displaying EAP teacher competence in a reflective account
Recently I’ve been involved in mentoring teachers to prepare portfolios of evidence and a reflective account of their practice for the purposes of BALEAP TEAP Accreditation. I’ve also had a number of submitted portfolios to assess. One striking aspect of some of the Reflective Accounts of Professional Practice (RAPPs) is the tendency for teachers to describe and list their practice in general terms rather than explain and justify specific aspects of their practice. The following examples are compilations. Compare the first three with the fourth.
Continue reading “Knowing that vs knowing how & why”
- Many students are reluctant to share ideas verbally, so I encourage them to use their microphones and turn on their cameras when responding to tasks (online).
- I try to get students to speak more by having them provide an answer to a task orally and then respond to other students with requests for clarification.
- I recommend online corpora to my students to understand how academic language is used and the role it plays in academic discourse.
- A few students in the class had previously struggled with the concept of finding significant points in articles they are reading. So I started the session with a reminder of what we mean by significant points in a line of argument. I then showed some examples of their own writing and asked them to highlight significant points.
Making lesson observation less threatening and more developmental
I’ve been thinking about observation of teaching for a workshop I’m preparing for the BALEAP Teacher Education Special Interest Group (TEdSIG). Observation certainly seems to engender mixed feelings amongst teachers (Wang & Seth, 1998; Jay, 2017)). In an earlier blog post on observation, I explained that although observation of teaching was mandatory at my institution for BALEAP accreditation, I was concerned to emphasize the developmental nature of observations. I thought this might make the experience less stressful for new teachers and more rewarding for returning teachers. We set up a variety of types of observation: short buzz or walk though observations and peer observations. In 2020, with all classes online, we were able to conduct asynchronous observation through recordings of online lessons. Although this form of observation could have mitigated some negative feelings, most teachers were aware that a particular lesson would be observed at some point. Their reactions were consistent with reports in the literature (Wang & Seth, 1998; Jay, 2017)
Continue reading “FOBO: fear of being observed”
- T 3: I had no inkling the lesson would be observed […] I am glad of the opportunity to be seen as I really am without any pretence. For better or worse!
- T 16: I was aware that this lesson would be listened to by others and that always makes me slightly uncomfortable!
- T 20: I think I panicked about being observed and the students for some reason chose that day to be particularly unresponsive and I ended up reading the slides.
Professional development in an EAP career
I have just been given honorary membership of BALEAP: the global forum for EAP professionals. I’m delighted to have received this recognition because BALEAP has played such an important role in my professional development from my very early days of EAP teaching. This organization has provided me with access to a large network of like-minded individuals and given me opportunities, through Professional Issues Meetings (PIMs) and biennial conferences, to test my developing scholarship against expert audiences. Later in my EAP career I became involved with the BALEAP executive committee and its working parties, as TEAP Officer, then Chair of BALEAP and of the Accreditation Scheme.
Continue reading “Professional development and the role of BALEAP”