view/1553

Teachers’ technology-related self-images and roles: Exploring CALL teachers’ professional identity

Shafiee, Z., Marandi, S. S., & Mirzaeian, V. R. Teachers’ technology-related self images and roles: Exploring CALL teachers’ professional identity. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–20.

This article describes a small, preliminary study examining the professional identity of language instructors who actively integrate technology with language instruction. and are described as CALL teachers. The goal of the study is to extend understanding of what the authors describe as CALLTPI, (CALL teachers’ professional identity).

The study is based on an extensive review of literature exploring teacher identity, defined as “teachers’ self images and perceptions that “determine the way teachers teach, the way they develop as teachers, and their attitudes towards educational changes”(p.3)and the use of  a semi-structured interview methodology in which 24 CALL teacher educators, academics who taught CALL courses and used technology to teach language-related subjects, and classroom language instructors who used digital technology in virtual, blended or technology enhanced learning environments. The interview questions were designed to explore CALL teachers’ “perceived teaching roles, self-image, confidence, sense of self-efficacy, skills, and knowledge that contribute to enacting their teaching roles, solving pedagogical and technical problems, dealing with ethical challenges, and making decisions in technology-enhanced teaching environments.

Based on these interviews the authors identify three major themes related to teacher identity. These are individual identity, classroom-based identity, and agentive identity. Individual identity is understood as their roles as professionals who use technology, classroom-based identity as their roles as teachers who integrate technology in their classrooms and agentive identity as playing an active role in the integration and use of technology, in supporting and influencing students in the effective use of technology for learning and serving as role models for students and colleagues.

The authors note the need for further research on teacher professional identity related to computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and to help inform the work of curriculum designers and material developers in the area language instruction.

Retrievable from: https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/server/api/core/bitstreams/95924c83-7fea-4d5b-bf28-a37c7be3fbda/content

Strengthening Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada: Learning from Experiences in Saskatoon

Nadia Maqbool. “Strengthening Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada: Learning from Experiences in Saskatoon” M.Ed. Thesis. University of Saskatchewan, 2022.

This M.Ed. thesis from the University of Saskatchewan documents a very recent study examining the learning needs of new ESL LINC instructors as they begin their teaching careers.

The research questions focussed on what is expected of these instructors in their workplaces, the challenges they encounter and the supports they need. Using a qualitative research methodology, the researcher surveyed new ESL LINC instructors in Saskatoon to arrive at a clearer understanding of their experiences, and to identify potential actions to improve the overall orientation, training, and ongoing professional development process for ESL LINC instructors.

In general, these instructors indicated a need for more support and guidance in understanding the LINC system, the CLB and PBLA, and a need for more robust technical support in LINC programs, and enhanced support in the effective use of technology for online, blended, and remote teaching and learning.

Participants identified concerns about their unfamiliarity with digital technologies, lack of experience in online teaching, and the ongoing challenges of confronting technical issues in virtual classrooms. In addition, participants expressed concerns about the challenges of online and blended learning environments in working with learners at CLB Levels 1-4, and concurrent issues in supporting learners who may not have sufficient familiarity with digital technologies and have ongoing needs for technical supports.

Based on participant responses, the study includes recommendations for practices that could enhance the experience of new ESL LINC instructors, including assigning mentors to new instructors, providing clear instructions on online and blended learning, and a thorough orientation to software and applications in use in LINC classrooms.

Retrievable from : https://harvest.usask.ca/handle/10388/13827

Google Translate as a Tool for Self-Directed Language Learning

van Lieshout, C., & Cardoso, W. (2022). Google Translate as a tool for self-directed language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–19.

Many language learners have to overcome obstacles when they want to learn a new language. This may result in them making attempts to learn the language on their own. This study looks at three features that define successful self-directed learners: self-motivation, use of independent learning strategies and an ability to self-assess whether those strategies are effective. The authors look to affordances of Google Translate that can help to enable self-directed learning.

The study provides background on both self-directed learning and self-directed language learning and examines the impact of Google Translate on the latter in the areas of vocabulary and pronunciation.

The study explored these two questions:

To what extent can learners acquire phrases and their pronunciations after using Google Translate in a self-directed language learning environment?

How do learners interact with Google Translate to learn an L2?

Although the study looked at learners of Dutch as a foreign language, because Google Translate is widely available, the findings will be of interest for many learners who want to learn and continue to learn on their own and to teachers who would like to include some of these self-directed tools for use beyond the classroom.

