Digital faceplant: using VLC to anonymise classroom photos

Photo by Alex Perez on Unsplash

Those of us involved in teacher education often worry about recording classroom interaction. On one hand, the digital revolution has opened wonderful possibilities for education through easy recording and sharing of images and audiovisual materials from a variety of teaching contexts. On the other, it creates the problem of internet safety and the digital footprints we leave of our young pupils. Teacher educators like classroom photos as evidence of teaching activities and to increase peer learning among student-teachers. But schools, parents, and teachers themselves are wary of sharing digital materials where individuals can be identified.

Teachers try to get around the problem by taking photographs with pupils’ backs turned, or by blurring faces. Often these methods rob images of much of their value. Another option is available in the free, open-source digital video editor VLC, which many language teachers use in everyday teaching. It’s a lesser known functionality accessible from the video effects toolbox, which you can find in the Windows drop-down menu. I’m showing the Mac version below; on a PC it seems to be accessible from the Tools menu.

  1. Import your picture into VLC. Here I took a screenshot from a video (ALT-CMD-S) and opened it in VLC (CMD-O).
Screenshot from video

2. Go to Windows > Video effects to see this box

Check Gradient to alter image

3. Check Gradient to see this effect:

“Gradient” image of first screenshot above

Other possibilities include Edge within the Gradient section:

Gradient > Edge
“Edge” image of first screenshot above

You can also change colour using the Colour threshold option

Image of first screenshot above without colour

And there you have it, an easy way of digitally modifying images (or video) that preserves the essential character of classroom interactions without compromising pupil privacy and safety.

TBLT & CALL: challenges and obstacles in ELT

An introduction to computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and task-based language teaching (TBLT) for student teachers in our Masters in Teaching English programme at the University of Nice. I’ve linked to a number of examples of CALL projects and classroom technology use, as well as references to other resource sites and a short annotated bibliography. Feedback welcome!

Technology-mediated CALL in your classroom

Story Slam

Moth story

an example of a technology-mediated task: storytelling with second year students of English, Media & Communication.

  • the teacher prepares introductory lesson using a Moth story with transcript prepared on storyscribe
  • students talk in class, record on smartphones, then upload a recording to SoundCloud
  • the teacher creates a Google Form to collect SoundCloud links (see also Form tips here)
  • the teacher creates a generic message on gmail for individual feedback
  • the teacher makes a webpage for general feedback including resources for further study (WordPress, Google sites or Weebly)

NB: play safe (learner/parental authorisation) and play fair (copyright/creative commons). Voir également cette présentation en 180 secondes en français.

Technology-mediated CALL to connect classrooms

Who’s who? task

Primary EFL class exchange (France-Germany)

The French primary class makes a set of video selfies to send to a partner class in Germany, using English as a lingua franca. The German class does the same, and each class watches their partners’ videos to identify the pupils in a group photo.

Tools

  • Tablet technology: to make and share their video selfies, the learners used the iPad camera
  • Online sharing: for exchanging videos, the teachers used Google Drive and Gmail.
  • Classroom exploitation: to watch the videos, the teachers used
      • iPads
      • a laptop computer (with projector)
      • an IWB.
  • Video-stimulated recall: to facilitate discussion of classroom activities, the teacher educator used
    • camera, microphone, tripod
    • iMovie video editing application
    • Vimeo video sharing platform (http://vimeo.com).

Technology for professional development

Peer filming in task-based language teacher education

This activity was designed for first year students in our Masters in Teaching English programme at the University of Nice. It involves peer filming, where student teachers watch each other teach an activity in a secondary school EFL class and make video recordings using their smartphones. They then select an episode for discussion in their university class, and write up their analysis in a reflective paper.

