I have been reflecting on my corpus linguistic, conversation analytic and recent ethnographic investigations into language teacher education practices lately, given that I have a plenary in the forthcoming ILTERG2 conference. It has been such a pleasure to work with student-teachers and mentors from Turkey and Sweden so far – my research would not have been possible without their commitment, passion, and openness. I will also be acknowledging my past (Asuman Aşık), present (Merve Bozbıyık, among others), and future (Annaliina Gynne, Maria Larsson, Marwa Amri) co-authors during my plenary “The discursive turn in language teacher education research”.
The title is ambitious, but I am not sorry about it 🙂 It is obvious that I will not be able to present a comprehensive review of all discursive studies within the field of language teacher education. However, I will at least provide an overview of research in line with my corpus linguistic and conversation analytic investigations. I am not sure if I can do the justice to this title, but I will hopefully at least present a coherent argument. I will show and present analyses of data from various settings. I am editing my video and visual files now – the audience should be ready for a multimodal buffet. Not everyone leaves a buffet with a happy face though- too much of everything might be hard on the body and the soul 🙂 Let’s wait and see what kind of traces my buffet will leave.
In any case, it will be great to see familiar faces from Ankara and other cities in Turkey on Friday. It would be much better, of course, if we could also catch up with some of my friends and colleagues for a pint or two – I truly miss them. Yet again, we are on Zoom. And we do not know how long we will have to be on “only” Zoom. Oh, btw, should I add Covid-triggered new normal jokes? Nope. I will leave it to those who like it. We do not really need the backing-up of a pandemic to justify the value of our research.
It was a pleasure to host a webinar with John Gordon on the 16th of September as part of the SOLD Research Environment seminar series at Mälardalen University (Sweden). John managed to attract participants from 14 different countries, including Chile, Turkey, Austria, France, and many others. John’s webinar brought together a diverse group: school teachers and student-teachers in Sweden, as well as university teachers and researchers from all over the world. John kindly agreed to share his video publicly, which also motivated me to create a Youtube channel:
John provides important insights into the use of literature in English language classrooms. His talk facilitated discussions especially around reading-aloud activities. He goes beyond teaching, and gives tips for teacher education. How can we use Conversation Analysis transcriptions in classrooms? What do the emergent interactions in the classrooms look like? For more, please have a look at John’s webinar video. If you want to investigate this further, his article published in Classroom Discourse would be a perfect read for you.
My last blog post was on January 15, 2020. Almost 9 months ago… What went wrong? Why did I stop? Have I been too busy? Have I dedicated too much time to micro-blogging (i.e. Tweeting)? Or should I blame COVID-19? Not that I had it, I guess… And may be that is why I decided to take this Open Networked Learning (ONL) course: I did want to get back to blogging. I also wanted to go through a new learning experience with digital tools, so that I could be more useful to my students, to my colleagues, and to whoever willingly or accidentally feels my online presence. Yes, you, who is reading this 🙂 Bear with me, in this first post about the ONL course, I will explain 2 things that I “took away” from this course. They may change me. First, I will reflect on David White’s visitor/resident metaphor for online presence. Second, I will reflect on how I came across with the concept of “Digital Design Literacy” (Pangrazio 2016), and how I gradually have developed an interest in it. Yes, both may sound boring to external eyes, but as I said, bear with me 🙂
Figure 1 was drawn in less than 30 seconds when David White asked us to reflect on our own online presence, considering whether we use digital platforms for personal vs professional purposes and if we just temporarily use them for given tasks (i.e. visitor) vs or do these platforms become spaces where we use on regular basis and develop identities in (i.e. resident). His question and webinar made me think about these issues, and I noticed that I am a resident in a number of digital platforms mostly for professional purposes. I noticed that I want to have some more professional and personal time on WordPress as writing helps me think, reflect, and make future-oriented decisions. I also thought about my future courses, and I decided that I want to create and make use of digital spaces with my students, where they will not just be visitors for academic purposes, but they will reside there, develop personal and professional identities there, and grow there… I believe that we can grow in digital communities which are constructive, open, and interactive. Like our very own “Problem Based Learning 15 (PBL 15) group” (see our introduction video here) which we created for this course.
As part of our first task in the PBL Group, we created a visual that depicts various elements of digital literacy. My task was to investigate Critical Digital Literacy (CDL), and my journey in this investigation took me to a recent article which re-conceptualized CDL as “Digital Design Literacy” (Pangrazio 2016). The concept of digital design literacy, in my opinion, is liberating and it made me think about my past and future teaching experiences. The concept views students and teachers as active agents who are not just “consumers” of digital literacy, but are “doers” “producers” “designers”. I am already thinking of designing 2 of my forthcoming courses by putting the concept of digital design literacy at the centre of some of the activities, which will help students learn by design, critically. I can already see that the concept has gotten into me although at first I was critical towards it 🙂
This very short reflection on the introduction phase of the ONL course, I hope, gave you some ideas on the transformative power of this course. It engaged me from the beginning, it allowed me to investigate concepts I was not familiar with, and it is already making an impact on my future-oriented decision making. What is more important than everything I’ve written so far is the developing collaboration and co-operation we have within the PBL 15 group. I am not changing and evolving alone, just myself. I am in a dynamic group with like-minded friends: Ebba, Malin, Bianca, Zhao, Davis, Thashmee. I look forward to designing, creating, and working with them this semester. Being a student again, with all the experience I had, and the joint experience of this group is priceless. I hope I will be writing more posts on this space, not just ONL-related, but more. I am here to reside.
Reference Pangrazio, L. (2016). Reconceptualising critical digital literacy. Discourse: Studies in the cultural politics of education, 37(2), 163-174.
MIND is organizing two data sessions on the 24th of January, Friday, with Søren Wind Eskildsen (University of Southern Denmark), Niina Lilja (Tampere University) and Silvia Kunitz (Stockholm University/Karlstad University). The sessions will take place at Mälardalen University (Västerås campus). Please see below for details on the venue and time.
On behalf of Mälardalen INteraction & Didactics (MIND) Research Group
MIND data sessions, 24 January 2020 10:15 -12:00 – Swedish EFL Classroom Interaction Olcay Sert and Marwa Amri
13:15 – 15:00 – Vocabulary in the classroom and in the wild Silvia Kunitz, Niina Lilja, Søren Wind Eskildsen and Olcay Sert
Finally, I joined those academics who have a personal website. Since this comes with a blog, why not blog? I am not sure if I will be able to post regularly, but I am quite motivated to write on issues that are relevant to teachers, researchers, and those involved in teacher education. In my posts, you may see updates on our MIND research group, information on publications in Classroom Discourse, my own and others’ publications, as well as just my ideas and reflections on teaching, learning, classroom interaction, and teacher education.