Showing posts from August, 2009

Interesting Talk on Teaching English in Second Life

Nik Peachey spoke to Dennis Newson about Teaching English in Second Life last night Among other things, he spoke about the Strengths , Weaknesses , Opportunities and Threats according to him. Here's a summary of what was talked about: WEAKNESSES * lack of established social norms The talk soon turned into a discussion with different participants agreeing / disagreeing with Nik. Talk mentioned the backchannel of the text chat sometimes interrupting the flow during meetings. * no eye contact * gestures and body language makes it difficult Nik wondered about the effect of the lack of body language, gestures, etc have on students and the Teacher-Student relationship. Participants who have experience teaching online mentioned the fact that the more experience you have teaching online the better: you can pick things up in other ways (tone of voice, etc) One participant, however, stated evidence has found that some students are more forthcoming because of

Paper vs Digital ELT materials

There is currently a debate going on in the IATEFL Young Learner SIG Yahoo Group about the the pros and cons of publishing digital ELT materials/resources as compared to paper-based ones (i.e. books). I have been reading the posts on this thread with a great deal of interest, and can't help thinking that those defending the paper model echo what many in the music industry were saying about digital downloading when the first effective model ( Napster ) came on the scene. There was a time some years ago when the music industry had a real chance to utilise the emerging technology to provide a new business model for the industry. Instead, they chose to ignore the change implied by the new technology. As we all know now, this has led to widespread adoption of illegal file-sharing and huge losses by record companies all over the globe. Despite efforts to stop this ( DRM , court cases, legal file-sharing through iTunes, etc), most people feel the battle has been lost and musicians are st