Thursday, November 18, 2010


Lesson plans I submitted are now on APEC's wiki,
Cross Cultural Communication,

Gender Roles in Advertising,

Public Service Announcements,

Other lessons from TESOL submitters are found here

Am very pleased :-)

Subject: APEC Wiki
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2010 19:00:07 +0000

Greetings to all (there are 6 of you in this email…),

Remember a while back… I was bugging you about creating teaching tips for a contract for APEC? Well, here it is:

All of our wonderful teaching tips are found at Tips for Teaching 21st Century Workplace Skills.

I cannot even begin to share my thanks and gratitude for all of your contributions. Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you had time, look around a bit. The Skills for Success in Multinational Business was developed by the Center of Applied Linguistics. The Business Language for a Global Economy was developed by Synergy. And the Learning About Each Other pages were developed by the US Department of Education.


Professional Development Manager
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.
A Global Education Association

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Carol Learning Materials

I'm sharing on this blog post a message posted by Kieran on IATEFL's YG list. On the link provided you can find learning materials on Christmas Carols, which should be just in time since Christmas is around the corner.

Visit Kieran's site at for more learning materials.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Peter Medgyes: Native or Non-Native language teacher?

The text below was the message posted by Dennis Newson at the YLTSIG list. Peter Medgyes is going to lead asynchronous discussions on Native or Non-Native language teacher? The discussions are going to be held on YLTSIG Yahoo!Group list You need to join the group in order to participate in the discussions.
Our fielder for the YLTSIG discussion from Monday 8 November to Friday is PETER MEDGYES, Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest. Previously, he was a schoolteacher, teacher trainer, Vice President of his university, Deputy State Secretary at the Hungarian Ministry of Education and the Hungarian Ambassador in Damascus. Professor Medgyes is the author of numerous books and articles published both in Hungary and abroad.Many of you may have read his Changing Perspectives in Teacher Education (Macmillan Education, 1996), Laughing Matters: Humour in the Language Classroom (CUP 2002) orThe Non-Native Teacher (ELT) (Max Hueber,1999).

For the YLTSIG discussion we have decided to look again at an old and still disputed issue -
Native or Non-Native language teacher?

As Peter put it when I invited him to make a provocative statement to get the discussion started:

"I still know of language schools which are reluctant to employ non-native speaking teachers of English. If you were the principal of a language school, would you also give priority to natives?"

Well, would you or wouldn't you - and why?
The official start of the discussion is on Monday, but there is nothing to stop you posting right now if you have an opinion to share.
Dennis Newson
Formerly University of Osnabrueck, GERMANY
Committee member
Discussion List Manager IATEFL YLT SIG
Winner British Council ELT 05 Innovation Award
Unrepentant grammarophobe

YLTSIG Website:
Yahoogroups: Subscribe:

SpeedGeek: Electronic Village Online Sessions

I'm reposting Vance Steven's message to the Webheads' List
Hi everyone,

This Sunday at 1300 GMT Elizabeth Hanson-Smith will coordinate a presentation on EVO, or Electronic Village Online. You can find information about the free professional development available over a 5-week period this coming January and February 2011 here, and you can come to this live event to meet some of the moderators who are now preparing to put on these sessions; e.g.

PLEs and PLNs
Susan Berg, Letizia Cinganoto, Daniella Cuccurullo

Second Life
Dennis Newson, Kalyan Chattopadhyay, Heike Philp, Maria Pinto, Nahir Aparicio

Evelyn Izquierdo, Jose Rodriguez, Miguel Mendoza

Digital Storytelling
Carla Arena

Vance Stevens, Dennis Oliver, Jennifer Verschoor, Nelba Quintana

Internet4YoungLearners (a 2010 EVO session)
Sandra Rogers

The event actually starts at noon GMT (4 p.m. in the UAE) when teaching practitioners gather at for informal text chat. At 13:00 GMT (5 p.m. in the UAE) we move to the presentation venue in Elluminate at

Please note, Elluminate is generously provided to us by Learning Times, and prior registration is required (non-intrusive, takes only minutes).

The Google Calendar showing these events displays at

All are welcome, and hope to see you there,


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Letter-from-the-Chair Draft

Dear NNESTIS Members,

I hope that 2010 has been a good year for all of you as it has been for our Interest Section (IS). Since this will be my last letter as Chair, I’d like to bring your attention to three key IS issues: IS elections and exiting IS officers, TESOL 2011 Academic Session and Intersessions with other ISs, and the NNEST-Electronic Village Online (EVO) 2011 Session.

Firstly, we are going to wrap this year with an election for the various Steering Committee (SC) positions for 2011-2012. I will be stepping down as Chair, and Icy Lee will take over as Chair for 2011-2012. Aya Matsuda and Ryuko Kubota (members-at-large officers) and Lifen Lin (our web manager) will also end their terms in March 2011. Candidates for these positions will be announced soon, and I’m hoping that we could have our elections before 2010 makes its final exit. To Aya, Ryuko, and Lifen, many many thanks for your help and support. Rashi Jain will continue on with her role as our Newsletter Editor, and (name of new volunteer insert here) will be the (name of position to be filled, insert here). Election results will be announced to the list and an official announcement will be made during our IS business meeting in New Orleans next March.

Secondly, for the 2011 TESOL convention in New Orleans, we will be working with SLWIS (with NNEST as primary), SPLIS (as secondary), and with TEIS & EFL ISs (as third), and the following NNEST-IS members will be representing our IS in these sessions:

NNEST-SLWIS Intersession: Icy Lee, Lisya Seloni, and Claus Gnutzmann
SPLIS-NNEST Intersession: Paul Sze, Katya Nemchinova
TEIS-EFL-NNEST Intersession: Isabela Villas Boas

Zoreh Eslami, Lia Kamhi-Stein, Lawrence Jun Zhang, and Donna Fujimoto will be joining me for our Academic Session.

Last but not least, we will be offering NNEST-EVO 2011 in January to kick-off a good year for NNEST teacher professional development. We have a roster of great guest speakers per week who will be leading the synchronous and asynchronous discussions. The speakers (see below) are experts in their own right and are quite well-known in the TESOL/ELT academic circle.

List of Confirmed-Speakers

1. Jeremy Harmer

2. Jeff Lebow

3. Yilin Sun

4. Isabela Villas Boas

5. Michael Carrier

6. Marisa Constantinides

7. Robert Griffin

8. Icy Lee

9. George Vassilakis

10. Masaki Oda

11. RELO Thailand

12. Rashi Jain

The thematic weekly discussions will cover a range of NNEST-related issues, which unfortunately despite the vast research conducted and published papers in these areas, the same concerns and dilemma still exist today. Links to the synchronous and asynchronous discussions will be announced by the end of December. This EVO session is definitely something you wouldn’t want to miss!

Thank you all and have a great new year!

Aiden Yeh

Monday, November 01, 2010

Response to Week 2, EVO training, Pitfalls

Hi All,

I'd just like to respond to Holly's and Sandra's messages regarding this thread.

First, I like what Holly wrote about getting balance, support, and most importantly, the ability to forgive ourselves when we fail to do what we're supposed to do. Increasing/adding items to our 'things to do' list is really not a pitfall, but it becomes one when we stuffed in too many things at the same time. This is my common pitfall. I tend to over commit myself, to the point that I don't get enough rest, I produce a pretty mediocre job (which I could've probably done better), etc. A glance at how we all performed in Week 2 is a good benchmark in looking at our commitments. We are all committed to this training, yet not all of us shared with the group what we have accomplished so far. Are you like me? Have you over-comitted yourself this time around? Your session participants would probably do the same thing. So instead of producing/participating in making use of the learning opportunity, they'd tend to not fully commit themselves since they've probably had tons of other things to do in their 'to-do' list.

