The ABC of ELT

DELTA Diary week 3

URGH! I feel tired and it’s only the third week!

This week was very hectic and unlike past weeks I always felt like I was one (or ten) steps behind.

As I traveled back to the UK this Friday (setting off at 2 am and arriving back at my parents house at 7pm) I didn’t have the most amount of time to do any work. On top of that traveling generally wears me out (especially flying) and “sleeping” on an airport bench for 4 hours with a very vocal Russian family next to you (who certainly weren’t sleeping) didn’t help.

Luckily I had checked up on my reading at the start of the week and was aware of roughly how much I needed to do and when. I dedicated some time early in the morning and after work for reading but it wasn’t as easy as I thought.

I quickly got behind schedule and the rest of the time was a race to catch up.

I decided that I wouldn’t take my computer with me to England to save space and weight (and to have a break for a change) but instead I’d take my phone and bluetooth keyboard to test out just how mobil friendly the distance DELTA is and how many function of my computer I can replace with a smart phone.

How Mobile Friendly is the DELTA?

The answers are pretty friendly and a lot of functions.

Although I had done most of the reading by Saturday I still had some left. So I used the mobile chrome browser, loged on to the DELTA site and downloaded the pdf I needed to read.
I quickly realised my inbult pdf reader was pretty poor and so downloaded adobe’s reader which included copying and note making functions.

Using the inbult evernote app worked well too and I quickly started making notes on my readings, completing tasks and even using the site forum.

I did come across a “mindmap” task where the challenge was to complete the mind map about the key questions surrounding testing “who, how, when, why, what?” At this point I realised I didn’t really have a great mind mapping app. Normally I’d use the drawing feature in Google Drive but I couldn’t access it from the mobile app.

I sent out a tweet for help and completed the task without a mindmap. Within about 30 minutes I had a recomendation of a good mindmapping app that I then used to redo the task.

Some reflections on my readings this week included:

Phonology 101

Wow, there is a lot I didn’t know about phonology. It is rather serenipidous that Scott Thornbury and Luara Patsko published blog posts this week looking at some of the perculialities of Phonology that actually made me more prepared when similar ideas arose in my readings.

Phonology teaching methodology:

The three step process of Distinguish, recognise and produce doesn’t really seem that great to me. (This is highly subjective.) The idea that doing activities to get students to suddenly magically hear the difference between minimal pairs doesn’t seem very effective in my experience (perhaps there is no very effective method though?)
My experience is that students find it very hard to hear these differences when they don’t have them in their own language and can take years to even hear the sounds (certainly I still struggle to hear the difference in russian between minimal pairs where we don’t have one of the phonemes in English and I lived there for two years with a lot of natural exposure).
Maybe I’ve just used poor techniques in the past though.

Resources in their historical and pedagogical perspective

In the material and resources section there was a point made that material and resources have a historial basis,
we didn’t always use CD/Videos/resource books in class, they started due to, the methodology they are linked with is…

This was something I hadn’t really considered and I wondered about the cause and effect nature of materials. When a new methodology is invented we priorities certain materials, like wise when a new material or resource becomes avalible we change our methodology around it.
This isn’t neccesarily a negative thing..but nor is it positive. Maybe we are just using youtube video warmers because they are the latest thing… Maybe we develop some bunk methodologies just so that we can use this “amazing” resource…

Exam task

For my exam task I also wrote it up on my phone using my Google drive account. This meant that I could keep it in the same location as all my previous DELTA work and keep everything nice and organised.
Unfortunately my phone’s spellchecker wasn’t working or at least didn’t work with keyboard typing. I guess it autocorrects as it goes with touchpad typing instead so who needs the little red line under text…well me!
So to finish off I did use the family PC, spellchecked, downloaded from google drive and then Uploaded to the website. No problems.

Lukcily, I now have two weeks to do the next module, which is just as well as I am going to Barcelona to meet up with friends but I can still do a little bit of work over this time using my phone anyway and to do some revision as well.

Seeing as I have a couple for the next unit I’m going to take my time and not post an update next week. See you in two weeks.

About Chris Wilson

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

One Reply

  1. A nice mixed bag of useful insights and predicaments. Lots of luck, Chris.

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