Living Reading List for Language Learning and Technology

July 3, 2018

U of C logo - 2015I am trying something a little different with my course readings for the Master of Education summer course I am teaching, Language Learning and Technology, a living reading list.

We are required to list the course readings in our syllabus. This helps keep everyone organized and allows students to be fully prepared for their course. The problem is that many of our students are eager change agents who often bring in additional resources that everyone finds useful. So in addition to including a basic set of readings in the course outline, I will update this post throughout the course as a living list of readings, with contributions of gems we find along the way to promote co-creation of knowledge with and along side these very capable graduate students.

Official course materials (as posted in the syllabus)

This page contains a list of all your course readings. One of the readings is no longer freely available on the Internet, but I have posted it below as a .pdf, under Fair Dealing, as approved by the University of Calgary Copyright office.

Required text

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. (2010). (Sixth ed.). Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association.

Week 3 Readings

Benson, S. K. & Ward, C. L. (2013). Teaching with technology: Using TPACK to understand teaching expertise in online higher education. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 48 (2), 153-172. doi:10.2190/EC.48.2.c

Harris, J. B., & Hofer, M. J. (2011). Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) in action: A descriptive study of secondary teachers’; curriculum-based, technology-related instructional planning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 43(3), 211-229. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ918905.pdf

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2009). Too cool for school? No way! Using the TPACK framework: You can have your hot tools and teach with them, too. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(7), 14-18. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ839143.pdf

Mishra, P., Koehler, M. J., & Kereluik, K. (2009). Looking back to the future of educational technology. TechTrends, 53(5), 48-53.

Romrell, D., Kidder, L., & Wood, E. (2014). The SAMR Model as a Framework for Evaluating mLearning. Online Learning: Official Journal Of The Online Learning Consortium, 18(2). Retrieved from https://olj.onlinelearningconsortium.org/index.php/olj/article/view/435

van Olphen, M. (2008). World language teacher education and educational technology: A look into CK, PCK, and TPACK. Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Week 4 Readings

Gaebel, M. (2013). MOOCs: Massive open online courses. European University Association Occasional Papers, 2-17. Retrieved from http://www.eua.be/news/13-02-25/Massive_Open_Online_Courses_MOOCs_EUA_to_look_at_development_of_MOOCs_and_trends_in_innovative_learning.aspx

Ham, J.J., & Schnabel, M.A. (2011). Web 2.0 virtual design studio: social networking as facilitator of design education. Architectural Science Review(54)2, 108-116. Doi: 10.1080/00038628.2011.582369.

Marshall, S. (2014.)  Exploring the ethical implications of MOOCs. Distance Education(35)2, 250-262. doi: 10.1080/01587919.2014.917706.

U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. (n.d.). MOOC for English-Teaching Professionals. Retrieved from http://www.americanenglish.state.gov/mooc-english-teaching-professionals

Week 5 Readings

Cornillie, F., Thorne, S. L., & Desmet, P. (eds.) (2012). Digital games for language learning: Challenges and opportunities. ReCALL Journal, 24(3).doi:10.1017/S0958344012000134

deHaan, J., Kuwada, K., & Ree, W. M. (2010). The effect of interactivity with a music video game on second language vocabulary recall. Language, Learning & Technology, 14(2), 74+. Retrieved from http://www.lltjournal.org/item/2689

Mifsud, C. L., Vella, R., & Camilleri, L. (2013). Attitudes towards and effects of the use of video games in classroom learning with specific reference to literacy attainment. Research In Education, 90(90), 32+.

Reinders, H. & Wattana, S. (2014).  Can I say something? The effects of digital game play on willingness to communicate.  Language Learning and Technology, 18(2). Retrieved from http://www.lltjournal.org/item/2858

Additional Resources

This part of the list contains the additional resources that the students and I collaboratively added throughout the course:

Common Sense Education. (2016, July, 12). How to apply the SAMR model with Ruben Puentedura. .  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQTx2UQQvbU

Eaton, S. E. (2011). The Need For Increased Integration of Technology and Digital Skills in the Literacy Field in Canada  Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED526087.pdf

Eaton, S. E. (2012). Why some teachers will never love technology (and that’s O.K.).  Retrieved from https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/why-some-teachers-will-never-love-technology-and-thats-o-k/

