The Languages Education Mini-Conference offered local English,
ESL and Languages teachers and other language education
professionals the opportunity to hear some of the key presenters of
ALAA-ALANZ 2011 conference speaking on languages education
The mini-conference was held at The Australian National University (ANU). This event was sponsored jointly by ALAA-ALANZ 2011, the ATESOL ACT and the MLTA ACT.
Click here for the ATESOL ACT invitation (pdf. format)
What’s your name? Such a simple question, yet the answer can be so complicated when cultural and linguistic differences are involved. In this panel discussion, we heard from Arabic, Indian, European and Asian background speakers. They talked about naming traditions and conventions, pronouncing names, choosing children’s names and changing names.
Understanding naming conventions helps teachers better understand the needs of students facing form filling tasks and introductions of self, friends and family. Exploring other facets of ‘what’s in a name’ may develop deeper intercultural understanding.
The event concluded with a session for sharing ideas for using names in a variety of lessons.
One of the things shared was Lesley's blogpost - What's in a Name in an ESL class? - which includes a link to an interesting article on the about the practice English language learners choosing (or having chosen for them) an English name; lesson ideas and classroom activities and other links shared through comments on the blog.
This session encouraged teachers to harness Web 2.0 tools to increase their PD opportunities 100-fold! Lesley shared her passion for networking with other English language teachers across the world to discuss ideas and issues, share lesson plans, solve problems and more.
Lesley's Follow-up Message to The Virtual Staffroom
session - and not only for those who were there!:
I encourage you all to join Twitter and start connecting and sharing with teachers all around the world. Please tweet using #ATESOLACT so we can connect and share. If you don't feel confident to share more widely just yet, that's fine, I'll retweet to my PLN so anything you share will be spread to English language teachers across the world.
Please visit my blog where I have listed most of the links I shared at the session on Friday and I will continue to add links that I think will be of interest. http://cioccas.blogspot.com/2011/08/virtual-staffroom-sharing-across.html
If you have any questions, please send me a tweet @cioccas or add a comment to the blogpost mentioned above.
Our speaker for the evening was Robert Macklin. Rob is a well known and respected local writer. He is best known as the author of The Big Fella: the Rise and Rise of BHP Billiton (with Peter Thompson), which won the 2009 Blake Dawson Prize for Business Literature. He is also the biographer of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Robert’s latest work is My Favourite Teacher, ‘in which famous and not-so-famous Australians write about the teachers who changed their minds, the teachers who changed the idea of the person they thought they could be, and the teachers who changed their lives’. It includes contributions from people such as Quentin Bryce, Kathy Lette, Mem Fox, Anh Do and an ACT ESL teacher, Marguerite Gloster.
This session by Dr Beverly Derewianka looked at the challenges faced by ESL learners as they move along the mode continuum from spoken to written language and how a supportive curriculum can scaffold them into the dense, complex grammar of the written mode.
Dr Beverly Derewianka is a much respected author, researcher, academic and contributor to the National Curriculum.
We assembled at The Community Hub, 41 Templeton St, Cook (Old Cook Primary School, Cook), and were given a tour of the new premises for Companion House. We then held the The ATESOL ACT Annual General Meeting and a new committee was elected. Bronwyn Rose retired as treasurer and her significant contribution to ATESOL ACT was acknowledged and a token of our appreciation presented to her. The TESL and TESOL students for 2010 were also announced.
A highly interesting and interactive workshop on Pronunciation was held on Saturday, 8 May 2010. It explored the challenges for speakers to improve intelligibility of communication and for teachers to present pronunciation in relevant, timely and fun ways. The session also answered the question 'What makes it difficult for EALD (English as an additional Language or Dialect) speakers to make themselves easily understood when they speak?'
With extensive experience in this field, our presenter, Dr Beth Zielinski, helped us discover features of pronunciation and ways to help our students.
For more more information on teaching Pronunciation see the following:
Our stylish annual dinner is always a chance to catch up with old friends and mingle with members of the local ESL community. In 2010 it was a delightful three course affair held at the CIT Tourism and Hotel Management Centre Restaurant.
Our speaker for the evening was Rachel Letts. Rachel has taught ESL and Communications, run a B&B, written a book about some of Canberra’s oldest residents and is in demand as a writer for environmental lobby groups. She gave us insight into the traps and joys of some of these endeavours.
On Saturday, 18 September 2010, Assistant Professor Jakelin Troy lead a workshop on Indigenous language issues to help educators prepare for teaching the new Australian Curriculum. Jaky is a Ngarigu woman. Her PhD was in Linguistics at the ANU. She teaches Indigenous studies, Indigenous education, visual art education and literacy at the University of Canberra. She is a co-writer of the Scoping Paper for Languages in the Australian Curriculum. She has worked on major government initiatives in Indigenous affairs including developing and writing the Native Title Act, managing Commonwealth land rights legislation, and managing national languages and broadcasting programs.
Click here for Jaky's powerpoint presentation for this event.
