Welcome to Halina’s Conversational English online course
By Halina Ostańkowicz- Bazan
I have been teaching languages for over 40 years.I taught Polish as foreign languages in traditional settings at the Wroclaw University of Technology for about 41 years.
In 2010, I started my online adventure mainly on WizIQ. Since that time I have been using technology in my classes.I have been teaching English to speakers of other languages for over 25 years. I have been coaching both face-to-face and in blended learning arrangements.
- Are you unsatisfied with your level of English?
- Do you want to become a forward-thinking speaker and reach to a great extent fluency?
- If so, my course is for you!
Throughout my online course, participants will be able to ask questions before (in the course-ware), during the Virtual Class (in the chat box), and after (in the course-ware).
For the duration of the ten live lessons, I will show you exactly what you need to do to make fast progress and achieve your dream of being able to speak English spontaneously as well as naturally. I will go through the approach based on your learning style and show you the best methods and techniques so that you will make unbelievable progress.
You will learn how you can do this even if you have a very busy schedule; my methods can be used by anyone no matter how full of activity you are. What’s more, I’ll also share with you the best resources so that you don’t have to spend time looking for the top websites, books, and apps. I always offer content in different formats. For example, if you watch the video, I will also provide a transcript of the video.
I avoid large classes to be able to connect with students on a less formal, personal level; to have a much better opportunity of engaging learners in the course material.
Don’t worry if you miss a lesson: each session is recorded and can be viewed at any time (even after the course has finished). You can also download all lesson notes from the chat box, interact with myself and colleague learners, and participate in enjoyable challenges.
Don’t miss this chance to learn specifically what you need to improve your English. Anyone can achieve an advanced level and further, and this course will show you how as well as help you to expand your language skills.
ABOUT THE COURSE
- 10 Virtual Interactive Classes on WizIQ. All classes will be recorded for those who cannot attend.
- New Technologies such as Videos, Blogs, Social Media and exciting assignments are counted
- The long-lasting right of entry to the course materials.
- The best for pre-intermediate or intermediate learners who want to get to a higher level.
The classes will be given one time a week every Saturday at 17.00 pm UTC/GMT for ten weeks.
Participants have to use (UTC/GMT) Time Zone Converter to check an exact time of the course
I will provide additional Skype sessions where you can take advantage of the variety activities and practice online speaking.
- Access to downloadable class recordings
- Course related PPT’s, PDF’s and word document files are available to the students
- F2F oral exams for speaking practice on Skype
- Practice in a variety English speaking settings
- Improve fluency and speaking skill
- Enhance your pronunciation
- Get ready for a variety English speaking environments
VC One: An introduction to the values of being fluent in English as well as how not to learn foreign languages to escape from common learning mistakes.
VC Two: Motivation, involvement and a challenge are essential. Being passionate about learning English online from a good language teacher is an excellent start.
VC Three: Learning using traditional methods, memorizing single words and grammar rules should be avoided.
I am against methods that emphasize learning about the language but for learning by using the language? / expressions, collocations, models, patterns, language chunks /
VC Four: Practice technics to improve pronunciation and the methods required to advance your speaking skills powerfully.
VC Five: Music in English Teaching helps you get into the routine of learning English.
Learn how to keep the conversation going with all kinds of speakers and how to set goals, also, to getting into the habit of learning English
VC Six: Learning English with song’s lyrics.@ A
VC Seven: Learning English with song’s lyrics.@ B
VC Eight: Learning English with song’s lyrics.@ C
VC Nine: Learning English with song’s lyrics.@ D
VC Ten: Storytelling and final discussion.
Being creative is a must in the language classroom.
In one of the TED talks, Sir Ken Robinson said that creativity is as important as literacy and as such must be promoted in any classroom. Nowadays, however, most Foreign Language syllabuses follow the testing-oriented approach to allow for more objective assessment of the students.
