The ABC of ELT

DELTA Diary: Module 2 Finished…?

Well, it’s been a while since my last post after I completed my second LSA. The main reason for is the last month or so has been a frantic mess. I took too long at the start of the DELTA and so then I had to really focus and work hard at the end to make sure that I got my last two LSA’s finished and my PDA (including the experimental practice). I’ll take my fair share of the blame here but I think the set up of the whole system didn’t help. Getting a suggested workplan in a spreadsheet with ambitious terms doesn’t really help a person to understand how much work each part will take. So here are a couple of time management ideas I think I can safely offer in advance.

  • Do your diagnostic lesson as soon as possible
  • Likewise with the first part of your PDA A
  • Don’t get too over ambitious with your research methods, think about what you’ll likely do and maybe have one adventurous one. (I tried using my phone to video record classes, I had issues with setting my phone up correctly, the battery running out and of course, data protection issues of taking videos of YLs)
  • It might be a good idea to do your Experimental practice early on. (I had no idea this was possible, all the material seemed to suggest it had to be after LSA 2 but that’s not the case. Early on there was a fair bit of waiting for feedback for me, so the EP makes more sense here IMO)
  • Checklists are your friends, use checklists To make sure you don’t forget anything.

Was it worth it?

Yes, It’s been a heck of a lot of hard work and moving in the middle of the DELTA was not a good idea (or my choice.) but it has undoubtably been worth it. It was a really great prompt for me to observe other more experienced teachers at my school and read a load of books I’d wanted to read for a while (but never quite got round to reading). It’s made me question some of my beliefs and actions and experiment with different methods.
Personally, I think I would have benefited more from doing the course face to face as I frequently wanted to ask a question (or five) to clarify what my tutor meant exactly, with an online course, you may end up with a long delay where you feel unable to do anything in case you do the wrong thing.

My tech usage

I was keen to mostly use my iPad and did for a very long time, but by the end of LSA 2 I was almost exclusively using my Mac. This was mainly due to some syncing issues between scrivener on my Mac and iPad (It kept creating duplicate files), I didn’t want to deal with those issues so I stopped using it on my iPad (most of the time). But the main reason was that I started to use my iPad to look at ebooks that I had and my Mac to write on. This was an easier set up than using the iPad as both for books and writing AND I had more space as I could use a desk at work and home after we moved.
Despite that, occasionally I had to use my iPad as it has a copy of word (which is free for smaller than 10″ screens) and sometimes pages/scrivener causes strange things to happen with word documents. Furthermore, sometimes I just couldn’t take a laptop and all the junk in my bag. An iPad was much more portable and so could always be taken with me.
Scrivener was such a useful service for me to use. The ability to focus on a particular section and quickly jump up and down the document really helped. Furthemore I could keep sections that I needed to cut or wanted to rewrite in a “research” folder. This really helped me to be more aggressive with my editing as I knew I could go back to the original. It wasn’t neccasery and there are alternative ways to do the same thing, but seeing as I had scrivener, I went for it.
DEVONThink also proved to be a really great tool, it’s support for different file formats including PDF and marking up documents really helped me to keep the relevant documents relating to how I should submit assignments and their requirements as well as some useful PDFs relating to each LSA and assignment.

On to module three

I guess (providing nothing goes wrong) I just need to move on to module three now. I feel a lot more confident after module two and I really enjoyed the whole experience. It wasn’t easy and I didn’t help myself at times, but I found it valuable.

About Chris Wilson

I'm an English Language teacher based in Krakow, Poland. I enjoy writing, using technology and playing the Ukulele.

2 Replies

  1. Glad to hear that you’re done with Module Two now, and hope the move has gone OK.

    1. Thanks Sandy. Almost everything is finished in the flat now. Unfortunately our internal doors have been delayed :S

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