Saturday, February 24, 2018

QR codes in ELT ? Pedagogical tool?

        QR codes could add much stamina and motivation to any classroom even for low-tech classrooms. It is not a must that every student has a mobile phone. One phone among a group of students is enough. How can we use QR codes to motivate our digital students?
Interestingly, QR codes need much preparation from teachers , and once they are in class, it is rather the students' task to scan the codes and do the activity. The teacher is the facilitator, in the classroom. 
QR codes could be used in a variety of ways during the three phases of any lesson, whether the Pre-, the While- or the Post-... 

*QR codes in the Pre- phase: The students are asked to:

  •  Scan QR codes which are mainly pictures that are related to the topic of the lesson
  •  Scan QR codes of words/ lexis related to the whole topic of the lesson and then they are asked to use that same lexis in a gap-filling paragraph, conversation, cloze text
  •  Scan QR codes that contain a short listening text and then they are asked to answer some questions
  •  Scan the QR codes which are short captions and students take turns to read the captions and think of a possible topic that is related to these codes 

*QR codes in the While- phase:While reading/listening to a text, students are asked to:

  •  Read the questions by scanning the QR codes and to answer them
  •  Reorder the scrambled parts of a short text/poem/song which are in the form of QR codes
  •  Scan the QR codes and decide which ones do relate to the text 
  •  Scan the QR codes and match the words with their corresponding definitions 
  •  Match the quotes with their corresponding authors 
  • Find out the possible answers for some QR codes of Riddles 
  •  Dictate to each other using QR codes (One student scans the code , then he/she dictates the short text to the whole group) 

*QR codes in the Post- phase: The students are asked to:

  •  Scan and dictate to their peers the hints the teacher provided them to the writing/speaking activity
  •  Reorder the instructions after scanning the QR codes ( Each code is part of the instructions. Each group is given a set of instructions and the whole class cannot get the whole text if they do not cooperate in peers to gather the whole sets of sentences) 
  •  Work on a set of codes provided to each group to reorder the sentences to make a paragraph. Each group is allotted a different set of sentences. 
  •  Remember a set of target vocabulary words that were given a special focus during the lesson , via definitions of these words
  •  Decide which images go in tandem with the topic of the lesson and give appropriate reasons 
  • Decide which summary is the appropriate one.
  • Scan a set of questions on a cube and reply 
  • Scan a set of words an re-order them to make a coherent conversation
  • Scan the codes displayed on the walls and try to find out the answer to each question ( which is part of the lesson) so this could be used as an evaluation of how far the students assimilated the important lexis/ grammar of the whole lesson

Don't forget to scan the codes ;-) 😉

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Using QR Codes

During a training session with teachers , there was an activity with QR codes. My aim was that teachers could use QR codes in their classrooms. The activity was much fun and I observed how this activity motivated teachers to move around, use their mobile phones and find out the quotes about reflective teaching. If you wanna discover these quotes, just use your mobile phones to get an idea about it . 
Happy scanning! 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Reflective Teaching

      Twitter has always been my favourite Professional Development haven. It's thanks to Twitter that I connected with like-minded professionals and one of the most professional moments that I took part in is #ELTchat. Not only did I take part in the chat; but also suggested the topic of last week's #ELTchat. And what honours me, is that I was invited by Marisa Constantinides to sum up our chat. I would like to share with you all this summary and not forget to thank Marisa and Sue for their unfailing support. Thank you for everything.

                                               Title: Reflective Teaching


This ELTchat took place on the 31st of January #ELTchat and I am extremely pleased to be the one who suggested this topic and help a little by doing the summary of this chat.

The chat kicked off with some discussion related to clarifying our terms and why we need to be reflective teacher practitioners.

Reflective teaching is always a current topic and it is part and parcel of a teacher’s toolkit of 21st Century skills.

Indeed, how can we teach effectively if we do not take time to reflect seriously and deeply on our daily practices ?

Reflection on its own may not be sufficient. Following up with a well considered action plan should be a necessary part of the process.