Retrievable from:

https://www.lltjournal.org/item/10125-73460/

Here are two quite different studies of Google Translate in second language learning:

A “Hands-On” Approach to Raise Awareness of Technologies: A Pilot Class and its Lessons

Retrievable from:

https://escholarship.org/uc/item/3ds2d55b

Using an ADAPT Approach to Integrate Google Translate into the Second Language Classroom

Retrievable from:

https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8dm2p4bb

Pedagogical lessons for Remote/Blended Online Classrooms

Englander, K. & Russell, B. TESL Ontario Contact November 28, 2021.

This article reports on insights gained during a COVID-19 pivot to remote teaching and learning in a university language program. Five key practices emerged from how learners and instructors handled the new technology-mediated curriculum. The article references the Community of Inquiry framework and its origins at Athabasca University in Alberta two decades ago. The framework was used to inform curriculum design and a research study on remote teaching and learning in the 2020-21 year, during COVID-19. The report discusses the three presences from the framework: cognitive presence, social presence and teaching presence. These three presences are identified as central to learners’ experience in online teaching and learning. The research from this program indicated that the most important presence for learner satisfaction was teaching presence. Social presence during the phase reported on, was the least satisfactory in that learners did not feel they met other “real” students, that they were not able to build connections with either the class or the school.

As a result of the data collected, the program put together these five best practices that aim to maximize already positive teaching presence and enhance social presence.

  1. Your presence makes the difference.
  2. Keep cameras on.
  3. Create lecturettes.
  4. Make learning affordances explicit.
  5. Reconsider assessment.

Here are two examples of the five best practices:

When using a platform that allows cameras, keep all cameras on. Students said that seeing each other was much more satisfying during synchronous sessions. Despite valid concerns about privacy, students could be disengaged if they could not see their classmates; occasionally students were not physically online when there was no camera; and in break out rooms, when faces were represented by a shaded thumbnail, it was difficult to have discussions. Faces and voices were important for intellectual interaction with course content and other learners.

Create “lecturettes”. Classes in this program were normally three hours long, twice a week, in a classroom. When this was rethought for online delivery, one of the new components was a one-hour pre-recorded lecture to be watched before a synchronous class. After learners reacted negatively to these hour-long lectures, instructors experimented with breaking the content into more manageable 5-, 10- or 20-minute lecturettes. This type of content was managed by numbering the segments so the order was obvious. Learners could take advantage of these shorter content bursts using pause, rewind and replay as desired.

The remaining three best practices, Your presence makes the difference, Make affordances explicit and Reconsider assessment also provide excellent examples of how to help instructors make research-informed decisions about their own teaching in an online environment.

Retrievable from:

http://contact.teslontario.org/pedagogical-lessons-for-remote-blended-online-classrooms/

How to Manage Expectations in Online Classes: Guidelines and Requirement

Hasiri, F. TESL Ontario Contact. August 25, 2021.

This very practical article details many examples of how teachers who have to teach in an online environment during COVID can be more effective meeting learners’ expectations. Since many teachers and learners were not prepared ahead of time for this kind of learning, the author presents guidelines to consider before starting a period of teaching. The guidelines address planning and preparation, delivery, learner engagement and interaction. She gives suggestions for being explicit with learners around expectations for participation in discussion fora. Her suggestions for course assessment may appear to be related to credit courses only, but they are also relevant for continuous intake or non-credit classes. The article concludes with a downloadable check list for instructors to zero in on both the planning stage and a reflection period afterwards with the intention of managing learner expectations and helping them succeed in the online language learning environment.

Retrievable from:

http://contact.teslontario.org/how-to-manage-expectations-in-online-classes-guidelines-and-requirements/

Technology, Motivation and Autonomy, and Teacher Psychology in Language Learning: Exploring the Myths and Possibilities

Glenn Stockwell and Hayo Reinders. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics (2019) 39, 40-51.

This article explores why the expectations of technology use in language teaching and learning might exceed the results and looks at some of the myths about using technology for language learning and teaching. The authors reference Stephen Bax‘ points about certain fallacies that inhibit the normalization of technology use. They discuss the kinds of pedagogy that need to be applied to ensure learner motivation and autonomy. They also discuss the role of teachers and their attitudes that often underestimate their own abilities to teach effectively with technology and overestimate learners’ capability to learn with tech tools without teacher intervention. The article concludes with five pedagogical principles for using technology in the classroom.

