#KELTchat Slowburn 3 (Tuesday, December 17th 10am-10pm (GMT +9)

The topic for the next #KELTchat Slowburn is:
Some Macro Strategies for Language Teachers
[**info on the Slowburn concept is below]

The 10 macrostrategies suggested by Kumaravadivelu are:  

1. Maximize learning opportunities;
2. facilitate negotiated interaction;
3. minimize perceptual mismatches;
4. activate intuitive heuristics;
5. foster language awareness;
6. contextualize linguistic input;
7. integrate language skills;
8. promote learner autonomy;
9. ensure social relevance; and
10. raise cultural consciousness.
(The suggested topics for this chat are in bold and are explained below)

  • Maximize learning opportunities: This macrostrategy envisages teaching as a process of creating and utilizing learning opportunities, a process in which teachers strike a balance between their role as managers of teaching acts and their role as mediators of learning acts.
  • Foster language awareness: This macrostrategy refers to any attempt to draw learners’ attention to the formal and functional properties of their L2 in order to increase the degree of explicitness required to promote L2 learning.
  • Promote learner autonomy: This macrostrategy involves helping learners learn how to learn, equipping them with the means to self-direct and self-monitor their learning.
  • Ensure social relevance:   This macrostrategy refers to the need for teachers to be sensitive to the societal, political, economic, and educational environment in which L2 learning and teaching take place

A good place to look if you are interested in reading more is Chapter 2 (“Understanding Post-Method Pedagogy”) on this .pdf (which is the first chapters of “Beyond Methods: Macrostrategies for Language Teaching.” Additionally, this 1994 article from TESOL Quarterly also covers much of the same ground. 

Questions to consider:
(and possibly then chat about):

  1. Are these strategies relevant to your teaching context? When might the strategies not be a good match for teaching contexts in Korea? When might they be a good match?
  2. Do these strategies match with the your role as a teacher is perceived by students, yourself, admin and other stakeholders?
  3. Do these strategies already inform your day-to-day teaching? How?
  4. What advice might you give to a teacher that wants to employ these strategies? How might they get started?

The Slowburn concept

The concept of Slowburn is very similar to the original #KELTChat one hour Twitter chats. We will set a topic (above) and encourage people to tweet their thoughts about it using the #KELTChat hashtag. This time, however, the chat will take place over 12 hours rather than one, allowing people to dip in and out, think and the discussion to diverge in more interesting ways. We also hope that this will allow more people in Korea to play a part, as well as taking in most other time zones.

If this sounds like your kind of thing, but you’re not really sure how to go about it, click the “about and how” tab above for a link to a handy guide. There is also a quick guide here. Friendly advice is also always available at the #KELTChat Facebook group, or in the comments section below.

We hope you’ll enjoy the next #KELTChat slowburn. See you on Tuesday before #KELTchat hibernates for winter.

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#KELTChat 8th December 2013, 8pm.

Hi team!

Some important #KELTChat related dates for you all. As usual, #KELTChat will be retiring to a Balinese beach to get sunburn and sip pina coladas for the winter.  Thus, this Sunday, the 8th of December, will be our final one hour chat of 2013. Following that, we’ll have a final Slowburn on the 17th December, before we pack our little suitcases and see you all again in early March.

This week we’re trying out a “case study” style topic in a one hour chat. The situation is this:

You are teaching a general English class of twenty university freshmen three times a week. The class is generally conversational and fluency focused, and students are showing good gains in those areas, but you want to try to improve the students’ accuracy too, especially in lexical areas that may cause problems with intelligibility. However, the students, while happy to talk, find focusing on accuracy extremely difficult. Even in controlled practice situations they sometimes seem not to even try to take on board new language. Where gains in accuracy are made, they are often lost again a matter of days or weeks later. The situation is further complicated by the size of the class and students speaking quietly making monitoring difficult.

Some questions:

  • Is this a problem with accuracy, or a problem with motivation to learn?
  • How could we solve either of these problems?
  • How can we help students to retain language for longer?
  • How can we monitor and feedback to a large(ish) class?

The chat takes place on Twitter from 8pm on Sunday 8th December. Just run a search for #keltchat, and add the same hashtag to your own tweets in order to contribute. If you need any help, please send me a tweet or ask on the Facebook group.

See you on Twitter!

Alex G (@breathyvowel)