Going further

Digital tools for the language classroom

iTILT mini-guides to technology for language teachers

  • digital resources
  • digital tools
  • digital networks

12 tools plus 1: Basic tools for language education

Going open with LangOER: advice for using and sharing open educational resources

ViLTE project

Task-based language teaching

Musicuentos Black Box video series (YouTube) – a set of presentations explaining classroom implications of second language research

PPP or TBLT? (slideshare) – explaining the difference between presentation-practice-production (PPP) and task-based language teaching (TBLT)

Language educators in ELT

EFL Classroom 2.0 (D Deubelbeiss)

TESOL teaching and learning website (P Chappell)

Reading

1. Goals for language education

    • Kramsch, C. (2018). Is there still a place for culture in a multilingual FL education? Langscape Journal, 1. doi 10.18452/19039

A recent discussion of critical approaches to foreign language education tackling intercultural and symbolic competence and multilingual practices, including criticism of stereotypical attitudes to FL culture in textbooks. Read some extracts here.

    • Unsworth, S., Persson, L., Prins, T., & De Bot, K. 2014, An investigation of factors affecting early foreign language learning in the Netherlands. Applied Linguistics.

Research on young and very young learners of English in the Netherlands (summary)

    • Whyte, S. (2016). Who are the specialists? Teaching and learning specialised language in French educational contexts. Recherches et pratiques pédagogiques en langue de spécialité, 35(3) [link]

Modern foreign languages, second language research and languages for specific purposes: what are the intersections and what does this mean for language teaching and learning?

    • Whyte, S. (2014). Digital pencil sharpening: technology integration and language learning autonomy. EL.LE, 3(1): 31-53. Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia. [PDF]

This article discusses pedagogical goals in language education and gives suggestions for how teachers can create conditions for language acquisition to occur using classroom technologies.

2. Language teacher education

    • Bland, J. (Ed.). (2015). Teaching English to young learners: critical issues in language teaching with 3-12 year olds. London: Bloomsbury.

A collective volume on ELT with younger learners focusing on research and practice in key areas of language education.

    • Cutrim Schmid, E., & Whyte, S. (Eds.) (2014). Teaching languages with technology: communicative approaches to interactive whiteboard use. A resource book for teacher development. London: Bloomsbury.

This book offers a collection of classroom case studies showing how different language teachers integrated the interactive whiteboard into communicative approaches in a variety of contexts (ages, languages, proficiency levels).

    • Edwards, C., & Willis, J. R. (Eds.). (2005). Teachers exploring tasks in English language teaching. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

A collection of action/exploratory research projects conducted by graduate students in language education to address questions and problems arising in their own teaching contexts. A good source for replication for student-teachers new to classroom research.

    • Whyte, S. (2015). Implementing and Researching Technological Innovation in Language Teaching: The Case of Interactive Whiteboards for EFL in French Schools. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

A study of 9 French EFL teachers (4 primary, 2 lower secondary, 2 upper secondary, and 1 teacher educator) learning to integrate interactive technologies in their classrooms through an extended collaborative action research project. It seeks to explain differences in uptake of new pedagogical and technological affordances.

3. Task-based language teaching

Compare these two articles:

    • Anderson, J. (2016). ‘Why practice makes perfect sense: The past, present and future potential of the PPP paradigm in language teacher education’. ELTED, 19: 14-21.
    • Ellis, R. (2013). Task-based language teaching: Responding to the critics. University of Sydney Papers in TESOL, 8(1), 1-27.

See also

    • Erlam, R. (2015). ‘I’m still not sure what a task is’: Teachers designing language tasks. Language Teaching Research.
    • Erlam, R. (2013). Listing and comparing tasks in the language classroom: Examples of Willis and Willis’s (2007) taxonomy in practice. The New Zealand Language Teacher, 39,7-14.

Tools, tasks, and teachers in language education research

Links and references to some of my work on ESP and CALL teacher education.

