May was a busy month here at the ELT Workshop with two sessions and a new book to work on. Let’s take a look at some of what went on, what’s coming up and some of our cultural highlights from the last month.
We came up with an idea for a new book in late May and it quickly took on a life of its own. The concept is a book of Workshopping categories. For the uninitiated, Workshopping is a brainstorming game we play in our online sessions where we try to come up with ideas based on a specific category. We have already created a good list of categories that we think would make great warmers for any kind of meeting of teachers.
We’d love to get your ideas for additional categories we can include in the book. You can find out more about it and submit your ideas here. All proceeds from the book will go to the Hands up Project, helping English learners in Palestine.
If you’d like to find out more about the Hands Up Project, this article provides an overview of what they do and why their work is so needed.
Events last month
On the 16th of May, we were (finally!) joined by Mike for his session on beliefs around online learning. Mike’s workshop went through a series of statements about teaching online which led to some great discussion. One that has had Tim thinking a lot is ‘The best use of synchronous time is not in a lesson but rather quick check-ins or casual discussions.’ You can take a look at the full list of statements here.
We were also joined by Elizabeth Coleman for a ‘What’s going on with you these days, ______?’ session. We might have ended up being quite off-topic in our discussion (Sorry!), but we had a really good time. Thanks to Elizabeth for taking the time to come hang out!
Return of the WTF
In another event that might be responded to with a ‘finally!’ Tim brought back his ELT WTF podcast. This episode is an interview with Dr Heath Rose which covers English as a medium of instruction, language learning strategies and the relationship between teachers and researchers. Click here to take a listen or just search for ‘ELT WTF’ wherever you get your pods.
On Sunday June 13th, we’ll be joined by Zhenya Polosatova for a webinar on how to practice reflective practice. Zhenya’s last session with us was a big hit and we’re expecting this one to be great too. Click here to find out more about the session.
We will also be hosting a ‘What’s going on with you these days, ______?’ session with Teresa Bestwick. Stay tuned for more details about that soon.
Content consumer corner
Ever the early adapter, Mike finally started (to a cry of ‘How has this not happened already?’ from Tim) listening to Tiny Desk Concerts on Youtube. He was impressed with the different artists and styles there and the concerts were rated as pretty good music to work by. He also enjoyed the banter between songs. Some of the concerts that caught his attention were Alicia Keys, August Greene, Big Daddy Kane, Billie Eilish, DJ Premier & The Badder Band (please note the bass player having the time of his life), Wyclef, Rakim and The Roots featuring Bilal.
Mike would also like to state for the record that he listened to the Wu-Tang Clan one when it came out. He’d also add that he listened to the recommendation of Nick Hakim by friend of the Shop Matthew Noble sometime between when the recommendation was made and now.
After overcoming his shock that Mike hadn’t gotten into Tiny Desk already, Tim would like to add that his favourites are the aforementioned Wu Tang one, Julien Baker, Tyler the Creator and Freddie Gibbs And Madlib.
Mike’s list of beliefs about online learning look fascinating. Is there a recording of the session? Or a longer write-up of it somewhere to get a bit more of the context? Definitely lots of food for thought there.
We didn’t record it because it was 90% in breakout rooms and we don’t usually record those. Maybe we can persuade Mike to run it again some time soon.
That would be great. Or maybe he’ll blog about it 🙂