As some of you may know, I’m doing my post grad studies on Taiwanese teachers’ professional development. I am now on the 2nd stage of my research. I have three Taiwanese EFL teachers teaching at supplementary schools (cram schools) who have agreed to take part in my research. Two have created blogs to help them reflect on their teaching and things that they want to learn. We are now about to go to the observation phase. This phase is divided into two stages, before and after the online discussion/lecture/sharing (I still don’t know what to call it). Joy (one of the teachers who agreed to participate in my study) will have to document her teaching, in particular, how she teaches writing (her choice). She will then join an online discussion where my invited ‘expert’ will talk about/share some tips and fun activities that could motivate students.
Joy works Mon-Sat (am) and is willing to devote Saturday evenings (anytime from 13-15 GMT – an hour to an hour and a half) for special online discussions where she could learn something invaluable and something that she could do in her own classroom.
My dilemma is I need an expert on this topic, teaching writing to young learners. You do not have to be a teacher trainer, but you must at least know and have experienced teaching writing to young students. If you know some successful writing activities that you would like to share with Joy, then I also encourage you to join us.
This online discussion/sharing will not only be part of my study but most importantly, part of Joy’s professional development. Many Taiwanese EFL teachers in private language institutions share the same fate that Joy is experiencing: lack of teacher training support from the government and from the school that she works for. TPD for these teachers are considered to be unimportant because they are after all, what many locals consider ‘just a language school teacher’. Compared to Elementary school/high school/college English teachers, they are not really recognized as ‘teachers’. However, this does not mean that they are not good enough. I know some language school teachers whose English proficiency is far better that junior college teachers. I believe that with the right support and encouragement, these motivated teachers could experience the personal satisfaction of engaging in TPD. Joy has created her blog where she posts her thoughts and opinions about things that she’s learned in f2f conferences. She has attended 3-4 local conferences, and in one of these conferences, she was the only language school teacher who attended- the rest where college/university teachers. She was not intimidated by this, as a matter of fact, she was very active, participated in the session, and even raised some questions. Other teachers who were present were not as active as she was.
You may say that she’s different. But what makes her different is her tenacity to learn and improve herself (like Webheads)- all this without financial remunerations or the constant prodding of an employer or teacher. I think that she’s not at all different from the rest of us.
If you are interested in sharing your knowledge and skills with Joy, and if you are willing to spend an hour (or perhaps an hour and half) discussing some fun activities on teaching writing for young EFL students, then please, join us.
There is no fixed date yet, but it’s going to be a Saturday, 13-15 GMT, probably Alado or Learning times.
Many thanks in advance and I hope to hear from some of you.