English for specific purposes (ESP)

  • discourse domains (Whyte 1994)
  • task-based language teaching for ESP (Whyte 2013)
  • ESP didactics
    • Sarré & Whyte (2016), Whyte (2016)
    • Sarré & Whyte (2017) New developments (edited volume)
    • replication study (in preparation)
    • ESSE seminars Galway and Brno

Language education

  • interlanguage pragmatics (Siddiqa 2018)
  • open educational practices
    • sheltered contexts vs ‘in the wild’ (in preparation)
    • solitary thinkers (Whyte 2016)
    • bridging gaps (Whyte 2014)

Computer-assisted language learning (CALL)

  • integration of classroom technologies in communicative and task-based approaches to language teaching
  • young learners (Cutrim Schmid & Whyte)
  • open education repositories: www.itilt2.eu

Teacher education

Projects

 

References

Cutrim Schmid, E., & Whyte, S. (Eds.) (2014). Teaching languages with technology: communicative approaches to interactive whiteboard use. A resource book for teacher development. London: Bloomsbury. [link]

Sarré, C., & Whyte, S. (Eds). (2017). New developments in ESP teaching and learning research. Researchpublishing.net. 10.14705/rpnet.2017.cssw2017.9782490057016

Sarré, C., & Whyte, S. (2016). Research in ESP teaching and learning in French higher education: developing the construct of ESP didactics. ASp, 69, 113-164. [link]

Siddiqa, A. (2018). The Acquisition of Politeness by Young EFL Learners in France. An Exploratory Study of Interlanguage Pragmatic Development. Unpublished doctoral dissertation

Whyte, S. (2018). Using mobile technology in foreign languages: a telecollaborative task for primary classes. In Zubikova, O., Braicov, A., Pojar, D. (Eds). E-teaching: studii de caz. Chisinau: Tehnica-Info. http://teachme.ust.md

Whyte, S. (2016). From “solitary thinkers” to “social actors:” OER in multilingual CALL teacher education. Alsic, 19. [link]

Whyte, S. (2016). Who are the specialists? Teaching and learning specialised language in French educational contexts. Recherches et pratiques pédagogiques en langue de spécialité, 35(3) [link]

Whyte, S. (2015). Implementing and Researching Technological Innovation in Language Teaching: The Case of Interactive Whiteboards for EFL in French Schools. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. [link]

Whyte, S. (2014). Bridging gaps : Using social media to develop techno-pedagogical competences in pre-service language teacher education. Recherche et pratiques pédagogiques en langues de spécialité – Cahiers de l’APLIUT, 33(2):143-169.

Whyte, S. (2013). Teaching English for Specific Purposes: A task-based framework for French graduate courses. Asp 63 (9), 5-30. DOI : 10.4000/asp.3280

Whyte, S. (1995). Specialist knowledge and interlanguage development. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 17(02), 153-183.

 

Sustainability and open practices in teacher education: EuroCALL2018

EuroCALL 2018
Future-proof CALL: language learning as exploration and encounters
22-25 August 2018 Jyväskylä, Finland

Abstract

With the maturation of the open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) movement, the question of sustainability in teacher education is critical (COL, 2017). In CALL teacher education programmes, much effort is directed at helping new practitioners a) identify resources appropriate to their own teaching contexts, and b) design and implement activities appropriate to the techno-pedagogical affordances of the modern foreign language (MFL) classroom. The same is true of in-service workshops and teacher development projects, and in both cases, open practices may be encouraged to improve uptake and adoption of new practices (Zourou 2016). But what do we know of the effectiveness and durability of such training? Previous research highlights a number of challenges even in short-term initiatives, and Reinhardt (2016) suggests that “sustainability may depend on whether teachers perceive and practice agency in all the processes involved.”

Teachers arguably have greatest agency when making their own pedagogical choices as qualified professionals in their own classrooms. Thorne illustrates the advantages of exploring autonomous or “wild” language learning practices to exploit their potential for “rewilding” the language classroom (Little & Thorne 2017: 26). Similarly, practitioners who have completed formal teacher preparation programmes may be viewed as teachers “in the wild,” and investigating how their classroom practice evolves can help us evaluate our training programmes, as well as adapt to changes now occurring in schools. This approach is consonant with current “post-transmissive and post-directive approaches” in CALL teacher education, where educators are “influenced strongly by notions of independent and self-directed learning, and critical and reflective engagement” (Farr 2010: 621).

