It’s been a while since the last lesson jam. I really enjoyed working with other English teachers from around the world (Maha, Aislan, Lena and Simona among many others) and finding out more about how they plan and teach lessons. In the meantime I’ve been developing the idea for the beginnings of a new project. Like lesson jamming, it gives language teachers the chance to learn from one another. This time it will also involve interaction with language learners.
The goal of the 4X4beta project is to develop a different model for teaching via the internet. Four teachers from four different countries give lessons for four learners over four weeks. During the project each teacher teaches one lesson. Feedback is gathered from the four learners and four teachers involved in order to develop a model that can be repeated. The practical experience and feedback gathered should also help the group’s teachers develop their own online teaching skills.
The project is for teachers who, like me, want to improve their online teaching skills. I enjoy learning with other teachers and with groups of students. I’m not so keen on 1:1 teaching, so I’d like to work on an alternative that uses Skype and that involves small groups. The project should give all four teachers the opportunity to explore online-based learning and develop solutions to the challenges that it presents.
The Language Learners
For the learners it should bring all the benefits of a normal Skype-based lesson, but at the same time offer the chance to work with other students via Skype. For a particular type of student (probably not all!) it should give the added motivation of ‘classmates’ with whom their only shared language is English and who come from a different background and have different ways of life: all of which can be used as the basis of interesting Skype-based discussion and activities. Of course Skype has its downsides, but by working together we can hopefully identify ways of getting round them.
Whether you’re an English language learner or teacher, if you’re interested, get in touch! It requires a little bit, but not too much, commitment over four weeks. The dates are to be decided, but the project will probably take place some time between now and December.