Sandra mentioned 'enforcing' people to participate. We all do want them to participate. But unlike her course, our participants are not graded. This isn't a pass or fail thing. We just kinda provide this learning service for free and we just hope that they somehow would benefit from this experience, one way or another. But this training session, although free and voluntary, we do have standards. And this year, as mentioned in Week 1, we do have some pending sessions. Your participation in this training i.e. evidence of meeting the tasks/benchmarks will be used to assess whether your session is ready for offering or not. I don't want to sound like the strict-principal that all teachers hate, but EVO has got a name to keep. And I hope that we are all in the same boat and using the same sculls so we can row it smoothly.

Have a great Week 3 everyone!

Aiden Yeh

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reflections on Claire's ESL-WOW Project Presentation

Claire B. Siskin did a presentation about the ESL-Writing Online Workshop (WOW) Project that she's involved in, which is funded by FIPSE, Funding for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education (see FIPSE usually awards grants in projects where 'innovation' is involved. ESL-WOW is somewhat similar to PURDUE's ONLINE WRITING LAB (OWL) project (, but the difference is ESL-WOW is completely devoted to ESL. According to Claire, they plan to have all the materials and learning resources completely available to everyone- but this won't materialize until 2013! Although, she hopes that they would be able to make some of the materials available online in 2012 :-) Basically, ESL-WOW develops materials for ESL students that are easy to understand; they hope to employ ESL (live) tutors for the first year, and they hope that the site would become a place where students can 'interact' with the available materials on their own; in other words, students will have to be autonomous learners making use of 'computer scaffolding'. In the chat discussion, Dennis O. provided some good examples of 'computer scaffolding' i.e. glossary, peer editing, etc. Vance and others also suggested the use of twitter applications on their site, creating a Facebook group where students could meet and learn together. While human scaffolding i.e. asking people/teachers for support is always desirable, sometimes in projects like this, it would be very difficult to maintain. Claire pointed out two of her main concerns: dissemination (informing people about this) and sustainability (making sure that the site survives the test of time). I think getting the word out won't be much of a problem since basic marketing and promotional techniques can be employed. Besides, with the advent of personal learning networks (PLNs) and social networks, the simple word-of-mouth advertising will do- so long as people keep on sharing information about ESL-WOW. Claire's second concern, sustainability, is I think more problematic, as she pointed some good examples of NING sites that were created but ultimately met untimely death since people did not bother to go back or pay them a visit. In other words, without the human support/following, the site full of wonderful and available resources can just become a memorial site for those lost ESL souls. What they hope is for students to keep on coming back and making use of these resources; well I think as long as they are free and downloadable, students (new and old) will keep on coming back. The thing is, we're talking about second language writing. For ESL students, writing is extremely difficult. And sometimes, no matter what resources are available to them, they do not see how they can successfully make use of them. In some cases, students are perenially lazy. It's easier to ask, than do the search themselves. Only those who are extremely motivated will go out of their way to search and make sense of the resources they've found online.

The open resources will be archived in a Moodle, and for the first few years, live tutors will also be available on the moodle site to offer virtual support.

The recording of Claire's is available at

You can read the chat transcript here,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The ESL-WOW Project

The recording is available at
You can read the chat transcript here,
Hi all,

This is just reposting Vance's message on EVONLINE WEBHEADS:

Here are the details:

Title: The ESL-WOW Project

Description: Claire Bradin Siskin will describe the ESL Writing Online
Workshop (ESL-WOW) Project, which she directs. ESL-WOW, currently under
development, will be a website designed to guide non-native speakers of
English through each stage of the pre-writing, while-writing, and
post-writing processes. Once the materials have been created, ESL-WOW will
be available to all individuals and educational institutions across the
country. Siskin will outline the development process, and she will also seek
feedback and suggestions from her fellow Webheads.

This event is part of a participant-driven professional development series
planned as a part of the ongoing (since 1998) Webheads in Action
professional development series, most recently with the involvement of the
TESOL Arabia EdTech SIG. The events take place at 13:00 GMT each Sunday (5 pm in UAE).

The event actually starts at noon GMT (4 p.m. in the UAE) when teaching
practitioners gather at for informal text chat. At 13:00
GMT (5 p.m. in the UAE) we move to the presentation venue, either Elluminate
at, or Adobe Connect at

The event this week will take place in Elluminate
Please note, Elluminate is generously provided to us by Learning Times, and
prior registration is required (non-intrusive, takes only minutes).

All are welcome and hope to see you there,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reflections on Use of MOODLE and Web 2.0 tools in the EFL e-learning courses Session

Here are the things I've learned in Vance Steven's weekly speed geek that took place last Sunday Oct 3 at 13:00 GMT in Adobe Connect, This particular session was about the use of moodle and web 2.0 tools in the EFL e-learning course at a Casa Tomas in Brazilia, Brazil. The lead presenters were Carla Arena and Erika Cruvinel, both long-time webheads.

Being a webhead, I've have seen the many class projects that Carla and Erika have designed for their EFL courses. I have also worked with Carla in numerous online endeavors i.e. Electronic Village Online ( and she also presented for the EFL-NNEST Intersession in Boston early this year, So I knew that they'll be presenting effective practices of techology integration in traditional F2F classroom. What I wasn't expecting, and surely it was a very welcome surprise was the inclusion of teacher training which uses both traditional methods and online teacher training strategies. So this is what I'll be focusing on in today's entry.

The discussion on teacher training was raised almost at the very end of their session, and it was brought up by Wendy Arnold, IATEFL Young Learner Sig. She asked, "how long it takes online training teachers up to speed on how to use tools?" It was an interesting question and a valid one, too. Erika responded to this and she said that it (teacher training) is a process and the first thing they do as trainers is to teach the teachers how to use these tools. It's pretty common sense that to be able to use the tools effectively in the classroom, the teachers have got to be proficient and confident in using the tools themselves!

To support the teachers' training needs in Casa Tomas, they developed the 'Web tools course/E-tutoring course' which is patterned to the EVO style of mentoring and training. This I think is the best complement for EVO, which I believe is a testament to the benefits of doing free online professional development for language teachers who may not have access to TPD in their local teaching/learning environment. Carla also emphasized that it takes some time for teachers to get used to the different tools- since there are hundreds of them! She also pointed out that teachers have to experience how to be online students themselves so they could 1) familiarize themselves with the tools and the technical aspects of web tools application, and 2) realize the students' difficulties Again this is very important because having experienced the same trials and frustrations in using the tools in learning that students face, teachers would be able to provide better support and guidelines to make the students' learning experience a positive one. Sometimes when teachers get so used to using a tool it becomes second nature to them- they coud probably do a task with their eyes closed! For a digital-native teacher, technology integration comes with ease. But surely, before one becomes so good in something there's has got to be a point where they started off as totally ignoramus. So before becoming digital natives, they must have experienced how it was to be digital immigrants. I once was-- back in 2001- until I met Vance Stevens and joined his EVO-Webheads session; the rest is history. Carla and Erika also took the same path- through EVO and webheads they experienced informal mentoring from web-savvy webheads EFL teachers, and once they got the knack of it they started doing the same thing their informal mentors were doing- they were involved in informal teaching/mentoring/participating/sharing. This is a crucial point not only in the survival of a communty of practice (Webheads), but in the language profession as well. Teachers join online groups/networks/CoPs or whatever you want to call them because they feel there's a need to participate, to learn something, to update their skills, etc. and in most occassions, this kind of teacher-support and learning opportunities do not come handy in their workplace. A motivated teacher looks out for ways to improve her/his craft- and they sometimes find them online. It would be ideal if such learning/teaching support is provided by the employing institution, but with the economic setback that many countries are experiencing, even providing basic teacher training is not available just to cut cost. But not for Casa Tomas.