 Korda, R J, Clements, M S, & Dixon, J. (2011). Socioeconomic inequalities in the diffusion of health technology: Uptake of coronary procedures as an exampleSocial Science & Medicine 72(2). 222-22. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.11.002

Kumar Basak, S., Wotto, M., & Bélanger, P. (2018). E-learning, M-learning and D-learning: Conceptual definition and comparative analysis. E-Learning and Digital Media, 15(4), 191-216. doi:10.1177/2042753018785180

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants (part 1). On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6. doi:https://doi.org/10.1108/10748120110424816

Rogers, E. (1997). Diffusion of human factors design: Resistances and how to overcome them. Proceedings of the human factors and ergonomics society…annual meeting, 1(1). Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/doi/pdf/10.1177/107118139704100101

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This blog has had over 2 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.

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Understanding and Exploring Signature Pedagogies for TESOL Teacher Education

March 20, 2018

Sig ped coverI’m excited to share a new resource that’s been almost a year in the making. I’ve been working with some amazing colleagues: Santoi Wagner (University of Pennsylvania), Jennifer Hirashiki (Westcliff University) and Julie Ciancio (Westcliff University) on “Understanding and Exploring Signature Pedagogies for TESOL Teacher Education”. This is a freely available, Open Educational Resource (OER) intended to help teacher trainers working in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this report is to elevate the collective understanding of what it means to be and become a TESOL professional and what differentiates “TESOLers” from other teachers. We have intentionally prepared this report as an Open Educational Resource (OER), so it can be freely shared with an international audience.

Methods: This report synthesizes literature relating to signature pedagogies, teacher training, and educational technology.

Results: We explore the surface, deep, and implicit structures of three signature pedagogies of TESOL teacher education: (a) developing the TESOL knowledge base; (b) cultivating reflective practice; (c) engaging in a TESOL practicum. We also situate TESOL within a technology, content, and pedagogical content (TPACK) framework as a means to further understand how and why TESOL teacher education can and should incorporate technology in a variety of ways.

Implications: TESOL is a relatively young discipline and has come of age during a time when technology has emerged as an essential element of teaching and learning. As such, TESOL teacher education programs must address technology as a key element of teacher preparation for the profession.

Additional materials: Contains 1 table, 1 figure and 81 references.

Keywords: signature pedagogies, English as a second language, TESOL, teacher training, teacher education, TPACK

Citation (APA): 

Eaton, S. E., Wagner, S., Hirashiki, J., & Ciancio, J. (2018). Understanding and Exploring Signature Pedagogies for TESOL Teacher Education. Calgary: University of Calgary.

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This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.


The Difference Between Multilingualism and Plurilingualism, Simplified

February 20, 2018

Sarah Eaton - blog - iStock photoStudents sometimes ask me what the difference is between multilingualism and plurlingualism. Because these concepts are also linked to monolingualism and bilingualism, I’ll explain each one here.

Monolingualism – The ability to speak only one language proficiently.

Bilingualism – The ability to speak two languages proficiently (though not necessarily perfectly).

Multilingualism – The ability to speak many languages proficiently (though not necessarily perfectly).

Plurilingualism – The capacity and competence to learn more than one language, as well as the value of linguistic tolerance within individuals and countries. It is associated with intercultural competence and democratic citizenship. This term is often used to talk about language education and policy. (For more details, see Council of Europe source referenced below.)

When we talk about proficiency, we are usually talking about a person’s ability to communicate in a language. Sometimes people also call this fluency, though the two terms have different meaning to those with linguistic training.

Please note, linguists and those with training in second language acquisition may (rightfully) contend that these definitions are simplified. My objective here is to offer clear and straightforward explanations, without too much technical jargon. If you are interested in digging deeper into these concepts, I encourage you to explore some of the resources I have listed in the references.

References:

Boeckmann, K. B., Aalto, E., Abel, A., Atanasoska, T., & Lamb, T. (2011). Promoting plurilingualism – Majority language in multilingual settings  Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andrea_Abel/publication/259507522_Promoting_plurilingualism_-_Majority_language_in_multilingual_settings/links/0deec52c5967de1a36000000.pdf

Council of Europe. (2007). From linguistic diveristy to plurilingual education: Guide for the development of language education policies in Europe. Retrieved from https://rm.coe.int/16802fc1c4

Psaltou-Joycey, A., & Kantaridou, Z. (2009). Plurilingualism, Language Learning Strategy Use and Learning Style Preferences. International Journal of Multilingualism, 6(4), 460-474.

