Two days ago, I finally submitted my MAPDLE core module assignments.
It was the most challenging course I’ve ever done.
Thank you NILE!
Huge thanks to my tutors Kate Gregson, Mary Carney, Carole Robinson for their feedback and support. Also, many thanks to Alison Lake who confirmed receipt of my assignmnents and that everything looked right, on a Saturday, even though she was not working. How very thoughtful!
I wrote three assignments, a total of about 160 pages and 11,000 words in basically 4 months, because:
- May was all about preparing for, attending and recovering from IATEFL Belfast!
- June was all about suffering the consequences of falling for an online scam.
- I was working and I also moved house during this period! Fun!
The one I enjoyed the most was
Views of teaching: 34 pages, 3265 words
I wrote about the types of activities I use, the way I give feedback on spoken error and then reflected on why I do what I do- which approaches have influenced me. This was my favourite topic. Many thanks to Pericles (pseudonym) for his help!
The other two were:
Views of language: 57 pages, 3298 words.
This one was about designing a set of materials, teaching the lesson and discussing the learning that happened, as well as critically evaluating the set of materials. I adapted a lesson from Voices Intermediate (Chong and Lansford, 2021). The language goals were reviewing the past continous and past perfect, and introducing would for past habits/nostalgia. Thank you Nikolaos (pseudonym) for your patience and help!
Finally the Views of Learning assignment. 66 pages, 4335 words
This was about finding a learner, conducting a Needs Analysis, designing and teaching lessons and discussing the learning that happened. Oh and I forgot the best part. Discussing cognitive, linguistic and affective needs in detail. This was quite challenging for me, as I worked with a participant who expected a very teacher-centred approach. She was a lovely student, though. Thank you very much for your positive energy, Chryssa (pseudonym)!
There is a new research ethics procedure in place which was a little time consuming, at least for me. And of course, I was lucky enouch to have to deal with it x3, as all 3 assignments involved data collection. Here is what the procedure is about:
- The first thing you have to do is complete the module assignment ethics form and get it signed and approved by your tutor.
- Students and any observers are considered participants.
- Participants need to receive a participant information sheet, where you inform them about the study. Don’t write their names. Just yours and your email/phone number. Keep a copy of that.
- Participants need to sign a consent form and send it back to you.
- You need to send debriefing emails / or do oral debriefing in class at some point after data collection.
- You need to include a blank template of the consent form, the completed participant sheet and debriefing email/letter in the appendices. I also added the signed module ethics form. Better safe than sorry!
- Keep scanned/digital copies of every single document!
- Provide a brief explanation of how you addressed research ethics, as part of your introduction section in all three assignments.
Please check all the above with your tutors though.
More tips for those taking this module.
- Use the line numbering tool in word for your lesson transcripts. You probably already knew that- I didn’t !
- In Views of learning, you first need to discuss all the different learning needs: cognitive, linguistic and affective. This is important and it should be about 1/4 of the assignment. I skipped this at first and went straight to Needs Analysis, so don’t make the same mistake I did!
- The Views of Language assignment will require some knowledge of developing materials and teachers’ notes. The most important parts are analysing the target language and then reflecting on the learning/evaluating the materials. My tip is, don’t include too many exercises in your materials, as you will have to describe them and their purposes in the body of the assignment. This assignment is not so much about teaching approaches, so conserve your wordage for the post lesson reflection on the materials’ strengths / weaknesses and adaptations sections as much as possible.
Nikolaos and Pericles
The pseudonyms I gave my two male students were Nikolaos and Pericles, in memory of my dear father and grandfather who are not with us today, but were with me in spirit while writing these assignments.