Click here to download 'Some Consequences of Attributing “English” (i.e. standard English) to Aboriginal English Speakers' by Ian G. Malcolm.
The session was held at the National Museum of Australia and included an introduction to the fantastic 'Yiwarra Kuju - Canning Stock Route' exhibition.
We explored grammar in two sessions and were encouraged to understand what grammar is, and what else it can be; how to make it fun and engaging for us as well as our students.
The first session, 'Grammar Matters', was run by Margaret McBride (AMEP @ CIT). She focused on an eclectic approach to grammar instruction. Various methods of teaching grammar were explored with the aim of providing motivation for both teacher and student.
The second session, 'You start, I’ll follow', was presented by Dr Deborah Hill (UC TESOL). She focused on incorporating key ideas from language learning, such as 'noticing' and 'risktaking' into a model of grammar teaching. The proposed model works towards integrating two ideas about grammar: Grammar as the language we use, and Grammar as the metalanguage we use to talk about it. A significant organisational feature of the model is time before the class.
Our get-together was Christmassy and relaxed. We sat, ate, drank and listened to our IT gurus showing us useful websites and other teaching magic. Others, who have discovered or implemented particularly successful or engaging activities, shared their discoveries.
In the new year (2011) there will be a new password protected 'Members Only' resources section on this website'. The password will be made available after the AGM in early 2011.
Click here to visit Lesley's wonderful list of useful websites for ESL teachers.
On Thursday, 29 April 2010, a workshop was held to explore whether the proposed Teacher Standards:
Thus building up ideas to develop useful feedback on improving this draft.
The workshop included short briefings from:
On Saturday 27 March 2010, Helen Moore led a lively discussion on the draft of Australia's National Curriculum. Teachers came together to explore the mysteries of the National curriculum website and raise concerns to inform the Australian Council of TESOL Association's submission on the draft. In concluding the session, it was decided that a follow up session would be organised.
The 2010 ATESOL ACT AGM was held at Asia Bookroom on Wednesday 17th February.
Retiring President Lona Thwaites presented her president's report and treasurer's report. Our Vice President Marina Houston presented the ATESOL ACT Student Awards to Rowena Tayler-Henry and Anna James. A new committee was elected, watch the Contact page for details of our new Committee.
The AGM was followed by a discussion with Professor Anna Wierzbicka, co-editor of “Translating lives: Living with two languages and cultures", and another of the contributors to the book, Dr Kyung Joo Yoon. They shared how immersion in two cultures affects one’s perspective of the world and relationship with other people. These accounts of childhood recollections, migrant experiences, journeys of self-discovery and feelings of being culturally torn or undefined, reveal the intrinsic links between language, culture and identity.
Many thanks to Asia Bookroom for co-hosting our AGM and the book talk, and also for their generous sponsorship of our Student Awards.
On Saturday 24th October 2009 a panel of speakers with experience from different cultures discussed the obstacles that make cultural transitions so difficult for newly arrived students. What is it we need to be aware of in order to help them settle in and feel they belong? How do we avoid misunderstandings? How do we create a climate in which they can get the best out of their learning experience and appreciate different perceptions?
Companion House is a non profit community based organisation that works with people who have sought refuge in Australia from persecution, torture and war related trauma. Please visit the Companion House website for more information.
The Education Officers at Parliament House invited ACT TESOL members to come to a special meeting with them in the Parliament on Friday 18 September 2009. The 20+ members from primary and secondary schools, CIT and UC experienced the kind of educational activities offered in the Parliament to visiting educational groups.
ATESOL ACT members role-played the introduction of a Bill to increase school hours to 9-5. While 'MPs' were given scripts to read some embellished their scripts in an effort to increase pay for hard working teachers (Hear, hear!). There were moments of tension when some unruly MPs were almost expelled by the Mace-wielding 'Serjeant-at-Arms'. Fortunately Linda, the PEO Parliamentary Educator, was there to calm things down. Several 'Government MPs' threatened to cross the floor when an 'Independent MP' amended the Bill to remove the pay-rise. We all agreed that our 'fair but bossy Speaker' has a future in Parliament - she took to the role like a duck to water!
See below for the photo album of the ATESOL ACT members in action!
This event was also an opportunity for us to find out more about what is available, provide expert feedback on ESL-specific issues, go behind the scenes, and socialise with both Parliamentary Education Officers and ESL colleagues. The PEO website has a wide range of excellent resources for teachers and students, including a video of a student role play
And, as we have come to expect from ATESOL ACT events, the afternoon tea was memorable. Thanks to Committee members Jakki Cashman (the chocolate zucchini cake & orange cakes) and Jill Schaefer (brownies and dried mango).