Retrievable from:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335242146_Technology_Motivation_and_Autonomy_and_Teacher_Psychology_in_Language_Learning_Exploring_the_Myths_and_Possibilities_-_CORRIGENDUM

The What, Why, Who and How of Blended Learning for Adult Basic Skills Learners

Rosen, D., Vanek, J. The What, Why, Who and How of Blended Learning for Adult Basic Skills Learners. New York, New Readers Press, 2020.

This publication offers a practical and Clear Language guide to the implementation of a Blended Learning model in adult education programs. The guide is addressed to educators, program coordinators and curriculum developers. The guide was developed in the United States where adult basic education programs include language programs for immigrants, e.g., ESL, ESOL and ELL.  There are specific examples for blended language learning throughout the guide.

This useful guide is divided into 9 sections: 

Introduction – a general description of the contents. 

What is blended learning? –  a definition and explanation of blended learning in the context of adult learning. 

Why use a blended learning approach? – a comprehensive discussion and explanation of the features and benefits of blended learning. 

Getting Started – a clear explanation of the issues to be considered when planning the implementation of a blended learning approach. 

What does blended learning look like – a set of case studies from a range of programs in the U.S., describing the experiences of instructors and learning in working with blended learning. 

What online resources work with blended learning? –  strategies to locate and use online resources in a blended learning environment. 

What are some common challenges in implementing blended learning? – a discussion, based on interactions with instructors and observation of blended learning in adult learning settings, of the challenges faced by instructors, coordinators and learners in implementing blended learning. 

Conclusion – a short summary of the contents of the guide. 

Appendices – lists of online resources for further reading and exploration. 

Retrievable from: https://www.newreaderspress.com/filebin/pdf/ProLiteracy_BlendedLearningGuide_2020-11.pdf

Broadening Perspectives on CALL Teacher Education: From Technocentrism to Integration

Asiri, A., Rajeh, H. S., Panday-Shukla, P., & Yu, Y. (2021). Broadening perspectives on CALL teacher education: From technocentrism to integration. Teaching English as a Second Language Electronic Journal (TESL-EJ), 24(4). 

This paper looks at four approaches that provide teachers with strategies that prepare them to emphasize language and content, to work on the 21st century skills their learners need and to use technologies in diverse contexts and with diverse learners. The paper is clear that training on software or specific technologies is not always what teachers need or can use in their classrooms.

The authors present four strategies:

  1. Content curation
  2. Educational escape rooms
  3. Flipped instruction
  4. Informal blended learning

Each strategy is described in detail, followed by a class scenario; a list of benefits to learners and language learning; a list of benefits to language teachers and teaching; and a summary.

Retrievable from: https://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume24/ej96/ej96a8/

A person-centred approach to L2 learners’ informal mobile language learning

Peng, H., Sake,J., Lowie, W. (2021). A person-centred approach to L2 learners informal mobile language learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning. [Published Online January 2021]

The study investigated the informal mobile language learning activities of the students, using a person-centred approach which the authors define as an  approach which “…views each individual as a functioning whole, with interwoven components jointly contributing to the process of individual development”: (p.5) The components include individual learning behaviours, motivation, emotion and learning context. This approach, rather than viewing the components as separate variables, seeks to view them as interrelated and as pointing to a learning pattern.

Cluster analysis of the data from a questionnaire resulted in the identification of 6 types of learners each with what the researchers describe as “a distinct package of motivational, emotional and linguistic interaction. The “learner types” ranged from those who spent little or no time on language learning outside the classroom to those who made extensive use of mobile technologies for informal language learning.   

Although this article reports on the methodology and results of a study conducted with 240 English language students in a Chinese university, the methodology used and the findings, will be of interest to researchers and language instructors in a variety of language learning contexts.  The article provides an accessible explanation of the person-centred approach and its potential to help to develop a clearer and finer-grained understanding of the complexities and possibilities of mobile language learning.

In addition, the use of a person-centred approach has the potential to support instructors in the design of tailored instruction and scaffolding at all learning levels  to better enable students to make productive use of self-directed, informal mobile language learning.

Retrievable from:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09588221.2020.1868532

Teaching languages online: Professional vision in the making

Meskill, C., Anthony, N. & Sadykova, G. (2020). Teaching languages online: Professional vision in the making. Language Learning & Technology, 24(3), 160–175.

This study is based on 174 surveys from practicing language educators and interviews with nine respondents, to find out more about how they see their work, noting that as educators have moved from traditional classrooms, their roles and practices have adapted to the new environments often within cultures increasingly shaped by social media. The authors emphasize the importance of teacher accounts like these in order to see connections between theory, knowledge and practice.