This is why I admire Isabel Villasboas, Carla's and Erika's head manager, because she makes it possible to blend theory and practice; she allows the use of social networking sites and other web 2.0 tools creating their own (Casa Tomas) personal learning networking which is shared with other teachers across the globe. Teacher training is not only done online but face-to-face as well- this I believe is the icing on the cake. The more local teachers are given access to teacher professional development the better it gets for the local ELT community. When you improve the kind of teacher quality in your own local network, particularly non-native English teachers, you also improve the quality of English learning students get. I wish there are Isabel Villasboas in Taiwan- but I still have yet to find one :-(


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Comments on Angela's Blog Entry on Community vs Network

This is a response to Angela's Blog entry on community vs. network, I'm pasting here what I snipped from Angela's blog which would help me address the specific issues that she raised.

I think wat she wrote (below) is a great reflection of the benefits of having a recording of an online session/webinar.
It seemed that when my concentration went to one, I missed something in the other and thus I ended up watching the session 2 more times, and each time I got something new out of it.  I guess that is the beauty of having the elluminate recordings, we can always go back if we need to.
Recording a webinar and putting it up online after the session to share with others who didn't have the chance to participate synchronously. I, for one, often missed out on a lot of synchronous conferences/discussions mainly because of two reasons, 1) time availability i.e. conflict of schedule usually with other f2f engagements, and 2) time zone differences. I live in Taiwan and that's where I teach too. But I occassionally travel back and forth between Taiwan and Birmingham, UK. I'm in Birmingham now doing my PhD residency, and the time difference makes it impossible for me to participate. You also wrote about listening to the recording many times and each time you learned something new. Would this have been possible if the recording was not available? If the recording was not made public, do you think that the volunteer mentors, like myself, or other educators who are interested in the topic but could not fully commit themselves to the course would be able to understand your blog reflections if we/they didn't have a clue what the recording was about? This is the beauty of open resources. Anyone who needs it can gain access to it. It's free. It's available, and when you and I discuss we aggregate the data; we snipped bits and pieces and react/reflect on them. In the end, we have this mashed up knowledge as a result of accumulated shared ideas.

Another key point  is on 'trust' which you mentioned quite a bit in your blog entry. I think you know by now the difference between a network and a community. A network can be helpful specially if connections with others are continuous and active, but it does not necessarily mean that is a community of practice (CoP). Forming a community takes time to build; it's like a 'village'; you've got to know people. You've got to befriend them, which means that there's a certain level of comfort enough for you to share your views and opinions. You are, honey, is like the new kid on the block. You just moved in, and have not yet adapted to the new place. Give it sometime to grow, get to know people and find common goals (which I think you already found in this group/course). Sharing can sometimes be nervewracking because you just don't know how other people will react. So in a new community, one has to be careful with his/her choice of words. But I believe the most important thing to know when sharing ideas, lessons, etc. is that someone out there will benefit from what you've shared. How many times have you benefitted from what other people have shared online? Sometimes you let them know that you got something out of it, most often not. In my own PhD research, I found that the benefits of online sharing, ementoring, etc. to other EFL teachers outweigh the barriers. Perhaps in your own class project, you'd also discover the same :-)
At the moment, I do not have enough trust in our EC&I 831 community to be comfortable speaking.  Like my classmate, Jamie, I have no problem typing responses in the chat when I have something to say but I am not ready to grab the mic yet, not because, like her, I am shy, but rather because there is not enough trust on my part, yet…  It’s another goal area.
I like this comment in particular i.e. B. Dieu comment. Well for one, I know who you're talking about. Barbara Dieu is a colleague and dear friend- and our friendship grew as a result of our active participation in the Webheads online community of practice. I agree, CoPs are round, and I'm adding my two cents on this. I talked about sharing and learning, but the process for a teacher does not really start there. For me, there's has got to be a need- your own teaching/learning need. You call out for help in your CoP, and see how many people will turn up to offer guide and support. Soon, it'll be their turn to call our for help, but will you be there for them? What I'm saying is, to make a CoP work, the very essence of belonging to a community lies on sharing and helping and calling out for help. That's the continuous process of a CoP's existence.
 I think what made the most sense to me was when Barbara Dieu said that “communities are round and networks are spiky.”  That gave me a visual in my mind, which is important as I am a visual learner.
On Fostering change via a learning community like the ECI,
By doing this, maybe we can foster change within our own lives and effectively be a venue for social change.
I agree, you can foster change. But without trust, your confidence in this group's ability to foster change is not that strong. You need to be an advocate for change, hence an advocate for this learning community. You strongly believe that this network, this community that you belong in works for you, and therefore will work in your teaching community.

On being in a tight-knit closed community,
I think my sense of community would be stronger if the course were closed to only those taking it for credit.   However, I do not want a closed course; I want it to be an open community.
Again, if Alec had chosen to limit participation of non-course takers, I wouldn't be here commenting on your ideas. Perhaps it would be easier to establish a stronger connection with a smaller community- but what you receive and put out  foster stronger bonds among the community members. Your participation, combined with other's active contribution make a stronger CoP. So are you willing to make change happen?

Let me know about your project, I'd like to see how I can help make your ideas come to life :-)

Aiden Yeh/Motherchina

Comments on Shawn's Understanding Connectivism & Constructivism blog post

Below was the comment I posted on Shawn's blog entry on understandin connectivism and constructivism,

Hi Shawn,

I read your blog post with interest. You have covered the basic theoretical framework of connectivism and constructivism. In the end you asked, "Yes, all of these are benefits of the technological aspect of connectivism, but are they not also a very strong component of constructivism?" They are! long before connectivism, CoP was the key phrase. And both capitalizes on social construction of knowledge. Technology provides the access to connecting with other people who share the same interests. Constructivism is more grounded to providing you solid evidence of learning; that learning was not only a result of receiving information/knowledge through your various networks but you construct new ideas based on them. If you were given a project, how would you show evidence of constructivist learning in a connected social network?

Aiden Yeh
Motherchina on Twitter

Friday, October 08, 2010

Virtual Round Table TODAY!

Announcement on behalf of Heike Philp

A message to all members of Virtual Round Table

Dear all,

The Virtual Round Table Conference starts today at 9am GMT which translates to be 10am in the UK, 5am in New York and 5pm in Beijing. ( for world times) with the WELCOME ADDRESS by the three company organisers, Shelly Terrell of Parentella, Berni Wall, Gapfillers and the originator of the Virtual Round Table conference Heike Philp, CEO of LANCELOT School GmbH.

One of the highlights of today will be, to listen to two industry giants in the field of language learning peer-to-peer communities, LiveMocha (6 Mio users) and Busuu (1 Mio users). Busuu's CEO Bernhard Niesner will present straight after the welcome address at 9:30am GMT

During the first set of PARALLEL SESSIONS, you might find it very difficult to choose between listening to Lindsey Clandfield (Nicky unfortunately can not make it), Kevin Westbrook, Paul Maglione or Andrew Connolly of Mikogo at 10am GMT ( Sadly Andy Chaplin can not be with us and his session is cancelled. Difficult to choose but don't worry, whatever you miss out on you will be able to watch as recordings.

