#ELTchat summary on Sugata Mitra and 25 Questions He Needs To Answer

On Saturday 5th of April at the IATEFL conference in Harrogate, Sugata Mitra delivered a plenary session that proved to be acclaimed and vilified at the same time. I was in the room at the time, and witnessed a large proportion of the room rise to their feet at the climax of his talk. After the hubbub had died down, discussion immediately began and dissenting voices began to appear. The debate hasn’t stopped yet and it continues on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and on Wednesday 9th of April, on #ELTchat.

In this look at what has become one of the most contentious issues in our field for a long time, I will first summarise what was discussed in the #ELTchat, before looking at some of the other issues have been brought up by bloggers in the aftermath his talk.

According to Wikipedia “His work demonstrated that groups of children, irrespectively of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own with public computers in open spaces such as roads and playgrounds, even without knowing English.” Many people have their doubts about his claims, including me, I feel I should point out before you read on!

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ELTchat Summary by Edith Occelli – How can you teach Business English with minimal experience of being in the business world?

The following ELTChat summary was written by Edith Occelli, but as she doesn’t have a blog of her own, I offered mine so she’d get the opportunity to share it with everyone. I’m sure you’ll agree that she’s done a fantastic job. You can follow Edith on Twitter at @EdithOccelli.
 

ELTChat Summary: Conversation and Situational English

New to ELTchat?

If you have never participated in an #ELTchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Wednesday on Twitter at 12pm GMT and 9pm GMT. Over 400 ELT educators participate in this discussion by just adding #eltchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please take a look at this video, Using Tweetdeck for Hashtag Discussions.

#ELTchat Summary: Revisiting Dogme – Thoughts After IATEFL & the DOGME Symposium

New to ELTchat?

If you have never participated in an #ELTchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Wednesday on Twitter at 12pm GMT and 9pm GMT. Over 400 ELT educators participate in this discussion by just adding #eltchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out this video, Using Tweetdeck for Hashtag Discussions!

Ever since the term was first appropriated by Scott Thornbury back in 2000, the subject of Dogme teaching never fails to provoke strong and healthy debate in the ELT community. The ELTchat on Wednesday 27th of April was no exception, especially since we were lucky enough to be joined by Luke Meddings, co-author of Teaching Unplugged. Also participating was Jeremy Harmer, who I think it’s fair to say is perhaps more sceptical about the Dogme approach, as well as an interesting mix of unplugged acolytes, Dogme doubters and those who just wanted to know what the fuss is all about.
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Reflections on last weeks #ELTchat: Pronunciation

speak no evil

 

Last Thursday I participated in the ELTchat discussing pronunciation, and as usual there was a general consensus, in this case regarding the treatment of the subject, and the lack of time it is generally perceived as being given in the average class room.

The thing thing that struck me was that while there was the usual fertile and fascinating discussion, generally I found myself disagreeing with a considerable number of the tweets. I was surprised with the number of people who were advocating 100 % pronunciation focused activities and classes. They just didn’t seem to tally with my experience at all. Now I should state as a caveat that this opinion is based on my experience of teaching adults in Brazil and Korea and I accept that in other situations, such as with young learners and with other nationalities, it is entirely possible that the circumstances may be completely different.
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