For recognizable reasons, the testing-oriented approach does not generate a context for learners being creative. Therefore, creativity is not promoted or is even excluded in total.
In my course, I will argue that in the context of Foreign Language Learning and Teaching creativeness is essential. It leads to a better and faster assimilation of language material, and it generates a richer language environment. Moreover, inventiveness unpredictably enough may produce better test results, no matter the learners level is.
Halina Ostańkowicz- Bazan
When we decide to teach adults, the awareness, as well as comprehension of whom we teach and what
we learn, is essential here.
1) Adults do not want to waste the time.
Some adults take language courses because of a job requirement while others have their particular
goal to attain (such as a language exam or a professional interview). Adults expect direct,
practical benefit. All of them will raise the similar questions
• What for,
• Who (is my teacher?),
• What else could I achieve instead?
• Is the time well spent?
All lessons must have a definite outcome, perhaps even a practical takeaway. It is necessary to
define specific profits at the end of the lesson and associate the benefits to the individual
2) Adults are reflective learners; they think about
• what is challenging or where I require more support
• different learning strategies and self-evaluation
• maintaining a sense of responsibility for learning and achieving goals
3) Motivation is varied, and flexibility is crucial.
Teachers have to be flexible and ready for different approaches, wide-ranging content or even
unconventional paths to lead to the same goal.
Creating a context for meaningful learning is one of the tasks.
4) Mature students feel the need for direct benefit as well as valuable language skills.
Learners are looking for a solution to an exact problem at hand, immediately.
• The fundamental question is: “What should I do to get this to work?”
• Mature learners usually want to accomplish a particular task, or at least, see a noticeable
benefit for the future.
• Adults want to use language for a real-world reason.
5) The different abilities of adult learners are evident.
Child and Adult Learning Characteristics
- Rely on others to decide what is important to be learned.Accept the information being presented at face value.
Expect what they are learning to be useful in their long-term future.
Have little or no experience upon which to draw, are relatively “blank slates.”
- Decide for themselves what is important to be learned.
Need to validate the information based on their beliefs and values.
- Expect what they are learning to be immediately useful.
- Have substantial experience upon which to draw.
- May have fixed viewpoints.
- They may have a recognized life context that determines their learning.
The adult learners need a greater sense of cooperation between the student and
teacher as they go on through the educational process (Zmeyov, 1998). Furthermore, experienced
individuals may bring supplementary skills such as a higher level of maturity and a different
understanding of world matters and geopolitics than traditional students (Byman, 2007).
Personally, I am against using grammar boards, linguistic terms and other abstractions in language
teaching. However, if they can help the mature student why do not explain the grammar rules?
LEARNING AND TEACHING ONLINE
by Halina Ostankowicz-Bazan
There are numerous definitions of online learning in the literature, definitions that reflect the diversity of practice and associated technologies. Carliner (1999) defines online learning as educational material that is presented on a computer. Khan (1997) defines online instruction as an innovative approach to delivering instruction to a remote audience, using the Web as the medium.
However, online learning involves more than just the presentation and distribution of the materials using the Web: the learner and the learning process should be the focus of online learning.
Teaching face-to-face and teaching online are both teaching, but they are qualitatively different. Online education starts when faculty move from the traditional classroom to the online classroom. There are some things that the two have in common, but there are also plenty of differences.
1. The online teacher plays the role of guiding students through one or more online learning experiences. These experiences are every so often designed and planned long before the course starts so that the teacher can devote more time to guiding the students and less time preparing lessons. Within this role, the teacher directs and redirects the attention of learners toward fundamental concepts and ideas.
2. Learning is hard work and studying online can sometimes feel isolated, confusing, or discouraging without the guide.
As a result, the effective online teacher makes intentional efforts to communicate precise encouraging messages to individual learners and the group as a whole. Moreover, even when providing constructive feedback, the teacher as supporter finds a way to promote positive messages alongside the critiques. Encouragement and welcoming support are an important approach to maintaining an overall positive morale in the class. At times, learners may fall into negative comments about themselves, the class, or their classmates (even the instructor, on occasion). The coach makes every effort to find ways to listen, respect the learner’s frustrations, but also to help them reframe the situation in a manner that students are more active and creative.
