Sunday, April 12, 2015

Summary of Perspectives on Teaching Adults English in the Digital World

Rose, G. (2015). Perspectives on Teaching Adults English in the Digital World. TESOL International Association.

I ordered this book thinking it would be a valuable asset, but it provided only a very general overview about what I already know without a lot of best practices specifics, which were what I was hoping for.  There are a few good research studies cited, but I had anticipated more of a "how to."

The book is about the author's own perspectives and experiences as a ESL teacher trainer in Texas, a private online teacher, a former adult ESL and nonprofit ESL teacher.

There are some specifics about what types of digital learning (blended and distance for the most part) are being used in various kinds of ESL programs in the USA: adult schools / noncredit community college, credit community college, university-level and IEPs, workplace ESL, and online for global ESL.

The following lines that I highlighted in the text (not because the are new ideas but because I agree with them or found them of interest) are the following:

  • "...adults need to know not just what they are learning but why they are learning it.  If they do not see how it applies to their lives, they 'vote with their feet' and leave the class.
  • " literacy is just as important as language literacy." (p. 2).
  • "In the Will-Skill-Tool model of technology integration (Christiansen, Griffin, & Knezek, 2001), improved student outcomes were associated with the teacher's willingness to integrate technology, skill in using technology, and having the technology available to use in the classroom. The 'will' and 'skill' of the teachers were measured by self-report survey, meaning that it may not be the actual skill of the teachers, but their perception of their abilities with technology that influenced to what degree technology was integrated in their classrooms" (p. 46). See the Eric doc. Note: I think we can make a comparison with language learners - Those who believe they have skills and have the confidence to use them will use the target language more, thus acquiring more language and improving more rapidly than those who have lower levels of self confidence.
  • "The teacher-student and student-student relationships will always remain one of the most important 'technologies' available in our classrooms" (p. 46).
  • "The writers of the National Education Technology Plan observed, 'Although using technology to personalize learning is a boost to effective teaching, teaching is fundamentally a social and emotional enterprise,' (U.S. Department of Education, 2010)," (p. 49).

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