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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Academic Paper


Title: Introducing EFL faculty to online instructional conversations
Author: Carla Meskill
Author: Gulnara Sadykova
Institution: University at Albany - SUNY
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article describes the anatomy and dynamics of an online professional development activity, the Moodle fishbowl. The fishbowl was designed as an opportunity for experienced EFL educators to witness and make sense of instructional conversation strategies that they might themselves use as they migrate their EFL courses to blended and eventually fully online venues, venues where the roles and dynamics of interaction are decidedly different than those in the live classroom. A major emphasis in this professional development sequence was to raise faculty awareness of the unique affordances on which they, as experienced language educators, might capitalize through observation of authentic examples of responsive online instructional strategies. To that end, three-week-long collaborations were established between participating faculty's EFL students and a ‘cultural expert’ in the US. The cultural experts were doctoral students in language technology who employed instructional conversation strategies with the EFL students as part of informal, authentic asynchronous threaded discourse topics. The role of the faculty in training was to observe these conversations by looking into the metaphorical fishbowl, reflect on the anatomy and impact of these online instructional conversations, and report back to the group as a whole. The following narrates the rationale, processes and outcomes of this Moodle fishbowl professional development sequence and suggests future considerations in supporting language educators as they move some or all of their instruction online.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN ReCALL Vol. 23, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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