At 11:30am GMT ( we will have an UNCONFERENCE. But what is an unconference? An unconference is a part without set program when conference participants get together, vote for a topic that they wish to discuss with others and then split into interest groups. At the end of the 30min discussion everyone meets again and a spokesman of each group relates their findings. Conferences which are entirely based on this concept are called barcamps or educamps.

Certainly one of the highlights of the day is our first main PANEL DISCUSSION with the 'webheads' an online community of educators, orginally started by Vance Stevens and Dave Winet some 10 years ago. We are thrilled to see Teresa Almeida d'Eca, Carla Arena, Michael Coghlan, Erika Cruvinel, Daf Gonzalez, Vance Stevens and Jennifer Verschoor join us from Australia, Portugal, Spain, Brazil and the UAE, spanning the globe. They will be discussing what works where in teacher training. This is a learning conversation without any powerpoint and you are all encouraged to freely ask questions and add comments in the text chat. .

The afternoon sessions then starts at 3:30pm GMT ( with Livemocha’s CEO Michael Schutzler world leader of online communities for language learners, joining us from the US followed by Judie Haynes on KidSpiration and teaching kids to write and Tara Benwell of MyEnglishClub. Please note, this session starts half an hour early at 3:30pm GMT to get a chance to listen to Michael, who has some speaking engagement and has to leave promptly at his local time 9am.

Then, non-stop, we continue with PARALLEL SESSIONS to join Sirin Soyoz at British Council in Turkey about songs in ELT, English360 and their workshop on how to create dynamic and engaging lessons, Işil Boy (pronounced Ishil) a 30min presentation on web 2.0, Philip Gienandt of LinguaTV and their award winning and fun language videos and Udemy's Gagan Biyani, a true alternative to Moodle with a plus, namely a built in payment system (upcoming soon) that allows you to charge for the courses you create there.

Even if it is terribly difficult to choose between any of the parallel session, “worry not” because all sessions are being recorded and will be published on our conference site usually within 3 days of the conference.

The Friday closes with an exciting, fun and fast-paced PECHA KUCHA NIGHT and an ONLINE AUCTION.

Many thanks to our donors of products and services for their give-aways, which we are granted to auction of for a good cause, namely the teacher training grant. Our goal is to reach 3,000 EUR!

Looking forward to seeing you online.

The Conference organizers

Heike Philp
Shelly Terrell and
Berni Wall

Visit Virtual Round Table at:

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Webheads' Idioms in English Project on Flickr

The "Idioms in  English" project on Flickr started by the Webheads is an interesting idea that can easily be used in a blended learning EFL class. Look at the examples Webheads did and you can actually do the same- or even better!

Here's the link to the Idioms in English page,

Below is my message posted today to the Webheads Yahoo! Group regarding my contribution to the Webheads' Idioms Project on Flickr!
Hi All,

Just thought of sharing a picture that Michael Coghlan took back in 2008 but I couldn't figure out how to link it. So I took a screenshot and added it to the idioms stream. I added a description right below the meaning of the idiom expression; I also provided the direct link to Michael's photostream where you could see all the past comments on my shoe. There's an interesing comment made by Nergiz :-) and I just responded to that. Interesting though to find out that Graham wears high heels! :-)

Link to Walk a mile in my shoes!

To Michael's stream,

hugs to all,

what a wonderful project!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Response to ECouros's ECI831 student's blog post

This is in response to ECI831 student's blog entry,

And below was my response to her.

Interesting blog post. I'd like to comment on two things: CoPs and local network for local teachers.

Regarding CoPs, I think it would help to read Etienne Wenger's theory, see, He emphasizes the role of social participation in a CoP. This is a major factor since without the social interaction there won't be much networking and therefore in the long run, the connection with other group members won't be as solid. It takes people to connect, yes, but the relationship must grow into something stronger that really bonds the group i.e. friendship, open/informal mentoring, etc. Webheads in Action is a solid CoP and proven through the years of continuous collaboration with TPD projects and class-related projects.

Secondly, I'm interested in your idea of establishing local network for local teachers. My PhD thesis focuses on local teachers' online TPD i.e. ementoring and how learning & change can take place in their real teaching contexts. It was a long and tedious process but I saw how it worked and what the shortcomings were. I'd like to see your idea grow into something that will work for the teachers in your community. The first thing that you need to do is to prepare a mindmap or an outline on how you intend to make this happen. You can do this, one step at a time.

Goodluck and keep me updated with your project.

aka motherchina (Twitter)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Use of MOODLE and Web 2.0 tools in the EFL e-learning courses, Oct 3, 13 GMT

Recording is available at
Pasting announcement from Vance Stevens via Webheads YG:

weekly speed geek to take place on Sunday Oct 3 at 13:00 GMT in Adobe Connect,

Carla Arena, Claudio Fleury, Erika Cruvinel and Ronaldo Júnior are a group of educators at Casa Thomas Jefferson, Brasilia. They will be sharing a bit of their experience of mixing the use of MOODLE and Web 2.0 tools in the EFL e-learning courses they devised and teach, of which this is one example: Please have a look at this article and come talk with the Brazilian Webheads about how they integrate Web 2.0 and multiliteracies into their teaching.

This event is part of a participant-driven professional development series planned for the TESOL Arabia EdTech SIG at 13:00 GMT each Sunday (5 pm in UAE). Between Sept 6 and Oct 3, 2010 the event coincides with the TESOL PPOT 107 Multiliteracies course.

The event starts at noon GMT (4 p.m. in the UAE) when teaching practitioners gather at for informal professional development text chat. At 13:00 GMT (5 p.m. in the UAE) we move to the presentation venue.

Venue confirmed for

Please feed back to us on your preference for Adobe Connect or Elluminate, as we have both available to us.

All are welcome of course, hope to see you there,


NOTE: 13 GMT is 21:00 Taiwan time

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chat with Mark Pegrum and Gavin Dudeney Wed Sept 29, 2010 08:00 GMT all welcome

Hi. I'm just copying and pasting Vance Steven's message (below). If you are free during this time, please join the chat!
From VANCE STEVENS via Webheads YG

Mark Pegrum's book From Blogs to Bombs ( was used recently as core reading in the multiliteracies course whose portal is here:

More recently, Mark has been touring Australia with Gavin Dudeney giving workshops on Digital Literacies. Mark and Gavin have agreed to reunite to discuss this topic with Vance Stevens and any other colleagues who would like to drop by and chat online.

Date: Wednesday, Sept 29, 2010

Time: 08:00 a.m. GMT, noon in UAE, and time where you are:

Venue: Elluminate:

In preparation, check out these links:
* The flyer from the joint session:

* A wiki with links to a dozen artifacts worth perusing in preparation for the discussion at

* A Google Doc prepared in collaboration with workshop participants on the Gold Coast, Australia:

All colleagues interested in participating are welcome

Make sure you get the time right; check out this link to find out what time it'll be in your part of the world.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jennifer Verschoor on Technology Integration in EFL learning (Sept 25)

Jennifer Verschoor  is giving an informal talk today, September 25 at 13:00 GMT (10 am in Bs.As.) on Technology Integration. There will be two special guests, her daughters, who blog at

Please click the following link to join this session
Check out time differences here,
Note: This posting was based on Jennifer Verschoor's message posted on her Facebook wall.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sneak Peek at Charice on 'Glee' Season 2: An EFL Lesson (Cross-cultural communication)

I came across this sneak peek video on Facebook, and after watching it I thought it can be used as a great material for an EFL lesson or cross-cultural communication course activity.

I'm a Charice fan. Like Susan Boyle, Charice was a product of the you-tube phenomenon. From Ellen to Oprah, to David Foster- they saw a potential (money and talent wise) in Charice. And now she's in Glee (season 2). Her life is an amazing story, but that is not what I had in mind for an EFL lesson. It's really about the sneak peek video that GLEE producers published/shared on Facebook.