The present paper thus seeks to address issues of sustainable practice and teacher agency through an investigation of engagement with open CALL practices outside formal teacher preparation programmes. It focuses on previous participants in CALL courses and workshops conducted by the author over the past 5-8 years in both pre- and in-service contexts. Pre-service training was conducted in graduate courses for future secondary school MFL teachers at a French university. In-service teachers at primary, secondary, and tertiary level were involved in occasional workshops, webinars or longer teacher development projects on CALL integration and/or open educational resources and practices in several European countries.

The research questions concern these teachers’ current use of CALL and OEP, in particular

  1. What kinds of practices and resources do language teachers typically use?
  2. What factors seem to influence teacher adoption of specific practices?
  3. What challenges and opportunities do these language teachers identify?

Data are collected via questionnaires addressed to some 300 MFL practitioners, plus semi-structured interviews with selected respondents. The aim is to a) document the current practices of these teachers regarding CALL and OEP in their own teaching contexts, and b) interpret results with respect to background information on attitudes and institutional constraints. By uncovering practices and networks which develop in the absence of specific pressure or support for pedagogical change, the study examines the longer-term impact of professional development initiatives and draws lessons for future CALL teacher education.

Keywords

CALL teacher education, sustainability, open educational practices

Projects and programmes

  1. ITILT Interactive Technologies in Language Teaching
    28 month Lifelong Learning Project on language teaching with interactive whiteboards (2011-13)

    1. searchable repository of classroom video clips
    2. handbook for language teaching with the IWB
    3. selection of classroom clips linked to language teaching criteria
  2. ITILT 2 Interactive Teaching in Languages with Technology
    3 year project (2014-17)

    1. repository of language teaching tasks
    2. handbook on TBLT with technologies
    3. community of practice mini-guides on digital tools, resources, and networks
  3. Masters in Teaching English (University of Nice)
    1. Two-year programme
      1. M1: disciplinary courses (English studies – language and culture), classroom observation; national teaching entrance exams
      2. M2: teaching placements with tutors, teacher education courses; thesis
    2. types of research paper and popular topics
    3. classroom practice projects:
      1. peer filming project
      2. pragmatics
      3. telecollaboration
      4. YouTube You Teach
  4. In-service sessions on language teaching with technologies and open educational practices
    1. workshops and webinars
    2. research
      1. Whyte, S. (2016). From “solitary thinkers” to “social actors:” OER in multilingual CALL teacher education. Alsic, 19. [link]

      2. Whyte, S. (2014). Bridging gaps : Using social media to develop techno-pedagogical competences in pre-service language teacher education. Recherche et pratiques pédagogiques en langues de spécialité – Cahiers de l’APLIUT, 33(2):143-169.

