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Sep
3
Tue
2019
Academic learning time and classroom management – Professor Penny Ur @ City University of Hong Kong
Sep 3 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Abstract
This session begins with a definition of effective teaching, in which the efficient use of lesson time – academic learning time or ALT – is a key factor. We shall look at some common ways in which lesson time may be wasted or, conversely, used well for optimal learning outcomes in the context of English for academic purposes. Some classroom processes we shall be looking at are the use of L1, puzzles or game-like strategies, and, in particular, the different ways in which we manage classroom interaction. These will be illustrated by a number of practical activities or teaching strategies specific to the EAP context.

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Venue: Li Dak Sum Yip Yio Chin Academic Building – Room 1410 (first floor)

Sep
4
Wed
2019
Professional development of the EAP teacher: The place of research-based insights – Professor Penny Ur @ The University of Hong Kong
Sep 4 @ 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Abstract:

Teachers of English at University level, whether novices or experienced and expert practitioners, need to be constantly developing professionally. Such development continues throughout our professional career, and is based on a number of sources. Chief among these is our own classroom experience and reflection on it, enriched by interaction with colleagues and feedback from students. Applied linguistics and educational research is another essential source of knowledge that can provide us with further insights based on evidence from beyond our own immediate context. There are, however, a number of problems associated with the use of research for teacher development: selection from the huge amount of research studies available; accessibility; appropriateness for particular contexts; practicability of researchers’ conclusions. This session will explore some of these issues, and then show how selected research studies can nevertheless make a substantial contribution to teacher expertise, illustrated by a number of practical examples.

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  • Discussion session (3:30-4:30 p.m.)
  • Seminar (5:00-6:30 p.m.)

Venue: Digital Interactive Lab, Library Innovation Centre, 2/F Main Library, The University of Hong Kong

Sep
5
Thu
2019
It’s more difficult than you might have thought: selecting vocabulary input for EAP – Professor Penny Ur @ City University of Hong Kong
Sep 5 @ 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Abstract:

It is well accepted today that an extensive vocabulary is perhaps the most important basis for language proficiency. Research indicates, moreover, that incidental acquisition through written or spoken input is not sufficient: we need to enrich students’ vocabulary knowledge through deliberate selection, teaching and review. But how to select? It has been assumed by some that Coxhead’s Academic Word List (AWL) is a satisfactory basis for selection: but the AWL has some serious shortcomings. In this session I will explore some of the research as well as my own experience working with colleagues on the selection and listing of an academic vocabulary syllabus. The session will end with some discussion of the practical uses of such a syllabus for EAP.

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  • Discussion session (3:30-4:30 p.m.)
  • Seminar (5:00-6:30 p.m.)

Venue: Li Dak Sum Yip Yio Chin Academic Building – Room 2312 (second floor)

Sep
6
Fri
2019
My top 30 teaching tips – Professor Penny Ur @ The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Sep 6 @ 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Abstract:

This workshop will present a number of practical tips and their underlying rationales, based on my own teaching experience and personal/professional development, for the teacher of English for Academic Purposes. Participants will be invited to discuss the ideas in the light of their own professional experience, and to contribute further tips of their own.

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  • Discussion session (3:30-4:30 p.m.) –  Room A607
  • Workshop (5:00-6:30 p.m.) – Room BC305

Sep
20
Fri
2019
Dialogic Reflection: Evidence-based practice and professional development – Professor Steve Walsh @ The University of Hong Kong
Sep 20 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Abstract:

This workshop starts from the premise that professional development (teacher learning) is a social process whereby new meanings, understandings and skills are mediated in a dialogic way through language and interaction. Dialogue allows meanings to be co-constructed, new understandings to emerge and professional learning to develop. Dialogic reflection (Mann and Walsh 2017) considers the ways in which practitioners make sense of their professional worlds, develop new understandings and improve their professional practice. A key element of a dialogic, mediated approach to reflection is the way in which tools and artefacts can act as a catalyst (e.g. metaphors, critical incidents, video) and help promote more systematic and focused professional dialogue.

We will focus particularly on the use data and evidence in reflection, arguing that finer grained, ‘up-close’ understandings of classroom practice can be best achieved through the use of recordings, transcripts, ‘snapshot’ lesson extracts and so on, supported by dialogue with a colleague or critical friend. Talking to and collaborating with others are often key elements of any reflective process, allowing new understandings to emerge, current practices to be questioned and alternatives to be explored. The very act of ‘talking through’ a recent experience, such as a segment of teaching, facilitates reflection and may ultimately result in changes to practice.

