Friday, 17 July 2009

New tools for teaching

Just one little tweet for Larry Ferlazzo, but a great leap for EFL teacherkind:
There is a great new wiki set up by Joyce Valenza, a Library Information Specialist in Pennsylvania, containing a wonderful collection of links to tools currently available for free to use in education. This is clearly not the first, many people have put together great collections, but this is the one I find most accessible to a relative beginner.

It's all here, from tools for photo editing and podcasting and getting your ideas organized and visualized to building social networks. This latter point is really the one I would most warmly recommend you start looking into. I sometimes worry that my dear colleagues are missing the boat. This wiki, with its inviting front page, might just do the trick.

http://newtoolsworkshop.wikispaces.com

2 comments:

Kira said...

Teaching is one of the most important parts of our life. We can study in the different schools. Especially difficult is the teaching in multilingual surrounding. For example, as on http://www.talkmunich.com/forum/general-discussion/bilingual-parenting
What can we do in such cases?

Anne Hodgson said...

Dear Kira,

Thanks for your question! I was raised in a bilingual family, and it has simplified my life in many ways.

There's quite a bit of research on schools that teach the regular syllabus in a foreign language. I attended the CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) session at IATEFL (the international English teachers' conference) in Spring. Case studies presented there seem to prove that:

1. children have a hard time at the beginning, adapting to the foreign language environment
2. but then they work harder than their agemates, as they are forced to pa¥ better attention. This leads to improved study skills in general, and these students do better overall academically.

Yes, I agree, teaching multilingual students with varying degrees of language skills is a real challenge. Teachers need to be trained to deal with students with different levels of language ability, to make the most of mixed skill classes.

Are you a school teacher? What kind of training would you find most helpful?