I wrote most of these articles and conference reports while I was doing my M.Ed.(CI). Originally put up on the website TeachAsiaOnline.com (defunct since 2009), I have decided to archive them here as I think most of the information is still relevant and useful for others. (2012) I'm now picking up where I left off to write about more recent seminars I attended.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Current Issues in Education (2006)

Speakers: Ms. Jane Willis, Mr. Dave Willis
Organised by: Oxford University Press, ELT Division, Bangkok
Date: 24 January 2006
Location: Orchid 2, Ambassador Hotel, Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok

Summary
In the first session the couple gave an overview of the current issues in education as they had come up during a Thai TESOL conference in Chiangmai recently. The main themes and trends in education at the moment
are as follows.

In the area of teaching grammar and vocabulary:
  • Discourse grammar: more focus on the functions of language. E.g. asking for a favour comprises the introduction of the need and the request itself, not just “Can I borrow your car?”
  • Effective learning
  • Classroom practice: e.g. teaching learners lexical phrases instead of individual words, using jokes to teach grammar.
Teachers as researchers:
  • Observing, reflecting and getting feedback; e.g. what activities do the students like and dislike?
  • Exploring a problem; e.g. investigate why the students are reluctant to talk, their learning strategies.
CALL (Computer Aided Language Learning) and IT
  • Developing systems; e.g. selfstudy websites (“Very complex”, Dave stressed)
  • Methodology; e.g. open-endedness of assignments
  • Research; e.g. a dictionary of academic vocabulary based on analysis of the course books used.
New materials
  • Ideas for projects, mini-tasks for new language
  • ESP (English for Special Purpose); e.g. business English, academic reading. New trend is that the students can be involved in choosing the topics, because they know best in what situations they need English.
Collaboration and Networking
  • Sharing ideas with other teachers
  • Internet links across the region
  • TESOL SIGS (Special Interest Groups)

References
The 26th Annual Thailand TESOL International Conference. Teaching, Learning, Researching: Three Pillars of TESOL. 19-21 January 2006. 2006. Thai TESOL. 31 January 2006. <http://www.thaitesol.org/conf2006/>

(c) cafavier, 2006-2011

No comments:

Post a Comment