What role does research play in my daily practice as an educator?

Education has been changing during the last two decades. When I was 25, I got my Ph.D. in education.


Image #2: Elementary classroom in Old Dental Building, The University of Iowa, 1919
IOWA DIGITAL LIBRARY / FLICKR

Image #3: Anglo American School of Moscow , Elementary Classroom, Elementary School, Anglo American School of Moscow 2017  
The Anglo American School of Moscow Facebook 

Back then, I had been working in a team of Russian educators on developing books for the teaching (a teacher book, a student book, a practice book) and assessing (assessment tasks and portfolio) to build and evaluate the communicative competence in World Language.

Image #1: English Assessment Tasks and Questions ,2002
Authors: V. Safonova, E. Grom, L. Kuzmina

The WL standards did not change tremendously but the approach of teaching and getting knowledge had been shifted from the only resource (books and teachers as being the only way to get information) to the multiple resources (learning through inquiring, asking questions, experimenting, finding answers by yourself, making mistakes, using internet and technology along the way).  

My First Step as a Researcher

I got the classical education, and I know how to write an article, research paper, or a speech. I have never learned how to write a blog. So, I searched!  

These are the main steps for beginner, I assume:

Step 1: Plan your blog post by choosing a topic, creating an outline, conducting research, and checking facts.

Step 2: Craft a headline that is both informative and will capture readers’ attention.

Step 3: Write your post, either writing a draft in a single session or gradually word on parts of it.

Step 4: Use images to enhance your post, improve its flow, add humor, and explain complex topics.

Step 5: Edit your blog post. Make sure to avoid repetition, read your post aloud to check its flow, have someone else read it and provide feedback, keep sentences and paragraphs short, don’t be a perfectionist, don’t be afraid to cut out text or adapt your writing last minute.

Do you have specific advice to add? Please help me!

My Second Step as a Researcher 

As a Russian language teacher, I have started to think about genres of participation in the Russian Network. When we are planning topics for our students, we try to imagine what language they might need for everyday life and what questions or problems they would like or need to discuss and solve. Lately, I found that some topics (in the restaurant/ cooking/ describing people and places) are not so interested in the students. Of course, it is the basics when you are learning a new language, but for more advanced students, it would be more beneficial to learn how to do research and how to interact (hanging out) in Network in Russian.

I am working in an English-speaking environment, and all my PLN is connected with it. I have learned a lot, but reading the resources for this week, I have started to think about searching or creating PLN for teachers who teach Russian as a foreign language. We are the WL teachers, and we are responsible for helping our students to process and understand messages online. So far I found FluentU and Learn Russian Online from Top 10 Russian Language Blogs

New Generation and New Media Forms

I am a teacher, and I like what I am doing. I am teaching Russian as a foreign language for the last 15 years, and I am trying to find something new and challenging for my students. 

Recently, I fond that to increase my students’ motivation, I need to start using new media forms.  

Did you have such a weird experience when your ten years old student explained what app is better to use for this particular task? 

I feel like a “sand particle in the ocean” of new media. New media forms are developing a new generation and allow youth to socialize and learn differently.  And it is challenging to choose what goes first: learning or socializing. They learn through transfer their knowledge and skills using new media forms, and they get responses immediately.

So my questions as a teacher and an educator: 

  • How can new media literacy be presented in a class?
  • At what age should we start to introduce new media forms in school?
  • How will teachers be part of the process of integration of new media literacy in the classroom?

My learning goals

Nowadays, technology has changed our everyday life; our students are using technology regularly, their brains got to use new information faster and in hasty. So, our role as educators to be part of this process.

During my learning in COETAIL, I would like to be a LEARNER and DESIGNER. As a Learner, I would like to “explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology” (ISTE Standards). As s Designer, I would like to focus on “designing authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active deep learning” (ISTE Standards) and make more personal and meaningful for the students.

 I will try different platforms to support students practicing their speaking skills and share their ideas, demonstrating their skills and knowledge differently, reflecting on their development. I am interested in pursuing the COETAIL & GET certificate. I think that the other WL teachers and IT integrators would be an excellent resource for me since I am at the beginning of the process.

“Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” Henry Ford


I am a life long learner. I believe that reading opens new horizons and help to solve everyday problems. I enjoy learning languages; that is why, during my summer vacations, I take language classes. It enriches with a new culture, allows meeting new people and feels more comfortable in a new place. Every year I go to conferences to meet colleagues from other international schools, discuss the same issues and try to find the solutions, share, and learn together. 

INTRODUCTION

My name is Ekaterina. I am from Russia. I am a Russian Language Teacher and World Language Coordinator at the Anglo-American School of Moscow. The link to my COETAIL blog is
kgrom.coetail.com
. I love learning, and I am very excited to have an opportunity to collaborate with teachers and educators around the world.