Before you show the video in class, do a pre-video discussion as a warm-up activity. Ask your EFL students about their experiences  when talking to native speakers of English. Were they treated badly simply because of their Asian appearance or because of their accent? This can be a sensitive topic- so be careful with what you say and be cautious of how your students will react.

Ask students if they have heard of Glee (TV series) and what they think of the program. Do they like the cast members? Who among the cast do they like the most? Why? What do they think of the lead cast, Rachel?

If they have not heard of Glee, you may want to show them a clip from Youtube to help them understand what this Glee is about.

Now, tell your students that you're going to show them a sneak peek video for one of the series for Season 2.

After watching it for the first time, ask them:
1) how do they feel about the clip/scene
2) did it change their opinion about Rachel (the lead character in Glee)
3) what do they think of Charice's performnce, and how she was portrayed in that scene?

Now, tell your students that you're going to watch the same video again. But this time, they should pay attention to the ff:

1) what made Rachel talk to Charice that way?
2) Were Rachel's assumptions valid? how so?
3) How do you feel about Charice's reactions? Could she have done more?

We sometimes judge people based on the way they look. Appearance can tell us something about a person, but we can't summarize a person's ability, intelligence, personality, etc. simply based on the way she/he looks.

We also sometimes judge a person's ability based on his/her accent? Does accent really represent one's intelligence?

Consider the consequences of that particular scene to Charice's character 'Sunshine'- how do you think it would affect her? Can a similar situation affect your EFL students and their attitude towards themselves as EFL learners? ...their perception about their ethnicity and how it affects status symbol? For teenagers, image is everything. Being 'IN' is what matters the most. But how can EFL students be 'in' in an environment where there's little tolerance to ethnic/accent differences?

TOLERANCE. Big word- what does it really mean? How can EFL studens/teachers practice it?

The issues raised in this lesson are valuable to teaching cross-cultural communications, and yes, world Englishes.

I hope you'd able to use this piece in your class, and share with us/me how it went.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BELP PG Conference

BELP PG Conference
Westmere House, University of Birmingham
September 27, 2010

Will you be interested in the following sessions? Would you like to join us via webcast?

9.00 – 9.30 Registration G3, Westmere

9.30 – 9.40 Welcome and Introduction


9.40 – 10.00 Phrasal verbs and Malaysian Learners of English

10.00 – 10.20 An investigation of discourse markers oh and I think made by Chinese NNSs and NSs of English: Localisation of English and implications for pedagogy

10.20 – 10.40 A comparative study of wh-words in Chinese EFL textbooks, elicited native and non-native speaker data and written native and non-native speaker corpora

10.40 – 11.00 An Introduction to the NAFWiC

11.00 – 11.20 Coffee Break

SESSION 2 Chair:

11.20 – 11.40 'Women of Action': A Critical Metaphor Analysis of Professional Identities of Female Politicians in Contemporary Polish Media Discourse.

11.40 – 12.00 Four ideas about why ‘chav’ matters

12.00 – 12.20 A local grammar of translation equivalences

12.20 – 12.40 Valency – Word Sense – Sentence Production

12.40 – 1.40 Buffet Lunch

SESSION 3 Chair:

1.40 – 2.00 Online Teacher Professional Development: Effecting Change on Taiwanese EFL Teachers’ Attitudes and Classroom Practices

2.00 – 2.20 Blog Assisted Language Learning (BALL) in the EFL Writing Classroom

2.20 – 2.40 Genre of Feedback

2.40 – 3.00 How definite are we about articles in English? A study of English L2 learner article interlanguage during a University Presessional English course.

3.00 – 3.20 Tea Break

SESSION 4 Chair:

3.20 – 4.20 Guest Speaker:
The Linguist as Detective: Forensic Applications of Language Description

Friday, September 17, 2010

If Facebook was created years ago: EFL task-based activity

I got this link from a colleague in TESOL on my FB network,!/photo.php?pid=14520790&id=739070012&ref=fbx_album

One of his followers asked who created it- so anyone who would pass it forward could give the right attributes/reference.

Google didn't help, but I found the same graphics with better quality.

This is how you could turn this piece into a creative and fun EFL activity. I think it would be better if you 'localize' the characters/known personalities so students could easily relate to them. This is a great piece for ESP i.e. History, Social Studies, etc.

First, show students the same Facebook messages above. Choose one that does not contain profanity/vulgar words (most of them contain words that you may not want your students to use. Please edit as you wish)

Ask students if they know Abraham Lincoln, Galileo, etc.
Do a little text analysis i.e. what word in the message that connects it to the famous person involved?
For example: Abraham Lincoln: what does 'theater' and/or 'private box seats' got to do with him? What happened to him? Dig real facts here. Get your resources ready.

What about Charles Darwin? What about living creatures evolving from basic forms? And why is the Church so angry at him asking him to shut up?


Once you've gone through the materials, ask students to do some brainstorming.

Brainstorming: Ask students to name famous local people they've encountered in history books or people who have made an impact on their history and culture. Are they considered 'heroes'? What did they do in the past that made them famous?

Write/list the names on the board (wiki or whatever you're using in the classroom). For each historical figure named, write down what their personality/character was like.

Once you've got enough information regarding your list of famous people, ask students to write/compose messages or Facebook updates that they think these people would use. Ask them to look at the given sample for help/inspiration.

Ask them to write/publish their work online i.e. Wiki/blog and share with the Webheads and we'll comment on them!

Have fun!


"Thanks, Aiden. That just brightened my day:-)"
"I quite like this one which explains World War 2. A few inappropriate posts along the way though."
"Great idea and lesson! Thanks for sharing."
"I loved the idea! My students are big fans of Facebook and I'm sure they'll see "language contextualized" !!! thanks for sharing "

Salford Uni. beats UoB in online PG conference

[Promised to self this is my last blog entry for the day]

On my Tweeter network, I received a post from Cristina Costa, a longtime Webhead colleague, regarding an online conference for PG students. This got me excited because it's a conference for PG students BY PG students. University of Birmingham, Applied Linguistics, English Depts have a weekly-Friday PG seminars where PG students present/share something about their research studies. Back in 2004, I got in touch with a couple of students who were in Japan and asked them if they'll be interested in doing an online PG seminar. Sure enough, they were pretty cool with the idea--but nothing came out of it. My first supervisor left the Uni and I was re-assigned to a new supervisor-and not knowing who to talk to at that time made it worse so the whole thing just kinda fizzled out. I was then later told that the PG students who were in the UK at that time were not interested in doing an online seminar because many of them were not comfortable with it. I told them all they had to do was to have a computer with webcam and internet access- I was thinking, if they were not interested in presenting, I can get in touch with distance learning students who can and who will. Well, getting the list of students isn't that easy. When I finally went there to do my residency, I got the chance to attend these PG seminars. Interesting stuff but not any different to conference presentations. These seminars are supposed to provide students training and experience in doing presentations. And they do- some students really need the training. Anyway, I was able to talk to someone in-charge, I talked-the-talk, and was told that it can be done. I know it can; I've seen it done and it works! And so I waited. And waited. Still waiting. I told myself, well, Aiden, don't rock the boat too hard, you still need to get that degree. And so you must see how proud I am when Cris made this online conference happened. I am sad rather than envious; sad because UoB provides Distance learning programmes in different modes- and yet no online PG seminars. The only connection I have with fellow students is the PG list, and it's simply for online announcements- much like an email announcement board. I'm not really craving for another network and connections- I've got the Webheads and IATEFL folks- they keep me pretty much connected every single day. But yes, I do wish there's an online CoP for UoB Arts & Humanities PG students.