3. Many people focus on the role of the teacher as a role model, and that is valuable. However, the role of the coach is just as important, even more, important if we want learners to develop high levels of competence and confidence. The online teacher must move beyond just modeling a depth motivation for the subject and personal skill with the content. The mentor needs to find ways to hand the matter over to the students to do something with it. Applied projects and papers work well for this, and it gives the teacher an opportunity to be a coach and advisor.
4. Learners need some feedback about their work. How are they doing? Are they getting closer to meeting the learning objectives or not? The effective online teacher finds ways to give thoughtful feedback to individual learners and, when appropriate, groups of students.
5. Without intentional efforts to build a positive social environment, online learning can feel lonely and impersonal. As a result, the online teacher must serve as an encouraging host, facilitating introductions, using discussion starters to enable conversations among students, and taking the time to get to know students and referencing that knowledge in interactions with them.
6. The whole thing is documented in an online course. The teacher can tell when and how many times student logs in the course, what pages were viewed or not, how many discussions posts the student contributed, and much more. This data can be abused, but it can also be used to make adjustments and informed decisions by an online teacher. If a student is not logged in or failing to visit the pages in the course with the direct instructions, the coach points that out to the learners or reorganizes the content so that it is easier to find.
7. Online courses are rich with content and sometimes students can get lost in all that content. The teacher as a regulator intentionally releases content in chunks that are appropriate for educated people. Sometimes this comes in the course of only publishing content one week at a time. Other times, the teacher releases it all at once but directs students only to focus on individual parts at a time. Another key is to break content into smaller segments. Rather than a twenty-page document of instructions, it is better to consider breaking it into ten two-page documents.
8. Good teachers are lifelong learners, and they can model that learning for their students in a variety of ways in the online classroom. The teacher can be active (but not too active or it will silence students) participant in online discussions, sharing what they are learning about the subject, and even complete all or fragments of some assignments, sharing their work with the students. The process goes a long way to making an exciting and dynamic online learning community where one and all in the community commits to exemplifying the qualities of a lifelong learner.
What challenges are involved in learning online?
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges for teachers is to deliver a consistent experience to a large and varied general populations.
Instructors and scholars should not carry through device management. Their priorities should be placed on learning.
Technology is not the creator. Strong belief in innovation is less significant than the demands of scholars and instructors.
Instructors deliver a well-defined responsibility with implementing, and identifying, the best combination of digital learning tools for each scholar.
Different approaches to learning, such as project-based learning, progressive education, game-based learning, and more, is a part of the personalized, blended learning model. Accordingly, such innovations will call for demonstration how their package improves learning outcomes.
Most challenges have to do with the procedures, but they have nothing to do with the teaching itself. To make it simple, if you know how to teach, all you need to do is learn about the elementary online tools available for online teaching, and begin using them.
As cited earlier, teaching an online class can be time-consuming. As well, building up an online course can be overpowering. Finding out and becoming proficient using an LMS takes time, and uploading materials to the online environment is also demanding and needs much time. Once you know how to use the LMS, you require getting to teach students through it.
The time necessary to generate a new class can be a problem with developing online classes.
The instructor should be able to take care of the subject matter rather than spend
Countless times is managing difficulties connected with the technology.
One of the most recommended ways to cope with the additional time required for teaching online classes is to decrease the class size.
Students also regularly run into technological problems and they need support with technology issues.
Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/undergrad/ptacc/online-teaching.pdf
Also, from my perspective, a successful teaching and learning online involve
• An understanding and easiness in the use of technology.
• Rethinking, and reexamining course objectives, activities, and assessments.
• Creating a community of learners.
• Supporting discussions.
