Hi everybody! I am an EFL teacher in a university in France, so in foreign language/teaching/learning we see all sorts of visions as to what that means in practice.
I see civilization/anthropology/other courses conducted in foreign language in amphitheatres.
I see grammar/vocab list bashing classes for students doing computer based certifications like TOEIC
I see many classes based on EFL text books based on what is called ´the communicative approach' teacher controlled pair works/quizs/games/worksheets et all.
I see most classes which still have the teacher at the centre, finding a text, asking questions, etc
Teachers are more or less text book dependent.
There is another group of teaching which is based around ideas of autonomy but autonomy within a 'resource centre'.
Gradually some teachers are moving towards (it has been official teaching approach in France - ha ha An Approche Actionnel - where the learner is viewed as a social actor) project based learning, exchanges with distant partners - telecollaboration.
I work with learners of all levels in English - that means that if we want to have reflection on learning it cannot be done in the target language. This is a problem for many teachers and the assessment which does not take into account such practices.
If we want to have self-directed connected learning we need to differentiate via affinity to make meaningful connections with learners around the world.
Learners and teachers invariably do not have the digital literacies necessary to connect. We have an amplification of fear to connect and share in a foreign language in which we are uncomfortable.
We have all sorts of institutional constraints to navigate - time zones, calendars, timetables, assessment schemes, privacy/security/technological constraints.
We have drastic differences in teacher/learner beliefs, attitudes towards language learnt - ideas about what constitutes English - native speaker model (Cambridge) global English model.
We have enormous intercultural confusions/conflicts possible.
We have classroom space constraints.
All of this makes working in this globally connected environment absolutely fascinating.
As I work with academic/informal/professional affinity groups around the world all sorts of connections projects are imaginable.
Examples - music enthusiasts/sports enthusiasts/psychology/history/science/maths/computer students
If u want to connect to people around the world for any reason let me know. As I have gps of teachers/trainees working together all your experience/photos etc welcome.
Looking at this here I have no idea how it will develop - at moment connections in 11 countries