19 October 2007

Laos gets owned!

Well, looks like I'm going to Laos in March!
Dear Stephen,
Thanks a lot for submitting your proposals for Laos. They are all accepted.
At least for the time being. Apparently, there is also a seminar going on in the Philippines before the Laos one and if they need people to go to the Philippines instead, I think I'll likely go there. But building up my CV, piece by piece.

Teaching Internet Discourse: Computer Mediated Communication and the future of the written word

Over the past thirty years, the computer has taken a prominent role in mediating discourse. Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) not only facilitates discourse, but also changes the way humans communicate with one another. This presentation will first discuss issues in CMC and what have been seen as salient features of CMC discourse by asking the critical question: How is language and interaction different on the Internet then it has traditionally been viewed? Second, we will discuss how to address CMC issues in the EFL classroom and how CMC text can be used to facilitate learning in the classroom. Finally, we will discuss the impact of CMC on developing countries and the possibilities CMC poses for language learners.

Teaching and the corpus: Developing worksheets for corpus studies

Since the advent of corpus studies in the last forty years, the fundamental ideas about the organization of language have been significantly challenged. Corpus data, for the language learner, is one of the most valuable resources available, but training on corpus usage still continues to be seen as a luxury rather than a necessity. This presentation will show how teachers can use data taken from the corpus to develop classroom activities that focus on using data to develop grammar knowledge rather than using textbooks to develop grammar knowledge. The presentation will focus on the practical aspects of making materials and provide ideas for teachers hoping to build worksheets based on corpus data with the goal of creating an environment of data-driven learning.

Speaking English as a skill: Motivating students, motivating teachers

For many students of English, study of language is a monotonous and boring endeavor. Teachers also often struggle with finding energy to develop new materials and making classrooms interesting. This presentation will focus on the importance of shifting two paradigms in language learning: knowledge acquisition vs. skill acquisition, and teacher-based learning vs. student-based learning. By reconceptualizing language learning in these two areas, teachers and students can begin to develop classrooms that focus on English for communication rather than English for knowledge. We will discuss practical ways in which teachers can develop engaging classrooms based on skill acquisition and student-based learning through classroom management and material development.