1. MW SIG Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Saturday, November 24, 3:45 PM – 4:30 PM; Room 907
At this meeting, we elected the officers for 2018-2019.
2. MW SIG Forum Diversity and Inclusion in Teaching Materials
Saturday, November 24, 5:50 PM – 7:20 PM; Room 904
Diversity is becoming an increasingly important issue in today's society. It is therefore in our students' best interests for us to include a wider range of voices in our teaching materials. In this interactive forum hosted by the Materials Writers SIG, a panel of writers shared how they incorporate diverse voices and related topics into the teaching materials that they create. Both theoretical approaches and practical considerations were discussed.
Many students display genuine enthusiasm for learning to conduct entry-level research as classroom projects. In his talk, Marcus Grandon presented classroom examples of how such projects become learner-generated materials that impact the language-learning process and communicative skills. Learners demonstrate collaboration, excitement, and autonomy while learning about real research techniques and finally sharing their projects. These projects have also resulted in viral videos and authentic communication with the outside world.
"Diversity and inclusions" means teaching the students who are really there, not just those we wish were there. What about non-English majors in required courses? English Firsthand author Marc Helgesen shared resource links for warm-ups and tasks to connect English to the interests of ten different majors.
Students of all stripes tend to assign less importance to various comprehension, grammar and vocabulary exercises than to “real language” and tend to realise that classroom activities are exactly that, activities. By contrast, in Gregg McNabb’s experience, they do generally accept the authenticity and relevance of literature (see Lao, C. Y. & Krashen, S. 2000). With this in mind, Gregg has written short stories specifically for EFL learners, some of which deal with diversity and, to a lesser extent, inclusion. Gregg shared several of these stories with forum participants.
Creating EFL materials as a "writer for hire" can be extremely challenging due to lexical and grammatical limitations of beginner students. It can be even more challenging when the scenarios you write have been created by other people. Diane Nagatomo talked about the small subversive ways she has inserted notions of diversity and inclusion in dialogs for junior high school students as a way to challenge deeply rooted gender and cultural bias.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what are the images in ELT course books telling us about diversity and inclusion? While it is true that images have become more diverse, they are still not particularly inclusive. Cameron Romney talked about the kinds of images that are often found in ELT textbooks and the kinds that aren’t.
Frances Shinkai focused on how teachers can help learners recognize the range of human differences and respect the differences. Diversity may be in race, gender, age, sexual orientation, social class, physical ability and other differences. Inclusion opens up new opportunities for enrichment."