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Accelerating feedback in communicative language teaching/pal contexts using spreadsheets
Performance Assisted Learning (PAL) is a teaching method that can yield great benefits—such as personal growth—all the while accomplishing immediate syllabus objectives. PAL is inspired by approaches to learning such as communicative language teaching (CLT). Kindred to CLT, PAL activities sometimes ask learners to extend themselves (for their ultimate benefit) beyond their habitual comfort zones. Without due diligence though, such activities can be difficult to evaluate and document to everyone’s satisfaction—learners, teachers, and administrators… Spreadsheets can help remedy this quandary. Unfortunately, they are an under-employed (dare I say mystery?) resource for many classroom practioners. Basic spreadsheet usage is not difficult, and teachers can use them to facilitate and actualize a realm of CLT/PIE possibilities. This Show & Tell presentation will demonstrate spreadsheet use for (a) enabling latitudes of choice for learners, (b) guiding and mentoring learners in online or face to face conditions, and (c) rapidly conveying feedback to students about their efforts.
George MacLean is a professor at the University of the Ryukyus. He has taught at primary-junior high and university levels in Japan and in the International School system. His research interests include SLA and ICT implementation. He is active in the Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT) at a local and national level, and also serves on review boards for several conferences and journals.