Having fun! Boosting non-native speakers’ confidence through collaborative group work

It is a particular pleasure to have been invited to review chapter 2 of this book on teaching innovations. My own journey into being an academic developer began as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and teacher educator of non-native speakers of English, so the aspects this chapter includes really struck a chord with me. This chapter will be of particular interest to academics who want to use interactive teaching techniques to create more active learning for their students. Continue reading

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A novel teaching strategy to enhance student’s participation: using cut-ups and topic maps to teach Media courses

A newly published study by Michał Tkaczyk from Masaryk University discusses the results of an innovative teaching strategy which addresses the problem of low levels of student participation in semiotic analysis of media contents seminars. Although active classroom participation plays an important role in knowledge acquisition (Murray and Lang 1997), students might lack the motivation or interest to engage in practical sessions. As emphasized by Tkaczyk, several factors might explain this issue. These include students’ academic dispositions, their lack of understanding of semiotics’ practical applications, and the possibility that interest and knowledge are not closely related, despite the claims in the scholarship. Continue reading