References

  • Commonwealth of Learning (2017). Open Educational Resources: From Commitment to Action. Burnaby: COL.
  • Farr, F. (2010). How can corpora be used in teacher education. Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics, London and New York: Routledge, 620-632.
  • Little, D., & Thorne, S. L. (2017). From Learner Autonomy to Rewilding: A Discussion. In M. Cappellini, T. Lewis, and A. R. Mompean (Eds.), Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0 (pp. 12-35). Sheffield, UK: Equinox.
  • Reinhardt, J. (2016). Preparing teachers for open L2TL: Frameworks for critical awareness and transformation, Alsic, 19: 1. http://alsic.revues.org/2959
  • Whyte, S. (2016). From “solitary thinkers” to “social actors:” OER in multilingual CALL teacher education. Alsic, 19. [link]
  • Whyte, S. (2015). Implementing and Researching Technological Innovation in Language Teaching: The Case of Interactive Whiteboards for EFL in French Schools. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Whyte, S. (2014). Bridging gaps : Using social media to develop techno-pedagogical competences in pre-service language teacher education. Recherche et pratiques pédagogiques en langues de spécialité – Cahiers de l’APLIUT, 33(2):143-169.
  • Whyte, S., & Alexander, J. (2014). Implementing tasks with interactive technologies in classroom CALL: towards a developmental framework. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 40 (1), 1-26. PDF
  • Whyte, S., Beauchamp, G., & Alexander, J. (2014). Researching interactive whiteboard use from primary school to university settings across Europe: an analytical framework for foreign language teaching. University of Wales Journal of Education, 17, 30-52. [link]
  • Whyte, S., Beauchamp, G., & Hillier, E. (2012). Perceptions of the IWB for second language teaching and learning: the iTILT project. In L. Bradley & S. Thouësny (Eds.), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 320-6). © Research-publishing.net Dublin 2012. doi: 10.14705/rpnet.2012.000074
  • Whyte, S., Cutrim Schmid, E., & Beauchamp, G. (2014). Second language interaction with interactive technologies: the IWB in state school foreign language classrooms. AILA, Brisbane.
  • Whyte, S., Cutrim Schmid, E., van Hazebrouck, S., & Oberhofer, M. (2014). Open educational resources for CALL teacher education: the iTILT interactive whiteboard project. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 27 (2), 122-148 doi: 10.1080/09588221.2013.818558
  • Zourou, K. (2016). (Ed). Social dynamics in open educational language practice. Alsic, 19: 1.

 

An audio-visual corpus of technology-mediated classroom language teaching: two CALL OER projects

Teaching and Language Corpora (TaLC) Conference
University of Cambridge, 18-21 July 2018

An audio-visual corpus of technology-mediated classroom language teaching: creating an open repository for CALL teacher education

Abstract

Historically, corpora have often been developed with an eye on practical applications, and as Boulton and Tyne (2014: 301) remind us, “in many cases, these applications were pedagogical in nature.” Cheng (2010) detects a shift in recent years from teaching to learning, with more attention given to tools and training for teachers to support learner use of corpora via data-driven learning. This goal of encouraging greater learner autonomy is mirrored in teacher education in what Farr (2010a: 621) calls “a cocoon of post-transmissive and post-directive approaches” which favour “independent and self-directed learning, and critical and reflective engagement.” A useful tool for teacher education in this respect is offered by teaching corpora, which O’Keefe, McCarthy and Carter (2007: 220) view as a unique application of corpus linguistics, since they focus not on “what we can learn about language use from a corpus” but rather on “what corpora can tell us about our own teaching.”

O’Keeffe and colleagues have used transcriptions from audio-visual teaching corpora to raise language awareness (O’Keeffe & Farr, 2003; O’Keeffe & Walsh 2012) and to support pedagogical development among trainee teachers (Farr 2010a, 2010b), using both discourse analysis and conversation analysis frameworks. Research in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) research has also investigated teacher corpora, using multimodal corpora to explore the semiotic dimensions of online language teaching, such as multimodal interactions via webcam (Cohen & Guichon 2016; Guichon & Wigham 2016; Holt, Tellier & Guichon, 2015). To date, however, little research has considered video corpora in CALL teacher education.

Our research in this area is built on two funded European projects supporting language teacher integration of classroom technologies. A first project collected short video clips of actual classroom practice with interactive technologies in a range of target languages at different age/proficiency levels. These practice examples were tagged for a variety of language, pedagogical, and technological features to create a searchable open repository for teacher education (Whyte, Cutrim Schmid, van Hazebrouck Thompson & Oberhofer 2014). A follow-up project was designed to address techno-pedagogical concerns identified in the first corpus (Whyte 2015), this time adopting a specific pedagogical approach (task-based language teaching; TBLT), a wider range of technologies (mobile devices and videoconferencing), and longer videos showing edited teaching sequences.