Following short summaries of the nine interviewees’ experience and attitudes towards online teaching, the authors report on both survey respondents’ and interviewees’ foundational stances and qualities and give examples of those from the interviews as well as from the surveys. The study then looks at attitudes to online teaching and what it demands and provides; it also describes the amount of flexibility required to achieve what is needed for effective language teaching and learning.

Retrievable from:

https://www.lltjournal.org/item/3168

Microteaching in Isolation: Fostering Autonomy and Learner Engagement through VoiceThread

Bodis, A., Reed, M., Kharchenko,Y. (2020). Microteaching in Isolation: Fostering Autonomy and Learner Engagement through Voice Thread. International Journal of TESOL Studies, 2(3), 1-12 Foreign Language Annals, 53(2), 320-32.

The focus of this article is a TESOL training program at Macquarie University in Australia. Due to the restrictions imposed at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis the program needed to move rapidly to an online environment.

 Online microteaching activities were developed, and a set of asynchronous tasks were developed using Voice Thread, an asynchronous communication platform whereby users can create and upload content, including text, and audio and video presentations. Voice Thread is interactive, enabling instructors and students to add comments and annotations in text, audio, and video.  The article includes a description of each of the two Voice Thread Tasks developed for the course.

The evaluation of the approach demonstrated that students were able to meet the unit learning outcomes.  Furthermore, the approach contributed to their overall learning in relation to feedback, the use of digital technologies for teaching and learning, and to the development of autonomy as students and teachers.  The authors conclude, “We, therefore, recommend the use of VT in a systematic way combined with enabling tasks and supportive teacher presence in and outside face-to-face classes.” (p.100).

Retrievable from:

https://www.tesolunion.org/journal/details/info/0NDkucNzIw/Microteaching-in-Isolation:-Fostering-Autonomy-and-Learner-Engagement-through-VoiceThread

Language Teachers and Their Trajectories Across Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching: Needs and Beliefs of ESL/EFL Teachers

Karamifar, B., Germain-Rutherford, A., Heiser, S., Emke, M., Hopkins, J., Ernest, P., Stickler, U., & Hampel, R. (2019). Language Teachers and Their Trajectories Across Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching: Needs and Beliefs of ESL/EFL Teachers. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada,  Vol.36(3), pp.55 – 81.
This article presents the initial results of an International Research Network  survey exploring the current perceptions of ESL/EFL instructors in relation to their training needs to enable more robust integration of technology in their instruction.
An online survey was conducted in summer 2018 through national and international networks and Facebook and Twitter social media platforms. Of a total of 285 respondents, (28% from Canada), 250 self-identified as language educators, (55% English language instructors) and the majority of whom worked in universities.
Analysis of the survey responses indicate overall satisfaction with existing training but educators noted a need for post-training follow-up. Educators are also interested in training on “learning task design” and in learning management software such as Moodle. In addition the survey investigated the respondents’ perception of an ideal language teacher and, interestingly, findings indicate that technology was not identified as a general characteristic or skill of an ideal teacher.
While the majority of respondents teach at the university level the survey provides a useful insight into the current and perceived training needs of language educators in relation to technology and should be of interest to educators and teacher-trainers across the second language field.

 

Retrievable from:

https://teslcanadajournal.ca/index.php/tesl/article/view/1375/1201

Exploring Language Learning with Mobile Technology: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Vocabulary Learning Apps for ESL Learners in Canada

Liang, L. (2018) Exploring Language Learning with Mobile Technology: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Vocabulary Learning Apps for ESL Learners in Canada. Electronic Thesis and Dissertation. Repository. 5763.

This Canadian study offers a comprehensive review and analysis of 3 vocabulary apps, Duolingo, Johnny Grammar Word Challenge and Anki App, to assess their appropriateness and usefulness to support learning both inside and outside of the ESL classroom.

The study includes a review and an extensive analysis and discussion of the exemplary features of ESL learning apps in relation to curriculum, pedagogy and design.

As part of the study the author developed an app evaluation checklist based on the in-depth analysis of the vocabulary apps and in the context of the Ontario ESL curriculum. This checklist could be a very helpful tool for instructors in adult settlement language  as they review and evaluate learning apps for use by  learners in the classroom and for independent learning.