Here's Cris's Retweet:

OCTIS programme,

Here's a snapshot of the morning conference that I attended,

This was a great experience not just for me but for the Professors and students who participated as well. For one, they have experienced how different online teaching/lecturing/presenting is compared to f2f presentations. In blended presentations, you've got to deal with both the online participants and those who are physicially there in the room- and I think many Webheads are experts on this :-)

Some professors do lecture/s well (it depends on how look at them). But I like lectures/presentations that are lively, interactive, and those who do not present themselves as 'I know it all' kind of experts.

In this OCTIS conference, I get to reaffirm my beliefs that you do not have to be a native speaker of English to be able to deliver an effective online/blended presentations. I don't know Prof. Gaspari and I'm not into Translation studies or related research but I did enjoy his session--I learned something from him. He made use of the whiteboard to make his presentation even more interactive; he was just, in my opinion, pretty awesome.

From this event, I could give another example of the power of social networks and how it provides access to online teacher professional development. Below is a snapshot of my FB wall showing a message I received from another Webhead-EVO colleague from France, Moira H. thanking me for forwarding the link. If you click on the picture above, you might just see her username- she was there in the online conference.

Read Cristina Costa's blog entry to know more about how she organized this event,

And going back to UoB PG seminars, the Birmingham English Language Postgraduate Conference
(BELP) conference is going to be held on Sept. 27, Monday at Westmere House. I'll be presenting in the afternoon, right after lunch (I know, siesta time for me...). Talks about whether this event will be streamed or webcast are still ongoing--but nah, not counting on it.

And so folks, that's it for me.


Participating in ELT Chat on Twitter

Last September 15, 2010 I participated in the first ELTchat (#ELTchat) on

I was excited to take part in this activity mainly for three reasons: I wanted to see...
1.  how the flow of conversations would transpire
2.  what subtopics would come out as an offshoot from the general main topic: 'How do we best motivate learners?'
3. how I'd be able to follow the thread of conversations/messages posted by so many people almost all at the same time

I have participated in many online chats, webinars, voice/text chats, or whatever you want to call it, and I'm quite familiar with the set-up. I'm also pretty aware of how people behave in online chats; some are really responsive and some less active, and there are those who are 'technically have web presence' since they are logged on and we see their usernames in the chat platform but 'conversationally absent' since they do not participate in the conversations. But facilitating a chat session on Twitter is definitely new--at least for me. Now, I've seen pretty short yet interesting conversations on Twitter, and they can sometimes be delightful to read. A source of amusement, I should say. My favs on brief-twitter-chats would be those of between Gavin D. and Claire Siskin, and again Gavin D. and Jeremy Harmer, and yet again Gavin D. and Scott Thornbury (which Jason R. also blogged in, Jason describes Gavin and Scott as people in the ELT field with sharp and witty personalities. I agree, and I think the same can be said for Claire and Jeremy. These people are great in carrying snappy conversations- made me sometimes feel I was watching tennis- the suspense of seeing who's gonna hit or miss. But carrying a chat on ELt related topics for an hour on Twitter?--not sure how it would go?

I don't know who the people are behind ELTchat, all I knew was that Jason and Marisa were creating some noise about it on my PLN, so I thought, hmm, this has gotta be good. I also did my share of shoutouts- my family and friends on FB who are not ELT folks would have wondered what the buzz was about.

So off I went...

It started pretty smoothly. I was able to follow the conversation; I responded to questions, although not all of them, but I think there were some interesting chunks of info being passed around. I did enjoy being there, but it made me feel like I was in a party (no, not the punk or rock type- more matured, imagine light Jazz being played in the background) . I was talking to sometimes one or two people, then I get silent, listening to what everyone was saying/posting. I had to wait for the new tweets to come up- Twitter dropped them in bags, too- sometimes 4-6 tweets at once. Manageable. But try 20-30 tweet-updates! I had to scroll up and down the page to find out where my message landed and who picked it up, and who carried the conversation. 2-3 people did, but similar to party conversations, people move on, and so do the conversations. Then after all that chattering, it just slowed down. I was thinking it could be Twitter's fault- the site gets bogged down when the traffic of messages become heavy. #ELTchat could have caused traffic... I wonder if the #ELTchat hashtag made it to the TOP Trends in Twitter... Let me know if it did.

Marisa posted on Twitter that the chat was archived and uploaded, and is now available for everyone to read.  Here is the link if you're interested in reading it,

The transcript is a great source of data if you're into Discourse analysis- see how many subtopics came up and how long each topic-thread lasted. Cool, huh? Would love to do it but I'm pretty focused on finishing my dissertation- to be handed in for review next week!

But what I'd like to show you is this,
The graphic is not only visually attractive but the data it provided is simply impressive. Marisa, Jason, and to all the ELTchat organizers, you've got to have a webinar on how to use this site!

It was able to archive the following data:
number of tweets: 1,285 Tweets
when the archive and visualization was last updated: 21 hours ago

I realized that this site updates every 24 hours, which means the gathering of data is continuously performed. So, if I'm only interested on what happened on Sept. 15 during the first ELT chat on student motivation, does/can this site give me that info? Do we have that info? Is someone keeping track of the data i.e. tweets data for chat 1, chat 2, etc.

Anyway, I was happy that I participated in this endeavor. I'm sure we're all learning as we go.

Thanks ELT chat for that Twitteriffic experience!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ELT Chat on Twitter, Sept 15

Online Chat on Twitter on anything related to English Language Teaching (ELT) is about to kick off tomorow, September 15 at 3pm London time (GMT)- that's 11 pm Taiwan time.

Click here to find out what time it'll be in your part of the world,

Online chat session will last for an hour. To take part in this oTPD, you gotta have a Twitter account. If you don't have one, click here,
The organizers of ELT chat is asking you to cast your vote and choose the topic that you're interested in. There are five topics to choose from: intercultural competence, lexical approach, international English, TEFL or TESOL, and motivating learners. Click here to vote,

Use this hashtag to follow discussions on Twitter, #ELTchat
Be there or be square!


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Challenges of Using Tech with Young Learners

Watch Nik Peachy's webinar presentation, 'Challenges of Using Tech with YLs' adobe connect recording #efl #elt #ict #iatefl #tesol

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Informal Learning of a Teacher from Ghana

I received an email from this teacher (let's call her 'julyddan') in Ghana last August 28, 2010. She was interested in joining EVO and was asking if she could join the EVO team. Before sending her a response I informed the EVO coordinators about this and consulted them on how we should go about this- we have never received such an inquiry. While awaiting response from the team, julyddan was already sending me instant messages from Yahoo! Today, however, I decided to talk to her via Yahoo! IM and get this issue settled.

The flow of the text conversation with her was quite interesting because as it turned out, this was informal learning/mentoring in practice- ahhh the power of the Internet. Behold!

Note: orig worldmap was retrieved from this site,

Read the entire text chat and see what took place. She was already impressed with my old class wikis, but I told her there are other Webheads out there with great class blogs, wikis, and what have you. By the time you read this, julyddan is probably on her way to signing up to the Webheads YG! 

I had a hard time figuring out how exactly I could help her. The idea of mentoring always interests me, as that's what Webheads and EVO team do; but she came in with all that motivation to learn and list of things to do- I just didn't know where to start.

I hope I did the right thing today. Anyway, I did tell her that she could show me her class wiki when it's done. And yes, she can always send me an IM!


