The last session of the day was the panel discussion. I managed to get down a few questions and answers but at some point my brain and fingers both gave up the ghost!!
How important is it to get input from learners? What input is important? How do you get that information? How do you use it?
At a basic level, what topics are they interested in learning about: using images and their own language to elicit it. From that, decide which topics to cover. (Julie)
At a micro level, if you in any given lesson or activity, especially if new, you can get them to rate it in terms of interest, challenge, fun, to get a sense of where they found challenge/interest. So they might find something hard but would want to do it again while if you didn’t get the feedback, you might avoid it in future, thinking it is too hard. If you do it regularly, it becomes easier for the teacher and the students to do that. Cultivates a more open relationship. (Laura)
What considerations should we take into account when deciding what lexis to include in a global coursebook?
No easy answer. Increasement, bigness, unpossible, step your feet rather than toes – you wouldn’t teach things but you could point out that learners might hear these things in lingua franca settings and that if you are not sure of how to negate a word, you could use the strategy of pick one of the negative prefixes and the meaning will stay clear. You could draw learners attention to the fact that phrasal verbs are more likely to be less transparent than latinate words. (Marek)
There is a lot of description of communication strategies in ELF settings, e.g. paraphrasing. For paraphrasing, you need synonyms. So you could encourage learning of synonyms to enable this. More linguistic resources useful. (Laura)
How can writers volunteer to help with writing projects to help with SEN or refugees etc?
The initial research if you target a donor is does that donor have budget for education in a particular country? The first thing is a mapping process of who is doing what where. There are certain times of the year when there is a lot more money – end of the financial year. Projectising it is the way forward – coming up with a proposal and doing the homework. If you have connections. E.g. the British Council representative in a particular country. You could also look at publishers who might be interested e.g. Macmillan. There is a massive market for materials for the NGO workers i.e. the people who work with the refugees. (Psyche) BC representative from Palestine says it is an area of interest. E.g. for beneficiaries (lower level) and for people managing the process (higher level)
How should ELF inform materials writing?
There’s a lot of interesting research out there, but it is not prescriptive. Materials writers are the interface between research and the classroom. There is no simple answer. Just being in a room like this together and having the discussion is important. It’s about making sure that what we put down on the page is informed and sensible. (Laura)
Thank you to MaW SIG for a very thought-provoking day! And to the caterers for making me a vegan salad – it’s the first time I have been catered for at a PCE since going vegan! 🙂