Given the ever-increasing number of apps promoted as “learning apps”, the considerable investment of time required to review an app for use in teaching and learning, and the relative lack of research focused on the quality of language learning apps, this study provides a timely and accessible introduction to ESL learning app evaluation

 

Retrievable from:

https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/5763

 

Choosing an App for your lessons with the Padagogy Wheel

How can instructors evaluate the quality and appropriateness of apps to support language learning?  It can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process.

TESL Ontario blogger John Allen  may have the answer. In this brief blog post he describes the Padagogy Wheel, developed by  Allan Carrington of Teach Thought and intended to help educators to evaluate apps based on the intended learning outcome. Underpinning the Padagogy Wheel is  the understanding that pedagogy should drive the technology and not the other way around.

In this post the author  outlines the process and describes his own experience in using the Padagogy Wheel to design a vocabulary lesson.

Retrievable from:

http://blog.teslontario.org/author/john-allan/

 

ESL Teachers’ Self-efficacy toward Pedagogical Use of Digital Technologies: An Exploratory Case Study in the Ontario Context

Chen, Aide, “ESL Teachers’ Self-efficacy toward Pedagogical Use of Digital Technologies: An Exploratory Case Study in the Ontario Context” (2019). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 6422. https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/6422

 

A small-scale study exploring  how  some EAP instructors  in Ontario  perceive their own abilities in using digital technologies in daily life and in their teaching practice and how such perceptions influence their use of technology in the classroom.  Using surveys and semi-structured interviews, the researcher focused on the role of teacher self-efficacy, defined as,  “people’s beliefs of the extent to which they are able to accomplish certain behaviors”(p.14) to explore  why and how these instructors were actually using technology in their classroom and the challenges they encountered, both in using technological tools and in effectively integrating technology in teaching.

Based on the findings the researcher proposes the need for further research on the role of  teacher self-efficacy, and on professional development which focuses on combining training on specific technology tools with pedagogy.  As  participants in the study noted, “teachers should have backup plans, even for presentations. It requires abilities to improvise. It may be unfair to say that technology itself poses this challenge. The actualized technology use is dependent on how flexible we are. You need to be able to develop your skills and make wise use of it.” (p.43)  and, “we need to carefully plan technology-enhanced teaching practices rather than just using them for the sake of being fashionable” (p.52).

Retrievable from:

https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=8849&context=etd

View of Building a Community of Connected ELT Professionals on Twitter

Nicholas, B.,  Avram, A., Chow, J., Lupasco, S. (2018). View of Building a Community of Connected ELT Professionals on Twitter. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada,Vol. 35 (2), pp.166-178.

This article describes the experiences of four language instructors who have created their own personal learning network using  Twitter.  Social media and particularly this platform has allowed these practitioners to bridge distances and to reduce the sense of isolation often experienced by educators. This personal learning network has become an important component of their continuing professional development.  Each describes her experiences in connecting with peers through Twitter and reflects on the benefits of such connections for their professional learning and teaching .practice.  As they put it,

“Although the chats themselves are brief (no more than an hour) and fast-
paced, the ideas generated can lead not just to change in practice but to
professional introspection and reflection.”

 

Retrievable from:

https://teslcanadajournal.ca/index.php/tesl/article/view/1319/1141

 

 

https://teslcanadajournal.ca/index.php/tesl/article/view/1319/1141

The authors of this article are four such educators. Augusta, Jennifer,
Svetlana, and Bonnie met online through a bi-monthly, pan-Canadian Twitter chat, #LINCchat (now rebranded #CdnELTchat, for Canadian ELT chat). Svetlana Lupasco and Nathan Hall were the original co-moderators of
#LINCchat (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada), fi rst under the auspices of LISTN (Language Instruction Support and Training Network) and then BC TEAL (British Columbia Teachers of English as an Additional Language). Augusta, Jennifer, and Bonnie were enthusiastic participants who
joined the team some time after the chats were well-established. Jennifer and
Augusta both work in the lower mainland of British Columbia, so they knew
each other professionally. Svetlana is in Ontario and Bonnie, in Alberta.
These four instructors created a supportive professional relationship
online. They knew each other for some time only online, until they all met
for the fi rst time at a BC TEAL conference in Vancouver where they were
presenting together about how they had connected and built a community
of practice on TwiĴ er, having planned and prepared the presentation using
online tools. Each of these ELT practitioners has now been active on TwiĴ er
for a few years, forging collaborative professional relationships and creating
a PLN that has become an essential part of their CPD. PLNs are character-
istically “individualized and user-centered” (Davis, 2015, p. 1553). Svetlana
discusses how she came to discover this user-centred effi cacy of TwiĴ er for