This presentation analyses this second teaching corpus, ITILT 2, constituted by 117 video examples of learning activities prepared by 28 pre- and in-service teachers in 15 schools and universities in 5 European countries. The poster shows the background to the project and an overview of the teaching corpus created. The videos are analysed in comparison with the original corpus in terms of language, pedagogical, and technological features, as well as with respect to the new dimension (TBLT sequences). Secondary data on teachers and learner perspectives provides additional insight on this open learning project and the opportunities for teacher development afforded by this kind of teaching corpus.

Poster presentation

Background: ITILT 1 and ITILT 2, teacher education in classroom technologies

ITILT  2 data: fewer practice examples, languages, (more young beginners) in second project. 76 videos from 31 tasks by 23 teachers of 4 languages in 5 countries at 3 educational levels.

First project findings: the effect of IWB on interactivity, learner engagement in interaction, and task-oriented teaching was somewhat limited.

ITILT 2: there was more group work compared to teacher-fronted activities, technologies were used for learner action rather than L2 input, and activities focused on listening and speaking rather than grammar or culture. More communicative activities as opposed to drill and display were presented, though display was still common with young learners.

Task-based language teaching: practice examples show more TBLT criteria were met, and no increase with proficiency.

Discussion: new corpus suggests mobile technologies allowed greater interactivity, interactional engagement and task orientation across languages and educational levels. Practice examples included activities without technology and some gratuitous uses. IWB coding system adapted to mobile devices.

Previous work

ITILT open educational resources: http://www.itilt2.eu

References

Boulton, A., & Tyne, H. (2014). Corpus-based study of language and teacher education. The Routledge handbook of educational linguistics, 301-312.
Cheng, W. (2010). What can a corpus tell us about language teaching. The Routledge handbook of corpus linguistics, 319-332.
Cohen, C., & Guichon, N. (2016). Analysing multimodal resources in pedagogical online exchanges. Language-Learner Computer Interactions: Theory, methodology and CALL applications, 2, 187.
Farr, F. (2010a). How can corpora be used in teacher education. Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics, London and New York: Routledge, 620-632.
Farr, F. (2010b). The discourse of teaching practice feedback: A corpus-based investigation of spoken and written modes. Routledge.
Guichon, N., & Wigham, C. R. (2016). A semiotic perspective on webconferencing-supported language teaching. ReCALL, 28(1), 62-82.
Holt, B., Tellier, M., & Guichon, N. (2015). The use of teaching gestures in an online multimodal environment: the case of incomprehension sequences. In Gesture and Speech in Interaction 4th Edition.
ITILT, Interactive Teaching in Languages with Technology, http://itilt2.eu
O’Keeffe, A., & Farr, F. (2003). Using language corpora in initial teacher education: Pedagogic issues and practical applications. Tesol Quarterly, 37(3), 389-418.
O’Keeffe, A., McCarthy, M., & Carter, R. (2007). From corpus to classroom: Language use and language teaching. Cambridge University Press.
O’Keeffe, A., & Walsh, S. (2012). Applying corpus linguistics and conversation analysis in the investigation of small group teaching in higher education. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, 8(1), 159-181.
Whyte, S. (2015). Implementing and Researching Technological Innovation in Language Teaching: The Case of Interactive Whiteboards for EFL in French Schools. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan

Whyte, S., & Alexander, J. (2014). Implementing tasks with interactive technologies in classroom CALL: towards a developmental framework. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 40 (1), 1-26. PDF

Whyte, S., Beauchamp, G., & Alexander, J. (2014). Researching interactive whiteboard use from primary school to university settings across Europe: an analytical framework for foreign language teaching. University of Wales Journal of Education, 17, 30-52. [link]

Whyte, S., Cutrim Schmid, E., & Beauchamp, G. (2014). Second language interaction with interactive technologies: the IWB in state school foreign language classrooms. AILA, Brisbane.
Whyte, S., Cutrim Schmid, E., van Hazebrouck, S., & Oberhofer, M. (2014). Open educational resources for CALL teacher education: the iTILT interactive whiteboard project. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 27 (2), 122-148 doi: 10.1080/09588221.2013.818558

Topics

Teacher education and language corpora
Developing resources for language learning and teaching