TBLT Prep: Second Reading

Once the first reading is finished and I have a feeling for the shape of the book and topic, now is the time to dive deep. I read a chapter and pick out one or two references and access those if I can. Doing this far ahead allows me time to get the articles I want.

The second reading serves more than one purpose, though. I need to fill in the holes, so I build a schema, a background database of interesting facts and conjectures. That means taking lots of notes. Now that I know what a Task is, I can be on the lookout to build a set of sample Tasks that I can use for the third reading (teacher reading).

I start mapping out where information is that will appeal to different types of participants. It will allow flexibility to more research-oriented, or teacher-oriented particpants.

This second reading allows me to create a grounding, look for patterns, find out who and what is more important. I focus on typical practices in both research and teaching.

I develop a taste for the flavor of authors (Ellis, Robinson, Li, etc), how each one writes, thinks, and what they believe. I can also put a perimeter on the topic by noting down what is not there. What about SLA? CALL? Steven Krashen and Beniko Mason? David Nunan?

Reading (Wed 0:32 Ch. 1, Fri 0:56 Ch 2, Sat. 1:13 Ch 3, Thu 1:22 Robinson 2011, Sun 0:55 Long 2014) and Blogging (0:36)

Previously: Announcement. Book. Selection. 3Readings. FirstRead. BloodBrainBarrier. Serendipity.

Background: I’m preparing an 8-week course about TBLT for iTDi as part of their Great Minds series (not mine, the ones in the book). I am blogging about the process of preparation mostly for the fun of it. I was inspired by Cory Doctorow, an SF writer that does this with all his books. But it also helps me focus. This is even more exciting than teaching a grad school course. I’m looking forward to it and hope this might spark an interest.

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TBLT Prep: Planned Serendipity?

Is it really serendipity if it’s planned? By starting prep so early (6 months before), it allows time to find things as they cross by during my daily info-grazing sessions.

Four things have come across my desk last week that will improve the course I am teaching in May/June.

The first is a discussion group for a previous iTDi course on Dogme. Maria from the Ukraine, our community builder, set up a Facebook Group after the course, and now every couple of weeks 6-8 of us gather to discuss teaching. Last week it was about feedback. Elena (Russia) brought some new perspectives, Andreea (Romania) brought her critically incisive examples, Bistra in Sicily brings her solid background in teaching (I want to assign her blog posts about language learning to my students), Fabio (Italy) is a natural teacher, Jorge brings his perspective from Mexico, Renata her energy and stories from Macedonia and the Middle East, and Priscila, a school owner from Brazil. We discussed CR (Corrective Feedback) in all of these locations, a real sampling of worldwide situations.

A former JALT-er (Japan teacher) Jim McKinley co-authored an article on oral corrective feedback. A substack newsletter by “The Educationalist” talks about feedback in a wider educational sense, giving perspective on language feedback. And finally, a TBLT-adjacent topic has a new book on Evidence-based language teaching. Out soon.

So with all of these filtering in (and a solid note-taking/organizing/archiving system), I can take advantage of all of these.

Reading (Yesterday 1:08 Ch. 12, Today 0:48 Ch.13) and Blogging (0:47)

Previously: Announcement. Book. Selection 3Readings. FirstRead. BloodBrainBarrier.

Background: I’m preparing an 8-week course about TBLT for iTDi as part of their Great Minds series (not mine, the ones in the book). I am blogging about the process of preparation mostly for the fun of it. I was inspired by Cory Doctorow, an SF writer that does this with all his books. But it also helps me focus. This is even more exciting than teaching a grad school course. I’m looking forward to it and hope this might spark an interest.

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Categorized as TBLT

TBLT Prep: Blood-Brain Barrier between Theory and Practice

The blood-brain barrier in physiology is a lot like the “barrier” between theory and practice. In language teaching, research and teaching oftentimes are not linked. This book (note the title) sits right at the barrier and attempts to straddle it. But we should all note that one (theory) cannot exist without the other (practice). Another reason I have chosen this book.

As I move into the second reading (next post), I want to acknowledge one of the most basic questions in research. TBLT has been wrestling with this since its inception, and rightly so. It is wonderful to see the contortions of both research design and teaching practice. There is a need to maintain that barrier in some places, to maintain a fealty to design, or to the practicalities of teaching. All the while, attempting to bring the two together, to increase the permeability of the transfer. Not just from research to practice, but to recognize that it goes both ways, something both good teachers and good researchers recognize.

I am delighted to read about Action Research and Exploratory Practice as a way to increase permeability by shortening the feedback cycle. These are just two examples of how design and practice work together.

Today Reading (1:29 Ch. 12) and Blogging (0:2)

Previously: Announcement. Book. Selection 3Readings. FirstRead.

Background: I’m preparing an 8-week course about TBLT for iTDi as part of their Great Minds series (not mine, the ones in the book). I am blogging about the process of preparation mostly for the fun of it. I was inspired by Cory Doctorow, an SF writer that does this with all his books. But it also helps me focus. This is even more exciting than teaching a grad school course. I’m looking forward to it and hope this might spark an interest.

Published
Categorized as TBLT

TBLT Prep: First Reading

The first reading has a few purposes. I note feelings I get when discovery is delightful or difficult. I make a deck of jargon flip cards. I highlight as if I were a grad student. I note down which studies get mentioned more often than most.

The first, fast, reading helps me with subsequent readings. It builds empathy with the participants. I am assuming they will come in reading only a chapter ahead. I can see which ones to warn participants about, and indicate which ones will take longer.

I start to build a glossary, and since the digital version has a flip-card function, I use that for jargon or acronyms, just in case.

Keeping an eye out for the more important studies will help me in my second (deep, slow) reading along with some of the studies.

And finally, my notes will help me develop materials to aid participants in reading three. I will know when to move fast and when to slow down.

Today Reading (1:01 Ch. 10) and Blogging (0:21)

Previously: Announcement. Book. Selection. 3Readings.

I’m preparing an 8-week course about TBLT for iTDi as part of their Great Minds series (not mine, the ones in the book). I am blogging about the process of preparation mostly for the fun of it. I was inspired by Cory Doctorow, an SF writer that does this with all his books. But it also helps me focus. This is even more exciting than teaching a grad school course. I’m looking forward to it and hope this might spark an interest.

Published
Categorized as TBLT

TBLT Prep: Three Readings

I read the text for each of my courses three times. The first is the most exciting, but least interesting. The second is the hardest, but most interesting (I get to dive deep). The third is the most fun, as I get to create materials to facilitate participants

I learned how to read academically from a girl. It might have been in the 6th grade (Jennifer Green, never Jenny), or maybe it was Terri Dalrymple in the 8th grade, or Laura Rosenberger in the 9th grade. Inspirations all.

She taught me that I had to read anything 3 times. Fast, slow, fast. I still use this format, but have developed for my grad school courses. First, read it quickly and superficially, like a graduate student (wink), highlighting, maybe even with multiple colors.

The second (researcher) read is in the library, with the catalog at hand, downloading the most important articles. I usually pick one for each week of the class, but for this book, I am guessing about 30 to cover all contingencies. I read, or at least browse them, all the while adding to my notes and comments. Meta-studies are at the top of the list. If a study is described in detail, I will note the n-size, measurement instruments, and note the discussion. I build a database of these articles in Zotero to organize the research.

The third (teacher) read is to pull all of this together into something I can field questions about and point people to. Then I write/create/construct materials and activities for each session of the course.

Right now, I am just finishing up the first reading. I’ve snuck in a little second reading as well. More on each of these in days coming.

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