Improving good skills in the use of technology.
• Understanding that the learning management system and other Web technologies function enable coaches to create and provide detailed instruction.
• Planning and creating course goals, activities, and assessments can take substantial time and free energy. Such redesign can be especially successful when started well in advance of the course start date.
Building a community of learners is a challenge.
• The necessity to keep in regular contact with students and comprehend various kinds of dialogue as well as different goals.
• Setting up content-specific discussions to provide problem-solving and establish growing proficiency in course outcomes.
• Designating areas for practical questions that reduce frustration, and gives an opportunity to help each other
• Arranging discussions that deliver a social channel for students increases a learning community by creating interconnection among learners.
It is also important to note that sending private and frequent initial e-mails that encourage/praise the stellar work or express concern in an online student absenteeism shows students that you are online and monitoring all activity. Such deliberate attempts at contact are especially important in demonstrating active instructor presence in the online environment.
Facilitating discussions. Facilitating discussions online is not as easy as it may seem. Posting a question and expecting learners to generate responses that resemble an integrated, face-to-face dialogue rarely happens. Setting expectations for how discussions should proceed is the first step in creating in-depth, integrated responses and meaningful exchanges. In any setting, content-specific dialogue can cause disagreements or require clarifications. In a face-to-face class, instructors interject if a discussion is heading in the wrong direction or praise and emphasize well-thought out responses. The online facilitator should expect to do the same. Students need to feel comfortable in challenging each other’s discussion contributions in tactful, constructive ways or asking the peers to support their claims with research. As facilitators, instructors need to demonstrate how this can happen in the online environment.
Boettcher, J.V. & Conrad, R. M. (2010) E-Coaching Success Tips http://www.designingforlearning.info/services/writing/ecoach/index.htm Accessed May 30, 2011. A library of over 80 tips developed over 2006 – 2010.
Boettcher, J. V. (2007). Ten Core Principles for Designing Effective Learning Environments: Insights from Brain Research and Pedagogical Theory. http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=54. (February 16, 2009).
Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. M. (2010). The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips (1 ed.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Conrad, R. M. and Donaldson, J. A. (2004). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction, Jossey-Bass <www.josseybass.com> Pp. 123.
Fischer, K. Reiss, D. and Young, A. (2005). Ten tips for generating engaged online discussion. Austin, TX, University of Texas. http://wordsworth2.net/activelearning/ecacdiscustips.htm (Accessed August 27, 2007) A helpful set of concise tips that offer ideas and suggestions for being effective at facilitating discussions in electronic environments. More tips on getting started in online active learning are at <wordsworth2.net/activelearning/ecacteachtips.htm>.
Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., and Archer, W. (2000). Critical Inquiry in a Text-Based Environment: Computer Conferencing in Higher Education. The Internet and Higher Education 2(2/3): 87 – 105.
Goodyear, P. (2002) Psychological foundations for networked learning. Networked learning: perspectives and issues. Pp. 49-75 2002. Springer-Verlag. New York, Inc.
Grogan, G. (2005). The Design of Online Discussions to Achieve Good Learning Results. Retrieved August 27, 2007 from http://www.elearningeuropa.info/index.php?page=doc&doc_id=6713&doclng=6&menuzone=1
Mabrito, M. 2004. Guidelines for establishing interactivity in online courses. Innovate 1 (2). Retrieved August 27, 2007 from http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=12
Painter, C., Coffin C. & Hewings, A. (2003) Impacts of directed tutorial activities in computer conferencing: a case study. Distance Education 24(2): 159-174.
Pelz, B. (2004). (My) Three principles of effective online pedagogy. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks 8(3). Retrieved May 31, 2011from http://sloanconsortium.org/sites/default/files/v8n3_pelz_1.pdf. Requires login.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1962) Thought and language. (E. Hanfmann and G. Vakar, Trans.) Cambridge, MIT Press. pp. 344.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 159