In order to understand how dialogic reflection ‘gets done’, a micro-analytic approach to data is adopted, following the principles and theoretical underpinnings of conversation analysis (CA). Using this approach, we are interested in the ways in which interactants achieve intersubjectivity (or shared understanding) to promote ‘deep’ rather than ‘surface’ understandings of pedagogy and professional practice.

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Venue: Digital Interactive Lab, Library Innovation Centre, 2/F Main Library, The University of Hong Kong

Oct
25
Fri
2019
SETTVEO: Self Evaluation of Teacher Talk through Video Enhanced Observation – Professor Steve Walsh @ The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Oct 25 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Abstract:

This workshop shares findings from a recently concluded British Council ELTRA funded research project which looked at the use of technology enhanced learning in a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) context. The aim of the study was to provide English language teachers with appropriate tools and procedures to enable them to reflect on and improve their practice through the creation and use of an app: SETTVEO. This app extended previous work, using the SETT (Self Evaluation of Teacher Talk) framework (Walsh, 2006, 2011, 2013, 2017) and VEO (Video Enhanced Observation) app (Miller and Haines, 2015). The central argument of the study was that RP would be enhanced when reflections are evidence-based by giving teachers something to reflect on and something to reflect with. Here, the focus of reflection is classroom interaction, which underpins much of what is learnt in any classroom.

As previous studies have shown, understandings of teaching and learning can be greatly enhanced through a detailed understanding of interaction. Specifically, the aim was to help teachers, through reflections on their teaching, to enhance their Classroom Interactional Competence (CIC, Walsh 2013). Through the use of SETTVEO, and subsequent collective dialogue and reflection, an online community of practice (CofP) was established, enabling participants to share and comment on examples of English language teaching around the world. The goal was to establish and evaluate a more dialogic, collaborative approach to reflective practice. Findings suggest that the use of self-observation, with data and accompanied by some kind of dialogue, can promote up-close and detailed understandings of teaching and learning. While technology did help to mediate this process in most cases, for some it created additional difficulties.

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Venue: Room A607

Nov
15
Fri
2019
Enhancing Classroom Interactional Competence (CIC) – Professor Steve Walsh @ City University of Hong Kong
Nov 15 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Abstract:

In this session, we’ll be looking at ongoing work which proposes a ‘third strand’, CIC, in English Language Teacher Education. Classroom Interactional Competence (CIC) is defined as ‘teachers’ and learners’ ability to use interaction as a tool for mediating and assisting learning’ (Walsh, 2013, 124). Adopting a sociocultural perspective on learning and using constructs from this theoretical perspective, I present a number of features of CIC and consider how an understanding of the construct can lead to more dialogic, engaged learning environments.

In classroom settings, there are many factors which combine to produce interaction which is conducive to learning. CIC encompasses the less easily definable – yet no less important – features of classroom interaction which can make the teaching/learning process more or less effective. CIC is concerned to account for learning-oriented interaction by considering the interplay between complex phenomena which include roles of teachers and learners, their expectations and goals; the relationship between language use and teaching methodology; and the interplay between teacher and learner language.

In the data, there are a number of ways in which CIC manifests itself. Firstly, and from a teacher’s perspective, a teacher who demonstrates CIC uses language which is both convergent to the pedagogic goal of the moment and which is appropriate to the learners. Secondly, CIC facilitates ‘space for learning’ (Walsh and Li, 2012), where learners are given adequate space to participate in the discourse, to contribute to the class conversation and to receive feedback on their contributions. Thirdly, CIC entails teachers being able to shape learner contributions by scaffolding, paraphrasing, re-iterating and so on.

We will be looking at a number of data extracts to identify instances of CIC and evaluating its significance from both a teaching/learning and teacher education perspective. We will also consider the implications of this research for materials development, assessment and curriculum design.

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Venue: Li Dak Sum Yip Yiu Chin Academic Building, LI-2202 (2nd Floor), CityU

Nov
29
Fri
2019
Integrating Classroom Interactional Competence (CIC) in the Hong Kong context – Professor Steve Walsh @ The University of Hong Kong
Nov 29 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Abstract:

In the final session of the series, we will be exploring ways of embedding CIC in the context of higher education in Hong Kong. This will be an open session where participants will have an opportunity to discuss how some of the ideas in the series might be embedded and integrated into current practice.

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Venue: Multi-purpose Area, 2/F Main Library, The University of Hong Kong

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