We would then be in a better position to introduce some changes, in the light of what we have pondered over.

#ELTchat participants then discussed some of the useful tools that could help teachers become both effective and efficient in their classrooms.

Useful tools for Reflective Practice
  • Keeping a teaching journal
  • Recording / filming lessons
  • Reflection diaries
  • Blogging
  • Reading blogs
  • Going to webinars
  • Going to workshops
  • Peer Observation

Creating a quality Circle: to talk about one’s teaching with trusted colleagues, a sine qua non of effective reflective practice

Some thought on how to reflect on one’s practices or how to support a colleague in their attempt to improve by providing them with feedback.

Introspection which is non-judgmental, but rather a recording a facts, the description of classroom events and teacher/learner actions, by jotting down observations of one’s lesson.

As Marisa Constantinides‏ (@Marisa_C) suggested, it might be useful to review these facts and them think about changes: “focus on three crucial points: things to keep, things to skip, things to change.”

Sharing one’s thoughts with a trusted peer: In order not to be hard on oneself, as Sue Annan‏ (@SueAnnan) pointed out: “it’s good to share one’s observations , or reflections with a “trusted colleague”.

Putting heads together and thinking of new possible alternatives to implement, that could improve both teaching/ learning

Creating an Action Plan - An action plan involves describing steps of how you can go about attaining your goal - what you should read, what you should focus on “Action point, trailing, consistency and reflection again! The circle of reflection” as Georgia Papa (@Papamihailidou) suggested.

⇰ Reflection may not be successful and efficient, if we do not take it as a never-ending cycle. The process is rewarding for both teachers/ learners

Key points to consider in Reflective Teaching

Some words of caution

Reflective teaching can lead nowhere , if it is done on its own and is not followed up by an action plan.

Choose one point of focus, such as the idea that Elizabeth Jackson (@@MoreMsJackson) suggested : “I had some free choice "Skills" lesson with elementary level students so I chose a pronunciation focus. My journal was mostly focused on how the activities went, the students' responses, notes for the next lesson, notes on how I'd improve the lesson next time.”

Reflection without knowledge is pointless

It’s important that it should continue beyond one’s training on a course (such as the CELTA) but do all teachers keep it up? A good question!

“That’s the million dollar question. I do see the use of it, though. Lately I’ve been having more teaching-related conversations with colleagues and even that has helped bring things to my attention. It’s easy to go on autopilot.” @ Este Coetzee tweeted in response to this

Does technology foster reflective teaching/ learning or not?

Some views , during our ELT chat, came along to cast doubt on the usefulness of technology in fostering and encouraging the practice of reflection on our lessons, something which would need some quality research to shed light on.

Yet, for teachers to start blogging and journaling publicly, a lot of courage is needed on the part of the teacher to expose one’s teaching, thoughts and reflections to the world.

Nevertheless, reading blogs, attending webinars, going to conferences would foster the teachers’ sense of critical thinking and help them build a repertoire of ideas and knowledge as well as alternative techniques and practices to try in their classes.

Moreover, videotaping and recording lessons could be of great help to teachers to go back to their lessons and think objectively and critically about what went well and what needs improvement. However, teachers need to be cautious about filming their students and they have to stick to the regulations of filming students by having the parents’ authorisation.

By and large, I hope this #ELTchat summary would motivate many of you to join this wonderful bevvy of caring teachers and voice out your views.

I am honoured I joined you and I am very sure many of you would join us all, in our next #ELtchat. Thank you Marisa from the bottom of my heart for editing my work. Your help has been very invaluable. Thank you Sue for your precious support.Last but not least, the company of wonderful educators from all over the globe is a priceless experience. Do not fail to join!

