Mircea Patrascu, Rose Bard, and Vance Stevens address IATEFL YLT SIG Bi-Monthly Webinars

Learning2gether Episode #329

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On Sunday Apr 17 at 1400 UTC Mircea Patrascu, Rose Bard, and Vance Stevens gave a presentation as one of the IATEFL YLT SIG Bi-Monthly Webinars for 2015-2016, entitled
Creating contexts in Minecraft for motivating and empowering young learners to take charge of their learning

This presentation is pitched at teachers of young students about how to put yourself in the mind and body or at least avatar of a young learner and get in the game of Minecraft and try and figure out what all the fuss is about through experience with other teaching peers occupying similar avatars.

Vance Stevens will begin by briefly introducing the EVO Minecraft MOOC Google+ Community https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112993649763396826671. This is a community established as an EVO (Electronic Village Online) session. It was designed to attract participants knowledgeable in Minecraft who could help newcomers to Minecraft, a.k.a. noobies, to become functional in the game and better understand how they could use it in their educational settings.

Two of the strongest contributors  to this community with respect to young learners have been Mircea Patrascu and Rose Bard. Each plans to spend 10 to 15 minutes showing us via screen share what they have built in Minecraft that can help young learners realize the potential of the environment for young learners when that learning is guided by practitioners skilled both in Minecraft and in working with learners. This combination of characteristics has become more and more common in educators as the affordances of Minecraft in empowering young learners becomes increasingly apparent and more widely known.

The presentation was scheduled here:

Where? Adobe Connect


The video posted at https://youtu.be/YMvxWsOgSes (not hyperlinked here) is only 4 min. long and the sound cuts out at 2 min. exactly. Please use the link above



Earlier this week

Sun Apr 10 1400 UTC LEARNING2GETHER with Jack Watson, Jennifer Meyer, Robert Wachman, and other CALL-IS webcasters about webcasting at TESOL 2016


Wed Apr 6 Learning2gether with David Winet at TESOL Baltimore Classrooms of the Future – VR and AR and Robots, Oh My!


Thu Apr 7 Learning2gether with CALL-IS Webcasts from TESOL 2016 in Baltimore


Fri Apr 8 Gamification at TESOL 2016 Conference in Baltimore



Apr 12-16 Online coverage begins of 50th Annual IATEFL conference in Birmingham

From http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2016/live-schedule

David Crystal – Who would of thought it? The English language 1966-2066
Plenary recording:

Complaints about a supposed decline in standards of English continue to be made, with increasing frequency, in the British press. Although these are nothing new – as the long history of use of would of for would have illustrates – they do draw attention to the way we seem to be going through a period of unusually rapid language change. This paper illustrates the main changes in pronunciation, orthography, grammar, and vocabulary, discusses the chief factors involved – social mobility, globalization, and the Internet – and compares the changes that have taken place in the past fifty years with those that are likely to take place in the next fifty.

David Crystal is honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor, and works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales, as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. He read English at University College London, specialized in English language studies, then joined academic life as a lecturer in linguistics, first at Bangor, then at Reading, where he became professor of linguistics. He received an OBE for services to the English language in 1995. Recent books include The Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary (with Ben Crystal), Making a point: the pernickety story of English punctuation, The disappearing dictionary, and The gift of the gab: how eloquence works. His current research is chiefly in applied historical English phonology, with particular reference to Shakespearean original pronunciation. He is the patron of IATEFL.

Thu 14 Apr 0800 UTC Plenary by Silvana Richardson at IATEFL Birmingham


Silvana Richardson
The ‘native factor’, the haves and the have-nots

…and why we still need to talk about this in 2016. It is often claimed that much has changed in the eld of English Language Teaching since 1983, when Peter Medgyes rst described the struggle of ‘non-native’ teachers for visibility and due recognition. But has it? Away from academic circles, where the discourses that equated the ideal teacher with the ‘native speaker’ have been interrogated and critiqued, how has the situation really changed for the professional teacher of English whose rst or home language is a language other than English?
In this talk I will draw on research studies, anecdotal evidence and my own and my colleagues’ personal experiences to examine the state of equality and social justice in ELT with reference to the so-called ‘non- native speaker teacher’ thirty years on. I will look at how the logic of the market is used to justify current discriminatory recruitment practices that still perpetuate the view that a(n unquali ed) native speaker is preferable to a quali ed and professional ‘non-native teacher’.
I will reflect on the impact of the native-speaker bias and its dominance on developments in English Language teaching methodology, and how this dominance seems to have affected the emergence of context-appropriate pedagogies. Finally, I will address the ‘second best’ view of the ‘non-native teacher’ and its impact on their own construction of a legitimate professional identity and on their con dence in themselves as teachers, users and experts of an-other language.

Fri 15 Apr 0800 UTC Plenary by Diane Larsen-Freeman at IATEFL Birmingham


Diane Larsen-Freeman
The justice and imperative of girls’ secondary school education – a model of action

Fifty years ago, around the time that IATEFL was founded, inquiries into the nature of additional language learning were begun. One of the earliest avenues of inquiry concerned the nature of the linguistic input that language learners were exposed to. Not only was the input thought to be the raw material that the learners had to work with, linguistic input was also thought to be a driving force in second language development. Researchers sought to demonstrate the effect of the input on what was called learners’ output. While this line of research been fruitful in contributing to our understanding of language learning, it has been encumbered by the use of its computer-related metaphors of input and output. Clearly, our students are not computers. We know that the way we talk in uences and re ects the way we think. One problem with ‘input’ is that it ascribes passivity to learners, robbing them of their agency. Another problem is that it suggests that there is a conduit between input and output. It overlooks the meaning-making nature of language use. A third problem is that the use of ‘input’ necessitates all sorts of terminological profusion, such as ‘intake’ and ‘uptake’. At this point, there is a need to move beyond input-output metaphors to embrace a new way of understanding, one informed by Complexity Theory with its ecological orientation – one of affordances. Affordances are two-way relationships between the learner and the environment. Affordances afford opportunities for action on the part of learners, provided that the affordances are perceived by learners. In this way, learners create their own affordances. Thus, affordances restore agency to learners. This also partially explains why learners’ developmental patterns are different. In this presentation, I will elaborate on affordances and discuss the implications of affordances for English language learning and teaching.

