Teaching English through coding using collaborative projects that don’t require specialist skills or even a computer

Learning2gether episode 435

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I attended the CamTESOL 2020 Conference in Phnom Penh from Friday, February 7 to Sunday February 9. My proposal for a workshop was accepted and scheduled to be delivered on Sunday Feb 9, 11:20-11:30. The title of the workshop was

Teaching English through coding using collaborative projects that don’t require specialist skills or even a computer

The workshop was recorded in Zoom


The workshop sought to show how language skills can be developed when the focus of a lesson is not necessarily on the language itself but more on tasks involving using English communicatively and thoughtfully. Many students and teachers realize that some knowledge of coding is an essential skill in the modern workplace, and are therefore receptive to learning more about it. The presenter gives examples of language teachers who use coding in language classes to promote the 21st century skills of critical and creative thinking, analysis, and problem solving, in addition to the more obviously language-related skills of communication and collaboration.

The workshop introduced and guided participants through a simple activity using a step-by-step approach, presented in accessible terminology, that would clarify for them this relationship between coding and language development. The activity is set out in a handout that participants can use during the workshop and with students later in class. The activity requires neither a computer nor prior knowledge of programming, only the instructions on the handout, and participants were pointed to repositories of many more such activities.


Here is how it appeared in the program

From page 16 in the conference program here: https://camtesol.org/Download/Conference%20Schedule%20v7.pdf


Attendees were provided at the start of the event with the following information, which would also comprise the session’s archives

The link above was created for a longer, 45 minute, similar workshop at ThaiTESOL on January 31, 2020


The same proposal was accepted for presentation at CamTESOL on February 9, 2020, but only as a 25 minute “workshop” with 5 min allocated for questions.

This was too short a time to get participants engaged in doing much of anything beyond grasping the concept, but it was ample time to deliver the presentation as a webinar and leave a recording that participants can review later,

so I made plans to webcast it as Learning2gether episode 435, indexed at archiveindex

Where? In Zoom

Topic: Vance Stevens on Teaching English Through Coding
Time: Feb 9, 2020 04:00 AM Universal Time UTC

This was my plan of delivery

  • A tea break preceeded my presentation so I was able to go into the room half an hour beforehand and get set up before I needed to actually get started at 11:20 in Cambodia
  • I tried to explain the topic briefly and show the audience that a prior lesson could have been on sorting algorithms.
  • I got the face to face audience to play the battleship game and discuss its benefits for teaching English.
  • I had to stop the presentation at 4:50 UTC (11:50 in Cambodia)

I invited distant participants to join us (but no one did)
When? 04:20 to 04:50 UTC on Feb 9, 2020


Announcements were made on these Facebook Groups

And on Twitter



Earlier events

Thu Jan 30 – Sat Feb 1 The 40th annual Thai TESOL Conference 2020

Thu 30 Jan 0630 UTC – LEARNING2GETHER Episode 434 – Plenary talk at Thai TESOL by Vance Stevens on The What, Why, and How of Flipped Learning


Fri 31 Jan 0915 UTC – Workshop at Thai TESOL by Vance Stevens on Teaching English through coding without a computer

I have been invited to give a demonstration and workshop of 45 minutes including discussion, at the 40th Thailand TESOL-PAC International Conference at the Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand on the topic of: Teaching English through coding using collaborative projects that don’t require specialist skills or even a computer, on DAY 2: Friday, 31 January 2020 16:15-17:00 in Thailand

Sat Feb 8 2300 to 0100 UTC NYS TESOL TELL-SIG Webinar Double Header on Wikis, AI, Blockchain, and AR

http://bit.ly/webitell to register


Join Zoom Meeting
Time: Feb 8, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Time (presumed to be given in New York time), 2300 UTC to 1 am Feb 9


Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain & Augmented Reality Digital Technologies (ARDT)

Thoughts on Language Acquisition for the 21st Century

Prof. Jasmin B. Cowin, Ed.D.

Gen Z and Gen Alpha continue to drive Augmented Reality Digital Technologies (ARDT) expansion into all industries from corporate environments, marketing to healthcare, and gaming to language education. Location independent, virtual environments hold the promise of exponential expansion beyond the brick-and-mortar presence of schools, colleges, universities and other institutions of learning such as Virtual Schools and Universities. These learning centers are being transformed by intelligent systems that help humans learn better and achieve their learning objectives. The breadth of areas in which AI is already inserted in education includes intelligent tutors or chatbots, personalized learning, smart teaching, learning analytics, reducing student drop-off, education administration, data privacy and ethics. The Blockchain offers new ways of storing, tracking and verifying students’ credentials. This 30 min. webinar presentation will explore these concepts in education, and looks at what the future might mean for language professionals, students and institutions in the 21st Century.

Using Wikis to Develop Learners’ Critical Literacy Skills

Lesley Painter-Farrell


Developing critical literacy skills means arming learners with a variety of skills, which allow them to decode texts, understand text bias and draw on cultural clues to process and synthesize information. Ultimately, learners become empowered information managers (Shapiro and Hughes, 1996), which in this age of clickbait and fake news has never been more important. In this webinar, the presenter aims to illustrate how wikis can be used in and outside the classroom to effectively practice and develop learners’ critical literacy skills and how this application is conducive to detailed and directed text interrogation.Ttwitter

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