Read her message below:
Dear Aiden,

I have received a copy of the TESOL e-newsletter and have fallen in love with the EVO project. I am a post-graduate student awaiting the defence of my thesis and thence graduation with an MPhil English. As professional teacher with 11yrs teaching experience, my pre-occupation is researching into the most effective ways of teaching English and Literature especially through CALL. However, with regards to the use of CALL in Ghana, it is even difficult to find a single lecturer in my department who can mentor me. Hence my special request to the team is to be accepted as a protegee who can be coached and trained to introduce CALL in my country and my university in particular, University of Education, (name of state deleted).

As part of the training, I would be grateful if you could pair me or make me join a moderator group. Through they assigning tasks, and others to me I am sure I can learn and make an impact in my community.

By the next session my aim is to become a full fleshed moderator and be able to recruit many other language teachers from my country.

Hope to here favourably from you.

Thank you.
(name deleted)
----- Our chat on Thu, 9/2/10 5:07 PM -----

julyddan (4:13 PM): HI can I join an EVO team from Ghana? My interest is in integrating computers in language learning.

Aiden (4:15 PM): Hi there. received your message. Have you participated in any of the EVO sessions before?

julyddan (4:15 PM): no

Aiden (4:16 PM): The EVO sessions will be offered in January 2011. We are still in the process of receiving proposals.

Aiden (4:17 PM):, here's the link to past sessions,

julyddan (4:18 PM): Is it possible to join an existing team so i can be coached?

Aiden (4:18 PM): I suggest that you join Becoming a Webhead session as they show participants how to integrate technology in the classroom

Aiden (4:19 PM): There are no open sessions now; but you can join Webheads online community and be part of the learning community

Aiden (4:21 PM): I also suggest that you look at past BaW weekly activities- they introduce the basics from which tool to use to why you should it

Aiden (4:22 PM): you should also attend free webinars on Web 2.0

Aiden (4:23 PM):

julyddan (4:23 PM): ok I am checking on the links u have sent me

Aiden (4:24 PM): how old are your students and what class/es do you teach?

Aiden (4:25 PM): oh, and how did you find out about EVO?

julyddan (4:26 PM): I am 32. I have submitted my submitted a soft copy of my thesis for MPhil in English

julyddan (4:27 PM): Currently I am a tutor at the univ of Education, Winneba, distance learning section.

julyddan (4:29 PM): and i am looking for innovative ways of integrating IT in my teaching

julyddan (4:30 PM): I am also and IELTS exam proctor for British Council Ghana

Aiden (4:30 PM): how did you find out about EVO?

Aiden (4:31 PM): how old are your students and what class/es do you teach?

julyddan (4:32 PM): I joined the ELTeCS Europe, Caucus and Russia from the Briish Council Website when I was browsing for BC language teachers' opportunities

julyddan (4:33 PM): They are 18+. Diploma, Post Dip and 1st Degree

Aiden (4:35 PM): Is this a general English course?

julyddan (4:37 PM): I teach Comprehension and Composition at Post Dip, Com Skills and Intro to Lit at 1st degree

Aiden (4:38 PM): is this an online course or f2f?

Aiden (4:39 PM): do you use a wiki?

julyddan (4:39 PM): they are all f2f

Aiden (4:40 PM): do you have access to computers in the classroom?

julyddan (4:40 PM): but the dip courses are by distance and i wish to find ways of integrating IT so that my students can com and learn from home

julyddan (4:41 PM): not yet but if i can put a gud design together, my director is ready to provide them

Aiden (4:42 PM): do you use a course/leanring management system i.e. wiki, moodle, Yahoo! Group

julyddan (4:42 PM): I need to convince them with a gud proposal

julyddan (4:42 PM): no can u teach me how to?

julyddan (4:42 PM): this is why i want to be an evo member

julyddan (4:43 PM): nobody does these things in my university

Aiden (4:43 PM): Outline your proposal on a wiki and use your Yahoo! Group (or Google group) as learning mngt system (LMS)

Aiden (4:43 PM): EVO provide yearly teacher professional dev't sessions

Aiden (4:44 PM): what you need is to join a community of practice so you could just post your enquiry to the list

Aiden (4:44 PM): and peope will respond to you

julyddan (4:44 PM): so what is the first step?

Aiden (4:45 PM): for collaborative projects, you can also count on the webheads to help you

Aiden (4:45 PM): outline your plan on a wiki

Aiden (4:45 PM): sort of like a learning syllabus

Aiden (4:46 PM): i'll show you my class wikis

julyddan (4:46 PM): oh ok like my course outline right?

Aiden (4:46 PM): yes

julyddan (4:46 PM): great

julyddan (4:46 PM): i wild like to see it

Aiden (4:46 PM): in this way your students should have an e-copy of your syllabus

julyddan (4:46 PM): ok

Aiden (4:47 PM): these are old wikis because I took a break froom teaching last year bec. i'm finishing up my PhD

Aiden (4:47 PM): wait, let me get the UR:s

Aiden (4:48 PM):,

julyddan (4:48 PM): oh ok

julyddan (4:48 PM): hope u grad soon

Aiden (4:48 PM): look at the sidebar, scroll down and you'll see SY2008-2009

julyddan (4:49 PM): then you can guide me through one

julyddan (4:49 PM): I am checking on the link now

Aiden (4:49 PM): yOU'LL see all the subjects that I taught that school year

julyddan (4:49 PM): ok

Aiden (4:49 PM): each class has its own YG and Wiki

Aiden (4:50 PM): the YG serves as our LMS, while the Wiki as a site for syllabus, instructions, students work, etc.

julyddan (4:50 PM): hmmm

Aiden (4:51 PM): familiarize yourself with YG or google group and see how you can organize it in a way that course materials are available in folders, links bookmarks, etc.

Aiden (4:52 PM): this is an example of Freshman English class

Aiden (4:52 PM):

Aiden (4:53 PM): my advertising class,

Aiden (4:54 PM): research writing,

julyddan (4:55 PM): I am impressed

Aiden (4:55 PM): for writing, you can use googledocs

Aiden (4:56 PM): and you don't have yo publish your students work until they're ready

Aiden (4:56 PM): and you should always let them know why you're putting their work online

julyddan (4:57 PM): ok

Aiden (4:57 PM): Other webheads also have great class blogs, join webheads and you'll be surprised on how friendly and helpful people are

Aiden (4:57 PM): you can't find anything like the webheads

Aiden (4:58 PM): once you've got your class wiki up and running, let me know and i'll give it a visit

julyddan (4:59 PM): ok

Aiden (4:59 PM): great. glad to help you this time.

julyddan (5:00 PM): thank u very much

Aiden (5:07 PM): (smilie)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Seminar on Teacher Professional Development in Southern Taiwan (Chinese)

For Teachers in Taiwan, you may want to attend this seminar.
Please pass this info to your colleagues or to anyone whom you know may benefit from this session.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Social Network Official Trailer -In theatres Oct 1 2010

This is not just a story about Facebook- the social network. It's a story about all the negative things about being human- greed, selfishness, vicious desires, etc., etc. It shows what people would do for the sake of money. Take the trivial things out of FB, and what have you got?

500 million friends. wow, what a network. But with that number, what kinds of relationships are created? How long can a social pyramid based on weak foundations of trivial friends and connections stand? It will soon crumble, and when it does count again the number of friends on your list, and you'll see.

This film is showing in October. Are you going to watch it? I think I will; I'd like to find out how the professors/admi in Harvard reacted to the whole FB thing. I wonder how their (the two kids featured in the movie) professors felt when the social network idea exploded right on their faces. Did they get a share? Did Harvard? Did they support the idea or were they totally against it? Did the professors who taught these kids ever predicted that FB's gonna be huge? did they ever tell themselves, 'Why the hell didn't i think of that?!'


