The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas. -George Santayana
This next semester is a busy one.
The last few days I have been working feverishly on my dissertation proposal, trying to get it cleaned up and approved before I start my research. I’m conducting a study on how EFL educators working in Mexico interact within a personal learning network and how that interaction influences a change in behavior and beliefs (i.e., teaching practice and reflection). It’s a hermeneutic, qualitative case study involving three teachers who will be using various ICTs in which to interact with other individuals, communities, and/or groups. The Moodle course that we will be using can be found here and many of the activities are open to anyone interested in teaching English to students of other languages.
Classes begin the second week of August and I’m scheduled to teach the following: (a) Applied linguistics, 7th semester, (b) academic writing, 7th semester, and (c) teaching practicum, 5th semester. The applied linguistics and academic writing classes will have some online content made available to anyone who might be interested. The idea I have for applied linguistics is to get my students to interact in online communities so they can address current issues related to teaching and learning English as a foreign language. And the students taking the academic writing course will work largely in Wikieducator as they improve their writing skills and knowledge about formal writing discourse. Finally, I will also be facilitating 5th semester students who will be teaching for the first time English in front of a group of peers. They’ll work in groups and students will be ask to plan, implement, and reflect on their English classes in terms of curriculum, assessment, and instruction. All the students from the three classes are pre-service English language teachers studying a BA in ELT at the UAA.
I will be sharing more about these classes throughout the semester either in the form of a blog post or in my TESOL Talk program.
Since February of this year, I have been involved with a research line with two other colleagues investigating the noticing hypothesis among EFL learners practicing their writing skills. This next semester we are slated to begin the data analysis and will begin writing up our findings for peer-reviewed publications. This semester we are scheduled to present talks at RECALE (in September), MEXTESOL (October), and ANUPI (October). More information will be provided as our research unfolds.
I am happy to announce that as of this month, I will be joining a group of writers for Edukwest: On the search for better education. Edukwest (originated by Kirsten Winkler) covers a wide variety of topics and formats all dedicated to improving education. I look forward to joining in on the discussion and if you have any interest in anything related to education, I recommend that you check out the website!
Well, that’s about it. The latter part of 2011 will certainly prove to be the busiest semester yet, but am happy to be involved in so many worthwhile projects. If there is anything in particular that interests you and you would like to know more, feel free to contact me by clicking on the email icon below.