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This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.


Understanding Language Register

January 2, 2018

A few years ago I wrote a post on language register. It has become one of the most popular and often viewed posts on my blog. It is a long and fairly involved post, so for those who like their information in bite-sized pieces, here is a quick synopsis for you in the form of an infographic:

Language ReGISTER

It is important to understand the differences between registers so you can use language that is appropriate for a particular situation. If your register is too high, you may come across as being snobby, pretentious or arrogant. If your register is too low, you can come across as being inappropriately informal or too friendly.

It is not only English language learners who need to understand the difference between registers, but native speakers do too. One of the things I have observed in my work as a professor is that students sometimes write in a register that is too casual. Sometimes students do this because they do not want to come across as “stuffy” or pretentious. But casual writing in academic and professional papers can backfire. Writing that is overly casual is often not considered professional or terribly credible by the reader. It is important for students, professionals, scientists and academics to know the formal register for writing papers, theses and reports.

Here’s a free .pdf of this infographic that you can use for your own research or teaching purposes: Language Register (.pdf).

Check out these related posts:

Teaching formal and informal language register to native speakers of English http://wp.me/pNAh3-jV

Language Register and Why It Matters (Or: Why You Can’t Write An Academic Paper in Gangsta Slang) http://wp.me/pNAh3-1pr

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This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


5 Myths about being an independent language or literacy professional (and secrets of the trade you need to know)

June 18, 2014

Sometimes when I talk with contract language teachers, sessionals, adjuncts, freelance writers, editors and others who dedicate themselves to the language and literacy profession, I’ve learned that there are some myths about the profession that we need to debunk. Here are a few of them:

Myth #1 – The work is about the language

You absolutely need to understand the mechanics of language and the foundations of effective learning to succeed as an independent language professional, the real work is about the people you work with. Helping others to learn, grow and develop as human beings is at the heart of what we do. If you think the job is about being “the spelling police” or a “grammar guru”, you’ve missed the point.

Myth #2 – Being a professional means someone else does the admin work

Language teachers love being in the classroom, but that’s only part of the job. Submitting grades, writing reports and tending to administrative duties comes with the territory. In today’s world, being a professional means paying as much attention to the quality of your administrative work as you do to your teaching. Program and institutional staff are not your personal secretaries. They are professionals in their own right and deserve to be treated as such.

Myth #3 – Being an independent professional means you have no boss

Sometimes people say to me, “You are so lucky!  You have no boss!” Nothing could be further from the truth. You get a minimum of one new boss with every contract you take one. Sometimes you have more than one person you report to. If you’re very lucky, those people will like each other and see eye to eye. If they don’t, you are the one who will get pulled in different directions. Learning to figure out, understand and navigate the reporting requirements of each job is likely to require an immense amount of energy. You invest time and effort at the beginning of every new job. But make no mistake, you will always report to someone, even if it’s not always clear who it is. The trick is to clarify who you report to and understand that your job implicitly involves making that person’s life easier in whatever way you reasonably can.

Myth #4 – The last day of the contract is the end of the job

In many contract situations, there is follow up work to be done after the contract end date. This work is often administrative. Some examples include written reports, expense claims and grade submission. Even though your contract may have officially ended on a particular date, the obligations and expectations of the job may extend past that. Be amenable to reasonable wrap-up duties and ensure you comply with deadlines set by your employer or client. This is important to preserve your positive relationships as you are wrapping up your work. Remember that the end date of a contract may signify the end of a particular job, but your relationships and reputation can outlive any contract.

Myth #5 – It is important to leave with a letter of reference

This is a partial myth. Getting letters of reference can be important, but they can also be formulaic and written according to a template. What’s more important than getting with a generic letter of reference on the last day of the job, is leaving the job with a reputation for excellence and sincere relationships that can last a lifetime. Recommendations that matter are likely to happen over the phone or during informal personal conversations that are more honest and open than a templated letter ever could be. The reality is that we’ll never know about most of the conversations that happen between our prospective employers and our previous employers who are more than likely connected in some collegial way we were never even aware of. Real recommendations don’t come from generic letter we tuck into our portfolios. They come from informal conversations that “never happened”.