I wonder if the script is out- I think it can be used as a learning activity.

Lady Greenfield: Social networking is turning us into babies

Patrick Wintour, political editor, Tuesday 24 February 2009 10.52 GMT

Wintour wrote an article, Facebook and Bebo risk 'infantilising' the human mind'. His article basically talks about what Lady Greenfield thinks of the social networking sites and how they are changing the way children think and behave, making them selfish with matching attention-deficit-disorder.

Are social networking sites turning us into babies? Does Bebo? I don't use Bebo and therefore can't comment on it; but the name has that similar 'goo-goo' sound babies make...or is it just because both words start with the letter 'B'...

I've been using Twitter and FB, and I don't think they have negatively affected my attention span. Tweets actually make me more attentive, since I could scroll my tweet updates and could easily catch an interesting tweet that deserves my full attention. I would even click on the provided link and read the entire article or watch the video clip and leave a brief comment. Now that I'm slowly making my way back to blogging, I can spend a few minutes and write something about what I've read. Attention is needed when you write, right? Even when you're writing nonsense, it still takes effort to whip up a few words of total B.S.

Now do Twitter and FB influence my identity? That's a loaded question. On FB, I use my real name and add friends and family to my friends' list. Got my entire network of real people who knows 2 or 3 things about me. Aside from my brothers and sister, and a handful of dear friends who could tell the best or worst side of me, the rest of them probably just know a few stuffs about me- mostly good ;-) But do I need to have multiple identities- I don't think so.

Ok, I hear you saying, what about your twitter account? You're using a different name- what's 'motherchina' about? If you're one of my closest friends in college, you won't even ask that question since you're probably one of the culprits who gave me that nickname. Back in those days, we either use silly nicknames (based on our chracter/physical looks/shortened first names e.g. Lalls for Lally, Helgs for Helga) or last name e.g. 'Dux' for Duco, Sison, etc. As for me, I was re-baptized with 'motherchina' because of my chinky eyes. I don't know how and why they came up with 'mother', I seldom cursed or is it my selective memory kicking in? Anyway, the name stuck with me. Now that I'm living in Taiwan, I have not yet heard any politically-loaded comments addressed to me. Yeah- other people may associate the word China (in motherchina) with something else, but who cares? There's a history behind that name, and that's what matters. That's one side of me you probably didn't know.

Wrapping this up, do social networking sites 'changed' my brain? For the better I hope. As I get older, I do find myself forgetting names, losing bits and pieces of my childhood memories and even events that took place less than a decade ago. With FB, I get to re-connect with cousins, many of whom were still little babies when I left for Taiwan- this brings back forgotten memories. I also get to re-connect with my former students- their connections and presence on FB remind me of what kind of teacher I was--likeable I hope (othrwise they won't even add me to their list), and yes a couple of occassional comments like "I miss you or I really enjoyed your classes" make me think of the reason/s why I ended up teaching.


perhaps this article does not relate to me afterall. She was referring to children- not  40-something-gal like me ;-)

MoodleMeet Moodle’rrific

The posting below is an invitation to participate in the upcoming online conference, Moodle'rrific. Please pass it forward to colleagues who may be interested in getting involved.

Word is out that you have developed some successful practices around online learning and we’re hoping that you would be willing to share some of your ideas with colleagues in the upcoming MoodleMeet Moodle’rrific: taking place online between Sept 17-24, 2010.

The purpose of Moodle’rrific is to bring educators from across the world to ‘show and tell’ their successful online practices bringing together innovative uses of technology and personalized. Some of our partners this week include: British Columbia (Canada) Ministry of Education,Commonwealth of Learning*, and CUE BC, .with other partners and individuals still signing on.

We invite you to join this growing team as we work together leading the way  internationally to:

- ensure that educators have access to a network of colleagues to help one another be the best they can be as online or mixed-mode educators

- ensure that students have access to engaging and effective online courses There are several ways you can join us ranging from being a participant during the week, being a “show and tell’ presenter during a 30-min
Elluminate timeslot and being part of the threaded discussion on the topic, and/or being an organizer/facilitator.

We know September 17th is fast approaching and no doubt you’re busy with back-to-school preparations; however, our facilitating team is ready to assist you and to bring you into the event in whatever level of participation interests you.

Please contact me if you have any questions, or want more information. Join us, you’ll be glad you did!

Sent by Sharon Betts on behalf of the Moodle’rrific Team, sharonbetts[@]

Monday, August 23, 2010

Are you a Web Whore?

Are you a web whore? Read this interesting blog post and see if you could relate to Leo,

Let's see if I qualify as one...

Leo joined twitter in 2006. I think I joined in 2007
Leo "sign up for every site, try every web app, use every service I can find". I don't sign up to every web app I find or learned from my web friends, only those that I fancy.

Leo: "I love trying the myriad new ways people are using it to connect and I believed that social media specifically had some magic new potential to bring us together." Me too and I agree that social media connects people, hence the term 'social'?! Hello?...

Leo: "When Google announced Buzz last year I was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon." I didn't. I guess I didn't hear the buzz...

Leo: "Buzz exclusively, replacing Twitter, Friendfeed, and Facebook"  I didn't use Buzz or Friendfeed. Been using Facebook and twittr, and I have never been unfaithful--well, not yet...

Leo: 17,000 people followers. Wow- impressive. I think I'm more of a 'follower' than the one being followed. Though my tweet numbers may say otherwise,

Leo: use Feeds. I used it and I think I still have my feed site somewhere but I never really get the hang of it.

Leo: "But I ignored my blog and ran off with the sexy, shiny microblogs." I did too, and also ran off with twitter and FB. But now, like Leo, I find myself going back to blogging- tiptoeing my way back.

Leo: "Screw you Google Buzz. You broke my heart" I can't say the same to Google Buzz. Didn't ran off with buzz. So far, I'm enjoying the company my network of social media brings me. In this world of 'change' and social mobility, tech tools come and go, but  what I find interesting and yes motivating and sometimes heartwarming is no matter which web tool I use or web space I land in, a handful of webheads are ALWAYS there to accompany me with my online journey. Joining the bandwagon are a few IATEFL folks that keep me good company too- making the tweets I get even more stweeter :-)

So, am I web whore? Well, are you? If you're interested in technology and its uses in the language classroom, you don't have a choice but to try the tools that are out there. You're gonna be doing a lot of 'sign ups', trying lots of web apps, transferring files from here to there, shifting from one task to another, etc. If you count all these as being 'unfaithful' and 'web promiscuity', well, then I am guilty as charged. Don't be so judgemental, I'm sure you've got your little secret tucked in somewhere. You're digital footprints could lead us to the web paths you've taken, and then we could see and judge...


How Fairy Tale Ends: Ideas for Language Writing Tasks

Hi All,

This was forwarded to me by my sister-in-law. It's just for fun, but I think it

(the idea) can be used as a writing/speaking activity. Some points to consider:

- Write a paragraph or brief essay (which could be posted on blogs/wikis/google

docs) about

  • fairy tales vs practical/cruel realities of life
  • childhood stories- when to start/end believing in them
  • describe the story behind the picture/s (easy task)
Anyway, perhaps you could think of other better ideas :-)


How fairy tales really end:



Little Red Riding Hood

Sleeping Beauty

Jasmine: Aladdin


Belle: Beauty and the Beast

The Little Mermaid

Seems like only yesterday...

BARBIE DOLL has her 50th birthday this year......

Tweety Bird is 60 years old!


What about our superheroes?


Read: 25 Ways to Tell You're Grown Up,