We Teach Languages Episode 54: Keeping Pace with How Students and Methods are Changing with Mei Zhou

In episode 54, Sichen Wan interviews an EFL teacher that was influential in her own study of English, Mei Zhou. Mei teaches at a languages-focused high school in Chengdu, China and has been teaching for 18 years. In their conversation, Sichen asks Mei about what excellent language teaching looks like and Mei provides some great advice for new language teachers.

Or listen on iTunes!

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Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

Sichen is a graduate student in the English Language Learners program at Vanderbilt University. You can reach out to her by email to continue the conversation.

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We Teach Languages Episode 48: Welcoming and Advocating for New Arrivals with Lesley Cioccarelli

In episode 48, Stacey hears from Australian educator, advocate, and
#AusELT administrator, Lesley Cioccarelli. Lesley explains some of the options for language learning and settlement available to recent immigrants in Australia. She also talks about the professional organizations that advocate for the best interests
of those learners and why teachers should be members of their local and national professional associations. If you have ever wanted to make your hometown a more welcoming place for migrants and refugees, this episode will inspire you to follow in Lesley’s footsteps and take local, grassroots action in your own city!

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Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

To learn more about Lesley and her work…

…Check out this video made at Lesley’s work, highlighting her passion for personal learning networks. You are going to LOVE this video: https://cit.edu.au/about/innovation/historymakers/lesley_cioccarelli

…You can also find Lesley on her blog or on Twitter @cioccas

…The day Lesley and Stacey did this interview, Lesley was on her way to a multicultural festival in her home city of Canberra. Here are some of the photos from that event!
…and of course she can always be found at #AusELT on Facebook and Twitter – an informal community of English language teachers in Australasia https://auselt.com/
Past episode mentioned on the show…

 

Resources and Organizations mentioned on the show…
…Stacey also mentioned #ELTchat, which Lesley does not administer, but does highly recommend  A social network for ELT professionals (across the world), offering mutual support and opportunities for Continuous Professional Development. http://eltchat.org/wordpress/ 
…Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) https://www.education.gov.au/adult-migrant-english-program-0
….International Second Language Proficiency Rating (ISLPR):
…Certificates in Spoken and Written English (CSWE): On this site you can find an overview of each Certificate and some sample modules: https://ames.edu.au/curriculum/cswe-overview/
….This recent article may be of interest as it gives some background to some of Lesley’s discussion including changes over time in ESL in Australia: Oliver, R., Rochecouste, J. &  Nguyen, B. (2017). ESL in Australia – A chequered history. TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1, pp. 7-26. https://ojs.deakin.edu.au/index.php/tesol/article/download/700/640
…Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA) our national professional association http://www.tesol.org.au/
….These are the projects Lesley mentioned as ways people can support/welcome refugees:
…Lesley also wanted to recommend the podcast Talk the Talk http://talkthetalkpodcast.com/  and Short Films Teachers Love, which is a podcast and a vodcast, with a YouTube channel so you can see bits of the films as the guests talk about them. SFTL is just starting its 3rd season. For specifically ESL or language teaching themed episodes check out:
  • Season 2, Episode 7 – Chinese Language Teaching – Rita Wang
  • Season 2, Episode 1 – English Language Teaching with James Taylor
  • Season 1, Episode 15 – English Language Teaching with Kieran Donaghy
  • Season 1, Episode 10 – EAL (English as an Additional Language), expat teaching with Nicole James
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We Teach Languages Episode 46: Labor Issues and Language Teaching with Mura Nava

In episode 46, Stacey interviews Mura Nava, who teaches English to adults in France, about the state of the ELT (English Language Teaching) labor market. Mura shares his experiences as an English teacher in France and introduces us to some individuals and organizations working for justice for teachers. The episode also includes some information about adjunct labor in US higher education.

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Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

You can read Mura on his website ELF Notes or on Twitter @muranava. He also blogs at the website for the Teachers as Workers SIG. 

Here is Mura’s post we refer to in the episode: https://eflnotes.wordpress.com/2017/11/22/improving-working-conditions-isnt-that-in-the-remit-of-teacher-associations/ and the tweet we refer to!

Mura shared some organizations in Europe working to organize teachers including…

…SLB Cooperative in Spain on the web or on Twitter

…TEFL Guild on the web or on Twitter

…TAW SIG on the web or on Twitter

…ELT Advocacy on the web or on Twitter

Check out Geoffrey Jordan’s blog and the specific post Mura mentioned, and Twitter account that Mura mentioned in the episode.

Paul Walsh also has a blog.