There are more myths about the profession that need busting, but these are a few of the most common ones that I see over and over again, especially from folks who are new to the world of working independently either as contractors, freelancers or consultants. The most important thing to remember is that we are only as good as our last contract, our last course or our last project. Our love of language or dedication to literacy is what we do. The reputations we build along the way is how we do it. We need to pay as much attention to the how as we do to the what.

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This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


5 Questions to ask before taking a contract teaching job in the languages or literacy field

April 24, 2014

Too many language and literacy professionals grovel for work. They’ll take teaching, editing or translating jobs that require long hours, lousy pay and poor working conditions because they are afraid that if they don’t they might not get another offer.

Nothing could be further from the truth. When you exude confidence to your school or the organization who is contracting you (e.g. the client), you earn their respect. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when you are considering a contract job as a language or literacy professional:

Business - Group - team hands

#1: Will I like working with these people?

Let’s face it, people who work in languages and literacy often have a vested interest in the students or clients they serve. It’s not just the learners you want to think about though. How does the management treat its staff? If the Executive Director is a micro-manager and you are a big picture thinker, is that really going to be a good fit for you? If the office staff are miserable because they hate their jobs, are you really going to like working in that environment?

You owe it to yourself to find out what the people are like that you would be working with. If you get that nagging feeling that these folks aren’t “your peeps”, do yourself a favour and walk away. Chances are you’ll be miserable if you take the job. In the kind of work we do, people matter. At least, they should. If people don’t matter, why would you want to work there?

#2: How do the organization’s values align with my own?

This is a big one. You need to be honest with yourself about what matters to you deep down. If you believe that genuine effort, commitment and participation are the most meaningful aspects of learning, then you’d hate working in an organization that bases marks on standardized testing.

I was once raked over the coals by a department head because my final grades didn’t fit  onto a bell curve. My students’ marks were too high. It happened that it was a particularly good group of students.  The department head didn’t care. She wanted a statistically perfect bell curve for the final grades “to maintain the integrity of the department”. (Baloney. The integrity of a language teaching department can never be represented by a bell curve of marks.) I was told in no uncertain terms that the next semester my class record book needed to reflect grades that fit onto a standard bell curve. There was no “next” semester. I choose never to teach for them again.

If an organization’s values are not aligned with your own, you’ll hate the work and you’ll hate yourself for working there. Seek out schools and clients who believe what you believe.

#3: How are the working conditions?

Are you given your own desk or work space or are you required to share? Are the facilities where you work clean and sanitary? Is parking readily available (at a fair price)?

How are the psychological and emotional conditions of the workplace? Is there a culture of oppression? Do the folks who work there constantly feel demoralized, grumpy or stressed out?

I recall one client who didn’t pay their staff particularly well, but the “extras” they offered them included free parking, a catered lunch every Friday and a work environment where laughter filled the hallways during break time and folks enjoyed a genuine sense of camaraderie and friendship. As a result, they had staff who never wanted to leave and a long line of applicants who would give anything to work there.

The working conditions, environment and relationships at a workplace matter.

#4: How are the hours?

It is not uncommon for teaching organizations to fail to pay for the time required for you to prep your classes, grade student work or perform associated administrative duties. But what if they did? That would definitely be worth considering.

Are you required (or implicitly expected) to sit on committees as part of your professional volunteer service to the organization? Are you constantly being asked to help develop (or revise or “refresh”) curricula for no additional pay?

All of these extra tasks add up. Time is a limited resource. Every extra volunteer task you are asked to take on is time you can not spend doing something of our own choosing, such as spending more time with your family, engaging in leisure activities or even taking on more paid work elsewhere.

Your employer (or client, depending on your relationship with you) may not intend to “suck you dry” in terms of your time, but it happens more often than it should. Contract employees want to say, “Yes” because they think it will help position them for a full-time job should one arise. That may be the case… but it may not. Be honest with yourself and ask if all these “extras” you are taking on are really worth it.

 #5: How will this work maximize or help me develop my professional skills?

Would you be doing the “same old, same old”, teaching a subject you’ve taught for 20 years and if you are honest, are kind of bored of?

Conversely, are you being asked to teach courses that you’ve never taught before and the work would require you to put in dozens of hours of development time?

Is the work challenging for you in a way that you find inspiring and engaging? Are you growing as a result of your work? Are you learning new skills that will make you more marketable?