Sat 16 Apr 0800 UTC Plenary by Scott Thornbury at IATEFL Birmingham


Scott Thornbury
1966 and all that: A critical history of ELT

In this talk I would like to use the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the IATEFL conference to review some of the major developments in the teaching of EFL since the mid-sixties and in particular the advent of the communicative approach, including the ideological context from which it emerged, its initial promise, its dispersion, its dilution, its normalization, and its discontents. I will interweave autobiographical detail throughout in order to illustrate some key landmarks in this narrative, while at the same time I will challenge the notion of progress and evolution, and suggest that the diversity of contexts, needs, and traditions that ELT currently embraces repudiates the notion of method, and challenges such established orthodoxies as cookie-cutter pre-service training, global textbooks, uniform examinations and even the notion of a standard English itself. I will argue that one way of making sense of all this diversity is to situate ELT within the wider orbit of education generally, which might mean re-con guring EFL/ELT/ESL/TESOL as simply LE: language education.

Sat 16 Apr 1215 UTC Closing Plenary by Jan Blake at IATEFL Birmingham


Jan Blake
Man, woman, life, love: stories from Africa, the Caribbean, and beyond

Listen to Jan Blake tell tales of lovers, shape-shifters, the wise, and the foolish. She will transport you to faraway places, wrapping you in the rhythm of her words and trans xing you with the power of her stories, before bringing you safely home. These tales will bring a tear to your eye, a smile to your lips, and put a spring in your step.

– See more at: http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2016/live-schedule#sthash.7itS1zNo.dpuf

50th Annual International IATEFL Conference and Exhibition
ICC, Birmingham, UK
13th-16th April 2016
Pre-Conference Events and Associates’ Day, 12th April 2016

Join us for IATEFL Online for live coverage of 2016 Birmingham IATEFL Conference

If you can’t attend the 2016 IATEFL Conference, follow the event online!

Birmingham Online coverage starts: 12th April, 2016


Coverage will feature talks, sessions and recorded interviews with conference presenters and delegates.

For updates on IATEFL Online, follow IATEFL Online on twitter @iateflonline

The IATEFL Online project is a British Council / IATEFL partnership.

Thu Apr 14 1900 UTC Virtual worlds as a tool for Spanish teaching at SLMOOC16

April 14


12 PM Pacific

3pm EDT

foto con latinos 14 - copia.jpgEugenia SLMOOC 15 b.jpg

Martha Eugenia Lino Acosta

aka Eugenia Calderon in SL and DW.

jta - copia.jpgEl Profesor SLMOOC16 - copia.png

James T. Abraham, Ph.D.

aka Calisto Encinal in SL

El Profesor in DW

Virtual Worlds as a Tool for Spanish Teaching

Escape Playground in DigiWorldZ

Go tohttp://www.digiworldz.com/and make a free account, create an avatar, download Firestorm or Singularity, choose DigiWorldz from the grid menu, and you’re in. Click on the World map icon at the bottom of your viewer, put “Escape” into the search bar on the World and then click “Find” and then “Teleport” and you’ll be there!


 Fri Apr 15 Resources for teachers in VWs at SLMOOC16

April 15



1 PM



Nancy L. Zingrone, PhD

aka Maggie Larimore in SL

Resources for Teachers in Virtual Worlds

The webinar will preview instructions to useful skills for teachers, SLURLs to great places to find teaching-related freebies and useful toys, organizing tips for keeping class inventories, as well as introduce folks to the searching on the Marketplace for teaching related tools.

The workshop will include making display boards for links to helpful websites, or books, articles, making notecard givers for assignments, and setting up class/student subdirectories in your SL inventories.

Sat Apr 16 two presentations at SLMOOC16

April 16



2pm EDT

Renne Emiko Brock-Richmond MFA / Zinnia Zauber


Authentic Avatars – Superheroes Without Secret Identities

Presentation starts at the SLMOOC Headquarters at:


With a visit to the Zinnia Zauber “Hue are You?” Gallery at:http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Brauni/181/0/22

April 16th


3 pm SLT

6 pm EDT

Untitled-1.jpgKate.jpgLotro profile.jpg

Linda Rogers aka Kate Miranda (SL)  aka Katemirh of Lothlorien (Lvl 100 Hunter Elf, Officer of Courserim Kinship)


A brief introduction to Lord of the Rings Online and its use for Education in literature, narrative and New Media

Music Island, Virtlantis



2 thoughts on “Mircea Patrascu, Rose Bard, and Vance Stevens address IATEFL YLT SIG Bi-Monthly Webinars

  1. Pingback: Minecraft and the gamification of teacher and student learning at the SLMOOC16 annual online conference | Learning2gether

  2. Pingback: TESOL 2018 Chicago: Preparing Teachers to Engage Learners with EVO Minecraft MOOC | Learning2gether

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