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4th June - Help from the Network

Page history last edited by David Richardson 6 years, 12 months ago

It's been a bit quiet from me because I've been so busy with other things. It's also a case of not being able to go forward with the planning of Teaching in English (1EN124) until the university has decided who's doing what in the autumn.


I've already described how we've got 50 places on 1EN124 for the autumn. The allocation of hours is 260 in total, split between three teachers: me (80 hours), Sheila Feldmanis (60 hours) and Jean Ågren-Stevenson (120 hours). Sheila and Jean are newbies to SL, so induction of new teachers has to start soon too.


Jean, Sheila and I will meet in Adobe Connect first on 11th June to start working out how we're going to organise the course. We'll meet again in world on 19th June for a two-hour session during which we'll shoot over to Talkademy, so that my colleagues can see what Klaus and Gerhilde do. After that the long Swedish summer holiday starts, so we won't be doing much more until August. I've already circulated the latest version of the Draft Framework to them and my intention is to relate everything we do to the Framework too.


I've been exploiting the Euroversity network today, asking Robin Teigland for contacts with access to science labs (just in case we get any science teachers in the student group).


Here's my mail to the GENIE group at the University of Leicester:


"Dear All,


I've been given your details by Dr Robin Teigland at Stockholm Business School and I'm looking for some help in the autumn.


I teach English at a university in south-eastern Sweden and am currently preparing a course for university teachers across Europe (from Portugal to the Arctic Circle) who need to improve their skills in teaching their specialist subjects in English, particularly to exchange students. We'll be running the course entirely in Second Life, which is an environment I've been using for other courses for a few years now.


One of the exercises will involve 'taking' the class to different environments where teachers will demonstrate their skills in doing things like giving instructions and conveying complicated bits of information to lay people (like the rest of the class and us teachers!). It's very likely that some of the students will be science teachers of some description, and it'd be lovely to be able to teleport the class into your labs for half-an-hour or so a couple of times in the course. We wouldn't need any special privileges in your environment - just the opportunity to be there so that the student(s) can perform and we English teachers can give them feedback on their performance.


If you are able to help us, it wouldn't be until October at the earliest. We don't start the course until late September and it'll take a couple of weeks to get up to speed."


… and here's my mail to Eero Palomäki at the University of Aalto in Finland:


"I don't know if you remember me, but I met you in world at one of the meetings of the Nordic group of SL educators which Robin Teigland from Stockholm chaired. I have a favour to ask this autumn, if Aalto still has available the Chemistry Lab you showed us then.

This autumn I'm going to be teaching a course called 'Teaching in English'. It's a 7.5 credit course for teachers at university who have to deliver their courses and subjects in English (i.e. not really teachers of English, but more teachers of Chemistry, for example, who need to teach Chemistry in English, rather than in their native languages).

We'll be running the course entirely in Second Life, from beginning to end, and 5 of these credits are for the students' practical expertise in using English at work. If we get any science teachers in the group, I wonder if we could borrow your Chemistry Lab for a couple of half-hour sessions. What I'll be wanting them to do is things like giving students safety instructions (and instructions about the lab work they're going to do). We English teachers will then give them feedback about what they sound like and how they're using English.

If you can help us, I'll be very grateful. It saves me from having to try to construct a science lab myself! We won't be starting until mid-September at the earliest and it'll probably be October before we get on to that part of the course.

If this way of delivering the course is a success (or at least not an abject failure!) we'll probably make the course part of our regular repertoire here at Linnaeus University, so if you have any colleagues who want to practise their skills at teaching in English, they'll be able to apply online (and we don't charge EU citizens fees!)."


We'll see how things pan out.

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