Contributors to ELTchat

Marisa Constantinides‏ @Marisa_C
Sue Annan‏ @SueAnnan
Georgia K. Papa @Papamihailidou
ESTE COETZEE‏ @este_moscow
Glenys Hanson @GlenysHanson
Elisabeth Jackson‏ @MoreMsJackson
Russ Mayne‏ @ebefl
Mike Harrison‏ @harrisonmike
Faten Romdhani @Romdhanifaten

As Marisa and Elisabeth Jackson‏ (@MoreMsJackson) drew our attention to the paucity of materials written in this field (teacher reflection) where most of the background literature has been written for the general education class, not English Language Teaching, we need to share with you the few links and titles shared during our #ELTchat:
Beyong Training, JackC.Richards (C.U.P 1998)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Etwinning Multilateral Seminar 20.21.22 October 2017

Proud I had the pleasure to present the first multilateral seminar of Etwinning from the 20th to the 22nd of October, 2017. The theme of the seminar is E-safety. The quality of the presentations and the workhops were outstanding with many inspiring colleagues from The U.K, Poland, Turkey, France and Belgium. I am sharing with you some photos of this interesting event. Huge thanks to the whole staff of CNTE for their invaluable contributions and unfailing support to the Tunisian educators.

The collaboration during the seminar yielded future projects that teachers would work together to implement them. Wishing all these educators much creativity to share! During the seminar, we had some sweet memories that we won't forget ! Thank you Etwinning!

Monday, September 18, 2017

My School Memories!

 It's been a long break with blogging, but here I am to scribble some few thoughts, reflections and feelings with you all. Truly, I felt the urgent need to pour down some feelings that weigh on my chest. Every school year is a new occasion to start off a new journey with plenty of destinations that we would take our students to, for short walks, rides or even flights. ( Do not take my words literally please!)
Last Academic Year was a special journey to me & my students. We had unfogettable moments together. They were so special because I FELT that I took my students on a special journey! In fact, some of my students (a good majority)  expressed their wishes that all the learning sessions were like these ones.  We, together, discovered the joy of learning, while working together, putting heads together, asking questions, planning tasks together and sharing tips with each other. These moments taught me that the real teachers are my STUDENTS. I learned much from them. I learned to feel how do they feel , while working. I observed their reactions to the whole learning process. I learned to wait till they finish up working, even if it meant leaving school later than usual, postponing things till they are PILED UP ( do not follow my example) . I learned to listen to them till the last word and never anticipate what they would say. I learned to sit with them, talk to them like their mom and try to dissipate their worries, push them to think positively about their future and paths to follow so as to improve.
This is how I felt, but u may ask ( 'cause if I dare say I can read your mind at this point) how did I PRACTICALLY make my students enjoy those sessions.
To make things clear crystal for you, here is a list of activities , randomly-ordered, we managed to implement in class last year! Hope u find the list inspiring:
* Teach with the help of stuffed penguins to recycle wh-questions
*Integrate CRAFTING in my lessons objectives ( Crafting postcards to our eTwinning partners, Crafting fortune tellers,Crafting Finger Puppets to conduct mini-rolepalys and enhance the speaking skills of my students, Crafting masks to some stories that were changed into role-palys, Crafting a puppet, etc...) Those were the most exciting moments my students had ever witnessed, as most of them voiced out) .
*Conduct a live event with my Tunisian and Romanian partners. Such an enriching experience!
*Organise a party , in which some of my students helped in the seating, the cleaning, the decoration, all the space management details to reward their peers with some prizes that were granted by the staff of the CNTE, who were responsible for the management of eTwinning in Tunisia. We had unforgettable moments together! I WILL NOT FORGET YOU ALL !
        By and large, the last academic year was one of the most rewarding years in my professional career! I am sure I am gonna miss my colleagues , my school and teaching , a lot! Nevertheless, new challenges are awaiting me and I am pretty ready to face the new challenges and be up to all the expectations to be a great mentor like my previous mentor, Mr.Melki , who passed away last March . May he rest in Peace! "I will do my best to keep my word Mr.Melki and honor you!"

Hope I did not bother you with all of these details. Yet, I hope I inspired some of you to do things differently! Happy New School Year 2018

NB: I am sharing with you some of the pics we took in the previous school year!