I've invited Webheads and BaW2005 to join my Language and Culture class's online discussions. Michael is available on March 2 but i've got 9 more slots to go. I hope there will be more [crossing fingers].
Anyway, here's what I wrote to the list:
apologies for cross postings
I was supposed to wait for my BaW session to announce this but my class is about
to start next week and I couldn't wait any longer. I need to plan ahead. I'll
divide my invitation into two categories:
for my Language and Culture class
as part of my research: Taiwanese teachers [in supplementary schools] TPD
Let's start with the most urgent, Language and Culture. In this course, we'll be
talking more about sociolinguistics, the practical and easy ones for graduating
university level students. Less on theories but still rich in meaning and can be
applied at a personal level. I have prepared a website for this which will be
updated, links and other details will be added as we go.
http://www.geocities.com/wentzao2004/culture/2ndsem/index.htm and look at week
2. This is the first round of online discussions. I will still reserve slots in
Alado but will do that later. The online schedule is at
http://www.geocities.com/wentzao2004/culture/2ndsem/online_sked.htm So the first
round is on March 2 and March 4, different class, same topic.
March 2 is at 11-12 noon Taiwan time or 3 AM GMT [ungodly time for those in
March 4 is 1-2 pm taiwan time or 5 am GMT [still ungodly but better]
The topic is "What's lost when a language dies?"
If you have similar experiences, please join my students. I am a good
example of this story- and my students know...but they want to know more,
different people, different perspectives. Inspire them- that's what webheads do
Online discussions for Language and Culture are all student led discussions. At
least 5-6 students to take turns in giving summary and they will ask you
questions, more like opinion, but opinion grounded on teachings would be nice.
These kids are smart and demanding. BTW, both classes are big, Class A 47
students, Class B- 50. So imagine yourself speaking in a videoconference. That's
how it'll look like. I'll be projecting the chatroom and webcamming is
I'll be posting some questions regarding the article, or if you could jot a few
for my students, that would also be great.
If you're interested in joining this class online, please send me an email, here
or to my email aidenyeh@y.... Check the topics, they're quite interesting.
Now let's move on to teacher professional development, which, I think many of
you here are qualified teacher trainers or if not engaged actively in TPD. This
is in connection with my PhD research. I have about 3-4 Taiwanese teachers who
are participating in my study. Discussions are going on with our yahoogroups
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/taiwanese_efl_teachers/, and each has they're own
Josefina's blog http://josefinachiu.blogspot.com//
Mei's blog http://ameis1025.blogspot.com//
Joy Chou's blog http://joychou.blogspot.com/
April [to follow]
These teachers are teaching English in supplemantary schools, or private
language schools, or the infamous buxibans in Taiwan. you're also invited to comment on their blogs to generate discussion within their blogs and could be extended or passed on to our
yahoogoups [taiwanese thing]. They have already been adviced about your possible
contributions to their blogs and they're looking forward to this.
Other university colleagues do not believe in what I'm doing primarily because according to them these teachers are 'just cram school teachers'. I didn't [don't] like the remark
given because I believe that these teachers play a big role in Taiwanese
children's learning. Buxiban is similar to japanese 'Juku' [am not sure with the
spelling, but sounds like it or something similar ;-) I also believe that TPD if
showed how and explained to them the reason for doing it, then these teachers
could learn and improve at least instrinsically. Financial remunerations for
self-driven actions toward improvement is scarce but to experience the benefits
of TPD for themselves is a good start. I also believe in the role of CMC in TPD,
this is what I want to do and explore. My problem is I'm not a teacher trainer,
but I've got books [plenty] on TPD and action research, but
they're not enough. I need people who could deliver to them an hour session on
TPD related topics, see http://dcyeh.com/aiden_phd/ Online sessions for this
group are scheduled on Saturdays, 9-10 pm or 1-2 GMT. This is free and
voluntary. If you want to know more, please read my research epad at
I look forward to meeting you some of you on Thursday.