Course 5 Project: SPELTAC

For my final project, I am going to create a promotional video for SPELTAC. I have already started writing part of the introduction, which outlines how this approach to professional learning is a shift in pedagogy, different to a one-size fits all approach

I am asking participants to develop technology know-how (setting up a blog, embedding video and pictures), to engage in pedagogical reflection and  Connectivism (to write posts that help us learn from each other). With SPELTAC, I am hoping to create  a culture of thinking, collaboration and self- initiated inquiry.

Here is the beginning of the script for the video:

The role of technology and social media to improve student language learning outcomes

Technology and social media have opened up many possibilities for professional learning in education. Teachers today can get inspiration from what other educators are doing, whether it’s an idea or example of classroom practice through a tweet or a blog post with pedagogical documentation of learning.  In the words of one teacher, social media such as Twitter can develop our understanding of the world and make us more internationally minded.

Language in learning in international education

One area in international education that is a constant is the area of language in learning. Many schools refer to this area as EAL, or English as an Additional language. However, when we speak of language in learning in international education, there are many things we need to think of. We need to think about how we give access to the curriculum for students whose first language is not English and increasingly this is the majority of students in international schools, we need to consider how we value our students’ home languages so that we affirm their identity. We need to give our students opportunities to develop their languages and consider how we work together and plan for language in the curriculum and what we need to know about how language works and how it is acquired.  English as the language of instruction and most learners learning on a bilingual continuum, international educators in particular need to be equipped with the skills necessary for students to develop language and to have the best possible chance to become literate in both or all their languages.

SPELTAC: Social Platform for English Language Teaching Across the Curriculum. How it works..

SPELTAC, Social Platform for English Language Teaching Across the Curriculum is a platform that was set up for this purpose. It is a collaborative learning platform that gives teachers the opportunity to share real-life examples of how to meet the needs of a linguistically diverse student body. Teachers follow seven online courses which address areas of language learning across the curriculum in international schools and develop teaching practices for language in learning based on their own area of expertise, classroom experience, and interests.

Blogging for professional learning

Teachers are a school’s biggest resource. Walk-throughs are seen by many schools as an effective method of professional learning. Pedagogical documentation on blogs about what we do in the classroom, can add a deeper dimension to professional learning because we can make thought processes visible, reflect on our own learning about teaching and come to new insights about student learning through our own reflective process and the feedback of others.

This is the idea behind SPELTAC, that we can share our learning as teachers about this important dimension of international education globally and that we can make implementation of professional learning sustainable through a model that is ongoing, in which ideas can be created, revisited, built upon and shared in any school and for the wider international educational community.

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2 Responses

  1. eileen ferreira says:

    I love your initiative of a cohort forum such as SPELTAC and am ready to dive in! At our last EAL meeting we were talking about something we could all do as a team for professional learning and also ‘international school’ minded. What a great idea. Looking forward more than ever to meeting you this summer!

    • Hi Eileen, it has been so busy wrapping up here that only now have I had time to look at your comment. Thank you! Likewise, I am looking forward to meeting you and starting at ASH!

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