What I’ve Been Reading

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February 10, 2013 by k. liz

So, my new module starts tomorrow! I am excited, and anxious, hoping to improve things that I know did not go well last module. I have a tendency, though, to over-think, and over plan my changes, that I end up not implementing very many of them. I’m excited for this module, though, because I am doing an Action Research Project for my Master’s Degree, and I hope that will motivate me to stay involved and working really hard to change for the better, little by little. So, I wanted to let you know that I am excited for you to take this Action Research journey with me, as I’ll be documenting some of my processes on here, and some of my findings. I am excited about jumping back into the blogging regularly sphere, and hope that you will join with me and share your own ideas and feedback. I will be sharing in the coming week the initial stages of my Action Research project, the topic I’ve chosen, and what the first steps I’m taking are.

Today, though, I wanted to share some other writers with you today that I’ve been reading over my week-long break. I hope that you’ll go and check them out, they certainly have some great ideas!!

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1. O is for Outcomes by Scott Thornbury – Check out this great post on some of the problems with assessment, and why some educators avoid the topic, plus some musings on what to do about it. Here are a few snippets of his treatment of the problem of assessment. They definitely hit home for me!

. . . But, at the same time, testing is evil. Why?  Because it assigns a value to the learner, and, since the value is almost always short of perfection, it essentially de-values the learner.

‘The fundamental immeasurability of language competence lends a further moral dimension to our work in language assessment; the decisions we are forced to make about how competence will be assessed are always subjective and thus can only be rooted in our beliefs about what is right and good, beliefs which, we must always acknowledge,could be mistaken’ (Johnston, 2003)

2. Just Dare to Shut Up! by Sirja – I really liked this post! Sirja took some time before her break to contemplate on some things that she has learned and done well in her teaching career. Her points were very well articulated, and helpful for me as a young teacher to think about. I especially appreciated her second point about realizing that you cannot satisfy everyone, and you don’t need to try. You need to be there for the ones that care, and then the others will hopefully come around. Thanks Sirja!

3. Responding to Students’ Writing by Rachael – This was a great post from Rachael. It addressed a very real and present issue in marking and responding to student writing. Rachael approaches the topic with some academic research for both sides of her argument, and ends by giving some great guidelines for what to look for when you are marking student pieces. Definitely a good read if you are teaching academic or higher level writing.

4. The Value of Student-Generated Stories in the YL Classroom by Dave – This is a good quick post on why there is such value in incorporating student writing and creativity into the classroom. Good ideas and motivation here.

5. Activities and Strategies for Everyday Language Learners (Free Resource) by Aaron – You know I am a huge fan of the Everyday Language Learner website! Well, Aaron just released a free ebook about activities and strategies for language learning. You have to go and pick it up! I am planning to peruse the book and post a more in-depth post on this book in the next week or two, so keep your eyes peeled!

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