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Session Abstracts and Presenter Bios

Digital literacies for the global citizen

Nicky Hockly
Director of Pedagogy
The Consultants-E

Digital literacies include not just technical skills, but an understanding of the social practices needed to effectively communicate via digital technologies. As English language teachers, we can help our students to communicate in a global lingua franca in an increasingly wired world. We need to ensure that they are given not just the linguistic tools to do so, but an awareness of the wider social practices surrounding the appropriate use of language which is increasingly being mediated by technology. Network, participatory and (inter)cultural literacies are just some of the digital literacies needed by our students, if they are to become truly global citizens. What exactly are these literacies, how do they align with global citizenship, and how might both have a place in the English language classroom? In this workshop, we look at the theory underpinning digital literacies, and explore how and why network, participatory and (inter)cultural digital literacies might best be integrated into language teaching.

Nicky Hockly is Director of Pedagogy of The Consultants-E. She is author of several prize-winning methodology books about technology in EFL, and she gives talks and runs workshops all over the world. Her research interests include blended and online learning. Nicky lives in Barcelona, and is a technophobe turned technophile.

Preparing teachers for the future: Automation and intelligent tools

Greg Kessler
Patton College of Education
Ohio University

The presenter will share his thoughts about the changing nature of language teaching. He will focus on the importance of designing instructional experiences in a thoughtful manner. He will share a number of recent developments related to language and technology, including automated assessment tools, speech and gesture control interfaces, and a variety of forms of natural language processing. Some of the tools and resources associated with these developments have found their way into language learning while others certainly will in the near future. They are also indicators of future developments. Many of these developments have the potential to dramatically alter learning. They may also threaten or intimidate language teachers and learners. The presenter will share thoughts about the need to embrace these developments as we move toward a new era of language learning: One in which these intelligent assistants and resources may take precedence over classroom instruction.

Greg Kessler, a Professor at Ohio University, has been technology editor of the TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching, an author of the TESOL Technology Standards, and former Ohio TESOL president. His research addresses technology, learning, and teacher preparation. He has published widely and delivered featured talks around the world.

Towards a pedagogy of 'Global Citizenship': Practices and principles

Ahmar Mahboob
Department of Linguistics
University of Sydney

This workshop is based on the belief that our sense of ‘Global Citizenship’ develops through an understanding of and engagement with issues that affect individuals, groups, and communities in our own contexts as well as those around the world.  Our sense of ‘Global Citizenship’ evolves and changes over time and is shaped by our experiences as well as our reflections on those experiences. Based on this, teachers can use class projects and assignments to encourage students to enhance a sense of ‘Global Citizenship’. In this workshop, we will discuss what kind of projects and assignments can be used in order to do this. In order to do this, I will first share some of the strategies that I use in my own teaching along with examples of work that some of my students have developed. We will then analyze additional examples from other parts of the world and will use our analyses to develop plans for how you might adapt these principles in your own contexts. 

Ahmar Mahboob is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. Ahmar is keenly interested in the application of language sciences to developmental issues, with a particular focus on education. In pursuing this goal, Ahmar draws from and contributes to a range of linguistics and applied linguistics traditions, theories, and methodologies.