ATESOL ACT Annual Dinner
with Guest speaker: Dr Bruce Moore
Reader and Head of Australian National Dictionary
Wednesday 26th August 2009
|For much of the twentieth century Australian English was regarded as a substandard version of British English. In his fascinating and recently published book, Speaking our language: the story of Australian English, Bruce Moore looks at the reasons for this attitude, and traces how Australian English became accepted in the final decades of the twentieth century. Dr Moore will talk about this very interesting process and share his perceptions of the future of Australian and other regional Englishes in the context of the globalisation of English. Dr Moore is currently putting the final touches to a new edition of the Australian National Dictionary and will also be able to reveal some of the new Australian words that will be included in the dictionary for the first time.|
Three teachers presented a ‘Show-and-Tell’ of how they use technology in their classrooms and beyond:
Penny Ryder, Chapman Primary School, on blogging, podcasting, mini camcorders and video. See Penny's blog Teaching Challenges to view her slideshow and to download her handout.
Robyn Hammond, Tuggeranong Primary Introductory English Centre, on creative uses of interactive whiteboards. See this PDF document for a summary of Robyn's presentation and all her links - Using an IWB within the Tuggeranong Primary Introductory English Centre.
Lesley Cioccarelli, Adult Migrant English Program, CIT, on virtual (online) classrooms and ‘live video feedback'. See this PDF document for a linked list of virtual classroom (and voice) tools, and 'live video feedback' - Virtual Classrooms and Live Video Feedback
The image above created using http://www.wordle.net/ Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. Look on the Web for ideas for using Wordle in education.
Dr Chantal Crozet of ANU presented on: Intercultural language teaching aims to fully recognise and teach culture as part of language, not just as an adjunct to language. To achieve intercultural competence you have to understand your own as well as the culture of the target language. How to achieve this in the language class room was the focus of Dr Chantal Crozet’s presentation.
Mochamad Subhan Zein of UC presented on: Should English be made compulsory in Indonesian primary schools? If so, why? Mochamad Subhan Zein, Masters student at UC revealed the perspectives of Indonesian English practitioners, educational specialists, researchers, as well as government officials on this policy question. Should English be taught at primary level? The Jakarta Post 15/11/2008
At this year’s ATESOL ACT AGM we awarded 2008's two top students of TESOL and TESL at University of Canberra: Genevieve Hye Yeong Jamieson and Sue Honeyman.
Following the AGM, Dr. Helen Moore spoke on a topic highly relevant to all of us: "Where to for ESL assessment in the new federal education agenda?" drawing on information presented at the National Symposium on Assessing English as a Second/Additional Language or Dialect in the Australian Context she co-coordinated in Sydney earlier this month. It reviewed assessment issues in the AMEP, ELICOS and school sectors.
(Thursday 12th March 2009)
In this interactive presentation Kate Wilson drew from a holistic study of three reading classrooms in English for Academic Purposes. She suggested that scaffolding students’ development of reading practices requires high engagement as well as ‘high challenge and high support” (Hammond and Gibbons 2005). Using features from classrooms she has observed she showed how three teachers were able to create high engagement with text. Although these examples are taken from pre-tertiary settings, she made the presentation applicable to teachers at all levels.
Scott Thornbury gave a fascinating and inspiring speech of the sort that goes to the heart and stays. It was just great seeing 30 plus people chatting heartily away, obviously enjoying themselves.
At the end of August 2008 we organised a PD session consisting of a panel of teachers from the preschool, primary and adult sectors who presented their “Best Ever Lessons”. This proved a hit with attendees and is set to become a regular event on the ATESOL ACT calendar.
In this 4-hour workshop Eulea Kiraly of Tuggeranong Arts Centre introduced participants to techniques for developing Digital Stories - creating storylines through a story circle, storyboarding, and using PhotoStory3 to add images, record anrration and add music to create your final 'movie'.
Interesting links to find out more about Digital Storytelling:
Dr Deborah Hill (UC) - A
community of learners
Geoffrey Millar (ADFA) - the art of
Conference Paper available from ACTA website - Working with international students: Applied linguistics and the art of inclusive teaching By Geoff Millar [59kb] PDF
Peta Shepherd (SIEC/ Dickson College) -
Introductory English Centres – more than English teaching
Conference Paper available from ACTA website - Helping refugee students in Intensive English Centres [Word doc.]
This event was held at the Asia Bookroom, Wednesday 30 May 2007. Edited by Mary Besemeres and Anna Wierzbicka, Translating Lives is an immensely moving collection of personal stories tracing the experiences of twelve people living in Australia who speak more than one language. Contributors including Kim Scott and Eva Sallis show how their experiences of language colour the way they relate to people and the way they see the world. Through their eyes, we learn how language, culture and identity are intrinsically linked. Illuminating and insightful, Translating Lives is an engrossing read for every Australian wanting to understand the complex culture we live in today.
Visit to the exhibition Memory of a Nation at the National Archives of Australia and,
Coming to Canberra - Guest speaker Jorge Bagnini, ACT Multicultural Arts Officer, introduced and presented this short DVD which he produced as part of "Project 1955", the culmination of research and interviews with migrants who were Canberra residents in 1955. The film depicts actors recounting the first-hand experiences of migrants from Italy, Holland, Austria, Poland, the UK, Malta and Greece.