For a hodgepodge of resources I dug up about ELT (English Language Teaching) around the world…

…an academic paper called Perspectives from within: Adjunct, foreign, English-language teachers in the internationalization of Japanese universities by Craig Whitsed and Peter Wright

…an article from the Japan Times For Japan’s English teachers, rays of hope amid the race to the bottom by Craig Currie-Robson

For resources on the adjunct labor market in the US and Canada…

…American Association of University Professors [AAUP]. (n.d.). Background facts on contingent faculty. Retrieved from https://www.aaup.org/issues/contingency/background-facts

…Modern Language Association Committee on Contingent Labor in the Profession [MLA]. (June 2011). Professional employment practices for non-tenure track faculty members: Recommendations and evaluative questions. Retrieved from http://www.mla.org/pdf/clip_stmt_final_may11.pdf

…this article from the Atlantic called There Is No Excuse for How Universities Treat Adjuncts by Caroline Fredrickson

…this guardian piece by James Hoff Are adjunct professors the fast-food workers of the academic world?

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We Teach Languages Episode 43: Common Misconceptions in English Language Teaching with Ryuko Kubota

In episode 43, Stacey asks Ryuko Kubota, a professor of language and literacy education at the University of British Colombia in Vancouver, Canada, about a recent publication in which she explores ten common misconceptions in English language teaching (ELT). Ryuko talks about several of those misconceptions, including how beliefs about native speakers, whiteness, and legitimate forms of language contribute to the general public’s understanding of who is a good language teacher. Although this interview centers on ELT, teachers of all languages will find points of relevance to their own work.

 

 

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Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

You can find Professor Ryuko Kubota at her faculty page.

The article we discussed in this episode…

…Kubota, R. (2016). A Critical Examination of Common Beliefs about Language Teaching:  From Research Insights to Professional Engagement. Epoch making in English language teaching and learning (pp. 348-365). Taipei: English Teachers’ Association-Republic of China (ETA-ROC). (available on academia.edu)

Resources to dive a bit deeper into the topics discussed here…

…Kubota, R. (2013). “Language is only a tool’”: Japanese expatriates working in China and implications for language teaching. Multilingual Education, 3(4). Available from http://www.multilingual-education.com/content/3/1/4

…Kubota, R. (in press). Unpacking research/practice gaps and complicities in WE and SLA research. World Englishes.

…Stanley, P. (2013). A critical ethnography of ‘Westerners’ teaching English in China: Shanghaied in Shanghai. New York, NY: Routledge.

Also check out episode 12 with Laurel Abreu for more on representation in language learning materials from the U.S. world languages perspective.

The first episode in our series on critical pedagogy and social justice was episode 42 with Daniel Woolsey.

And please check out the 2018 special issue of Dimension, SCOLT‘s peer-reviewed annual journal, available now online and open-access.

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We Teach Languages Episode 40: Teaching English to Diverse Learners in in China with Yang Yu

In episode 40, Ningxin Zheng interviews Yang Yu, a graduate student in English Language Education who has previously taught diverse learners in China including peers at the college level and middle schoolers at a school for the blind.  Yang discusses a range of topics including showing respect for learners, maintaining student interest in learning, and teaching pronunciation.

 

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Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

Ningxin Zheng first met Yang Yu when they were both undergraduate college students in China, and now they are both graduate students in English language teaching at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

You can find Ningxin Zheng (left) on Twitter @Ningxin_Zheng or by email.

You can contact Yang Yu (right) by email.

If you are interested in learning more about teaching languages for blind students, here are a few resources…

Teaching Languages to Blind and Visually Impaired Students by Miusa.org

…There are many resources available on the Paths to Literacy website pathstoliteracy.org

If you are interested in teaching pronunciation, check out episode 38 of the podcast with Gillian Lord and don’t miss the resources in the show notes!

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We Teach Languages Episode 17: Making Research More Accessible to Teachers with Gianfranco Conti, Part II

In episode 17, Stacey wraps up her conversation with Gianfranco Conti. In this episode, Gianfranco gives us some final bits of advice for how to maximize student learning and focus on long-term progress.

This episode contains Part II of our conversation, and last week, episode 16, was Part I.

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Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

Gianfranco’s blog

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We Teach Languages Episode 16: Making Research More Accessible to Teachers with Gianfranco Conti, Part I

In episode 16, Stacey interviews Gianfranco Conti, a well-known MFL (Modern Foreign Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher and teacher developer. He has taught languages all over Europe and in Malaysia, and has a deep knowledge of both research and practice. In his blog, Gianfranco synthesizes research on language teaching and learning to make it more accessible to teachers. We talk about useless things language teachers do (e.g. error correction) and ways to improve student learning (e.g. recycle, recycle, recycle).

This episode contains Part I of our conversation, and next week, episode 17 will be Part II.

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Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

You can purchase The Language Teacher Toolkit written by Steve Smith and Gianfranco Conti

Gianfranco’s blog posts mentioned on the show:

Six ‘useless’ things foreign language teachers do 

Why marking students’ books should be the least of language teachers priorities

L.I.F.T. – an effective writing-proficiency and metacognition enhancer

Planning the grammar lesson – heading for M.A.R.S. 

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