7 - 21 September: Article Discussion: Unpackaging the past: 'CLT' through ELTJ keywords. ELT Journal, 66/4: 430-439
Dates: 7 - 21 September
Article: Unpackaging the past: 'CLT' through ELTJ keywords, by Duncan Hunter and Richard Smith.
Moderator: Alan Waters, Lancaster University
The discussion will take place in the Research SIG's Yahoo!Group, which is open to members and non-members of the SIG alike.
Link to article: http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org/content/66/4/430.full
Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh33hQEiRjo&feature=youtu.be
Abstract: "ELT history is often viewed as a succession of methods, but such a view tends to rest on a ‘packaging up’ and labelling of complex and often contested past developments. This process ignores both continuity with earlier developments and diversity of contemporary opinion and often seems to serve as a way to clear the ground for self-proclaimed ‘progress’. This article describes a study that was undertaken to promote an alternative view of the past. Taking as a starting point the way communicative language teaching (CLT) seems to be currently in the process of being packaged up in readiness for the ‘dustbin of history’, the study combined corpus-based and qualitative procedures to explore keywords in ELTJ articles during the early communicative period. By identifying themes discussed by contemporary writers themselves, we highlight areas of continuity with ‘pre-communicative’ methodology, and diversity within the communicative discussion itself, thus subverting the assumption that there was ever a wholly distinct, unitary, or ‘classical’ CLT to be lightly superseded."
Alan Waters, who will moderate the discussion of this article, was, until his retirement in 2012, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University, England. He has taught EFL in Sierra Leone, Kuwait, and the UK, and trained teachers in Thailand, the UK, Hong Kong, and several other parts of the world. He has published a number of books and articles on a range of ELT topics. His main ELT interests are language teaching methodology and materials, teacher learning, and managing innovation.
To help you get ready for the discussion, here are some possible questions, suggested by Alan, apart from ones you might have of your own:
Q. 1. Days 1 – 2.
In the ‘Introduction’ section of the paper (pp. 430-432), do you feel the characterization of the treatment of methods in books such as Larsen-Freeman and Richards and Rodgers is accurate? And if so, do you also agree that this treatment is problematic?
Q. 2. Days 4 - 5.
What do you think of the research procedures described from p. 432 to the top of p. 434? Would you have modified the research approach in any way? If so, how?
Q. 3. Days 7 - 8
In the section on ‘The big picture: 1981–1986 versus 1958–1973 keywords’ (pp. 434-5), what do you feel about the nature of the data presented? Do you agree with the authors’ analysis of them?
Q. 4. Days 10 - 11
In the section on ‘ Uncovering complexity: qualitative analysis of keywords in context’ (pp. 435-8), what do you see as the authors’ main claims here? What do you think of them, especially in relation to the overall argument (i.e., the distorted nature of the conventional picture of methods)?
Q. 5. Day 12 - 13
What do you think the implications of the ‘Conclusion’ section (pp. 438-9) might be for i) further research and/or ii) teacher education?
Date: 23 October 2014
Presenter: Simon Borg
Location: Hilton, Malta
Registration deadline: 1st October, 2014
Cost: 45 Euros
What does 'good quality' ELT research look like and what steps can we take as researchers to maximize the quality of the work we do? These are the central questions that this workshop will focus on. We will break the research process down into three distinct components - planning, doing and reporting - and consider ways of enhancing the quality of each. By the end of the workshop (which will be suitable for novice and more experienced researchers) participants will be aware of the criteria against which the quality of ELT research can be defined and in a stronger position to plan, conduct and publish good quality ELT research themselves. Specific issues we will discuss are:
• The good researcher
• Dimensions of research quality
• Quality in planning research
• Objectives and research questions
• Research design
• Quality in conducting research
• Enhancing quality in data collection & analysis
• Quality in reporting research
• Criteria for assessing research quality
Simon Borg has been involved in ELT for over 25 years working as a teacher, teacher educator, lecturer, examiner, researcher and consultant in a range of international contexts. After 15 years at the University of Leeds, where he was a Professor of TESOL, Simon now works full-time as an ELT consultant. He specialises in the design, delivery, evaluation and study of teacher education and development programmes, teacher research initiatives, and research methods training. He is recognised as a leading scholar in the study of language teachers and teacher education and maintains a strong academic profile through research, publications and speaking at international conferences. He is also an editorial board member for leading language education journals. Full details of his work are available at http://simon-borg.co.uk.
09.30 Registration and welcome coffee
10.00-13.00 Workshop Part 1
14.00-16.30 Workshop Part 2
Further details and registration form: http://eflmalta.gov.mt/en/Pages/Conference-Registration-Form.aspx (to register for this event, select 'Thursday session €45 (09.00-16.30)' next to 'Sessions')
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