I’ve seen too many adjuncts, sessionals or contractors take any job they’re offered because they are afraid that if they don’t, the sky will fall in and they’ll never get hired again anywhere. You’re not “just a contract teacher”. Schools need you as much as you need them. Finding the right fit is more important to your long-term health and professional growth than taking any old job that might come along.

You are a language (or literacy) professional. And professionals don’t grovel or beg for work.

Treat every opportunity as a two way street. Interview the organization to see if they are a good fit for you. Make sure the work aligns with your areas of expertise and interests. If not, walk away. If you don’t, you could miss a real opportunity that’s just around the corner.

It’s your career. Be in charge of it.

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If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Share or Tweet this: 5 Questions to ask before taking a contract teaching job in the languages or literacy field http://wp.me/pNAh3-1Ic

Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


A new kind of Loyalist: “Public” ESL education takes on a whole new twist in Canada

February 18, 2014

For more than a decade I have been fascinated by the links between English as a Second Language (ESL) programs and business. Public school boards, private schools and post-secondary institutions use ESL programs to generate revenue for their organizations. This topic fascinated me so much, I wrote my Ph.D. research on it.

In education, we don’t call the money generated by fee-paying ESL students “profit”. That word is pretty much a profanity in the social sectors. But essentially, that’s what it is. The revenue generated from ESL programs comes in to institutions mostly as unrestricted money. That means that the organization can direct the funds wherever they see fit. They can’t dole it out to shareholders, because there are none… but they can use it for salaries, renovations, perks or whatever they want.

I’ve never thought that was a particularly bad thing — providing that students get a quality educational experience and institutions don’t make promises they can’t keep.

Private ESL schools have often been regarded as shady or disreputable, precisely because they generate profit. They can use that profit however they want.

In Canada, it’s really getting interesting. A company called Loyalist Group Ltd. has created a public company that buys up ESL and college prep schools. They own schools in Vancouver, Toronto and Victoria. Unlike other, private schools, this business is public. That means that they trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). The average joe can buy stocks in the company — and share in the profits.

A few days ago, Loyalist Group Ltd. was named to the TSX Venture 50. That’s a list of some of Canada’s strongest and most promising public companies. It’s a major coup for an educational company to be named to this list. And Loyalist has done it for the second year in a row. 

What we call “public education” is paid for through our tax dollars. We trust the government to administer those dollars in a wise and honest way.

Interestingly, one of the findings of my Ph.D. research was that when it comes to ESL programs in public education and universities — at least in Canada — there’s often a reporting loophole. Public educational institutions never have to explicitly disclose how much revenue they generate specifically from their ESL programs, what their enrolments (essentially their “sales”) are, or how well they do from one year to the next. That information is kept tightly under wraps and never disclosed publicly. I tried in vain to get revenue reporting results from numerous ESL programs during my Ph.D. research. Doors quietly closed and conversations ended. Ultimately, I had to re-design my entire study so I considered factors other than revenue. Getting my hands on financial data was impossible. Why? Because ESL programs at public institutions are under no obligation to report their financial information to anyone.  ESL programs fall through the reporting cracks, while generating millions (or even tens of millions) for public institutions…

Public education companies, on the other hand, could never get away with that. They’ll report their earnings and spread their success among their shareholders. If they’re not successful, they’ll fail. Success in education is based on outcomes and results.

But there’s a new form of “public” education on the block and it is not to be ignored. Educational companies that are publicly traded on the stock market are drastically different from private companies. Public companies are obliged to share financial information with shareholders and investors. The accountability to the people who choose to put their dollars into the company is significant. Shareholders can ask questions — and demand answers. If their students are not happy or successful, they’ll leave. Sales will drop and they’ll close their doors. Their very existence depends on their students’ success.

Private educational companies never have to disclose details of their operations or finances. That should make us skeptical.

But public companies put it all out there for anyone to look at, scrutinize and ultimately judge. That’s a good thing. When it comes to ESL, it’s more transparent than what we see in public institutions. The very nature of accountability and reporting in education in Canada is changing… It’s strange, but true that when it comes to ESL, publicly traded companies like Loyalist Group Ltd may turn out to be more transparent, more accountable and more responsive to questioning from outsiders than some “public” institutions.

If you’re an ethical investor who values education, keep your eye on Loyalist Group Ltd. They may be the first of their kind in Canada, but they probably won’t be the only one… at least not for long.

Disclosure: Do I own shares in Loyalist Group Ltd.? Just a few. And I’ll be buying more soon.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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