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General Announcements
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Technical Issues
October 28, 2015

Response to questions posed and difficulties faced

  1. Word formatting displayed in my text : This has been described as “problem with appearance of my post”. It happens when we “copy-paste” a text from a Word document to the text editor area. It actually displays the Word formatting options making it impossible to read the message. Solution: Save the Word document as plain text first (see image ), so that you get rid of Word formatting.  Then you can copy-paste it to the text editor area.
  2. Editing/Changing a post: After creating a new topic, click it so that you can view your post. Then click edit to make any alterations you want. Finally click submit.
  3. Avatar image characteristics: To upload your avatar, just follow step 4 of the 2gather platform FAQs.Your image should ideally be something like 100 x 100 or 200 x 200 pixels. Then just follow the instructions to crop it.
Welcome back

Dear colleagues welcome back to the Communities of Practice Platform!
This is the implementaton of a new paradigm in teacher development in Greece and together we are making this happen!
We will start our work together by exploring areas you would like to deal with in your training programme this year.
What is the most pressing challenge or recurring problem that you face in teaching primary school young learners?
We would be grateful if each of you can post your challenge or problem by visiting the Group Forum. Please do this by the 17/10 so that discussion can begin.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
All the best
Kia Karavas,
Katerina Kourkouli

Vol. 6 of Research Papers in Language Teaching and Learning

Dear colleagues,
I’m very happy to inform you that vol. 6 of Research Papers in
Language Teaching and Learning is now published. You can find it here:
In this issue, authors address topics that spread across the EFL and applied linguistics board. There are papers on evaluating teacher education courses, on authors’ perspectives about ghost-authoring research papers, on individual differences, learning styles and learner motivation, on the role of emotions in pedagogy and learning. Other papers discuss cultural and intercultural awareness, perspectives about the use of the L1 in the foreign language classroom, writer identities, the impact of corrective feedback on performance, and the strengths of integrating form-focused instruction. The authors refer to contexts in Greece, Cyprus, Iran and China.
I hope you can find some useful articles there!

Group Forum Ground Rules
February 8, 2015
Calendar with Deadline Circled

1. Follow start and due dates.
2. There is a minimal number of posts – you must respond to at least two colleagues’ postings.
3. Support your arguments with evidence (established theories, empirical data etc).
4. Keep one point per short message.
5. If no one answers your posting, you can send invitations to 3 colleagues for responses.
6. You must always reply to responses to your posts.
7. Reflective journals (reflections on experience) are to be sent on every due date.

Christmas Greetings

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful Happy New Year! May your life be filled with joy and happiness and may each new day bring you moments to cherish.

Let us share this Christmas card with all of you!

Best Wishes,

Kia Karavas,

Katerina Kourkouli

Questionnaire submissions – A reminder
December 4, 2014

You are all kindly requested to contribute to this research by submitting the questionnaire sent to you. It will only take you a few minutes and is supposed to gather data “before” your training through the 2gather platform, so this is actually a baseline investigation. Due Date: Wednesday 10 December.

2gather platform FAQs – manual
November 14, 2014

To view the manual, click here.2gather PLATFORM ELTeachers FAQs

2gather platform FAQs – manual
November 14, 2014

This is a manual for the 2gather platform. I hope you find it useful.

2gather PLATFORM ELTeachers FAQs

Developing training scenarios for work in the 2gather CoP platform
October 3, 2014
solution red puzzle

Discussions so far and analysis of topics posted by forum members, have highlighted two central areas that teachers seem to be in need of training. Most School Advisors have stressed the need for teachers to become acquainted with the defining characteristics of this age group (7-8 year olds), their preferred modes of learning, ways of boosting and maintaining motivation and managing the young learner class. The other focus area for training seems to be the implementation of differentiated instruction through the use of stories with the integration of ICT.

Below we suggest a scenario for the development of a CoP focusing on young learner characteristics and the management of the young learner classroom which you may find useful. The work proposed could easily take up the whole school year, if well orchestrated and implemented.

A) Teaching Young Learners CoP teacher training scenario

1. Prepare a mini “guide” for taking part in CoP. Explain what a CoP is, what the benefits are, what teachers can do in a CoP and how the 2gather Cop works.
2. Ask teachers to sign in to the CoP platform and explore its main features.
3. Explore the area which you will focus your training work for the following year.
4. Ask Teachers to contribute articles, resources that they find useful in raising awareness of the cognitive and emotional development of young learners and the challenges of learning a foreign language at this age.                                                                     5. Ask teachers to complete the Introduction to Teaching Young Learners online course, focusing on Part I, that is the defining characteristics of this age group and specific modes of learning (link to the online training module here).young learners and the challenges of learning a foreign language at this age.
6. Ask teachers in groups to develop a mini-guide for primary school language teachers with information on the profile of the young learner in contrast to the profile of the “older” learner (9-10 years old). Knowledge of these characteristics is closely linked with effective classroom management.
7. Ask teachers to post their own queries, problems, issues with managing the young learner classroom and invite other teachers (more experienced) to provide solutions and suggestions for the specific problems.
8. Next, involve them in taking Part II of the module, exploring the teacher’s role as a manager, facilitator and motivator of young learners (link to the online training module here).
9. Ask teachers to watch the interviews with PEAP teachers who have classes that have been videotaped, to identify and post specific teaching techniques and management strategies that they find interesting and effective. Which of these techniques have they used themselves? Which ones are completely new to them? Which ones can help address their classroom management problems? Encourage them to initiate discussion.
10. How can teachers increase student motivation? Which techniques and strategies are they aware of? Encourage them to initiate discussion and share their own experiences with motivating young learners. You can provide teachers with extra material on this issue by providing articles, links, videos you are familiar with.
11. Encourage teachers to apply the techniques for managing and motivating learners in the classrooms, observe their effects, and share their results and experiences with other teachers.
12. As an end of year task, ask teachers to enrich the guide they had developed on the profile of the young learners with information on classroom management and motivating young learners. This guide will be uploaded on the Cop Platform for other teachers to study.

B) Methodology CoP teacher training scenario

Based on the tentative step-by-step training CoP scenario provided, can you suggest specific steps to explore the methodology issue, that is, “Differentiated instruction for using stories in the language classroom integrating the use of ICT”.
You can use the online training modules (links to the online training modules here and here) and suggest additional material and further reading based on your experience and practice.
1. Can you suggest specific steps?
2. How would you go about initiating teachers’ interaction?
3. How would you motivate them to put ideas into practice and report on the outcomes? Could they treat it as a mini action research project?
4. Can you suggest any ideas/ practices/ solutions to these needs?

You can group with other colleagues in order to share ideas and experiences, put the whole idea of a collaborative community into practice and also ease work load.
We are looking forward to your contributions.

Preparing a CoP mini “guide” and exploring main training areas
October 2, 2014
images 1

A) You can prepare a CoP mini “guide” to familiarise teachers with what a CoP is, what the benefits are, what they can do in a CoP and how the 2gather CoP works. You can use Wenger – Trayner’s site and Wenger’s videos here and here. (step 1 of the training scenario)

B) You can also ask them to familiarise themselves with the platform and explore its main features (making friends, sending messages to each other etc)

C) Finally, try to explore their training needs as well as the areas which you will focus your training on, by asking them to initiate their own topics (not responding to each other’s topics at this stage). You can refer them to steps 7-9 of the FAQs. (step 3 of the training scenario). You might need to post an initiating topic yourselves as we had done in May here. Or you might want to post some initiating topic ground rules, e.g. here.

Due Date: 26/10/2014