Saturday, 7 May 2011


I was talking to Martin Sketchley (@ELTExperiences on Twitter)(my fellow teacher on the MA in ELT course) and he said 'I looked at your blog and think you should write more about the course'. So time to take him up on his idea. (I am @Hibbitweet on Twitter)

This blog is called Life in Hanoi and Saigon and now I live in Brighton, on the south coast of England so I really should change the name. Name now changed :-)

I finished the portfolio for the diploma part of the course a few weeks ago and handed in the Easter essay which was on how to teach a reading lesson and seemed to go quite well. You never know though so I am looking forward to the marks for both.

So having put those two to bed we have all now started to think about dissertations. We have until September to do some research and write 15,000 words. I have chosen differentiated teaching as my topic. I chose the topic because on the diploma course we had some very able and confident students and quite a few able but more quiet students. This made me wonder whether all the students were getting equal shares in the teacher's time and energies and whether there was anything I could have done to improve everyone's learning experience by teaching in a more differentiated way. The following is where I am so far on my dissertation journey. It is not far I know but it is a start and I'm sure I will update it as I travel along the path.

Where I am on my dissertation path
Dissertation Topic: differentiated teaching

How to Research type books:

Wallace, M.J. (1998) Action research for language teachers. Cambridge CUP.
Wajnryb, R. (1992) Classroom observation tasks. Cambridge CUP.

A couple of quotes from #ELTchat Summary 23/02/2011
The consensus seemed to be that ‘all classes’ are mixed ability in some ways. Wilden S. (2011)
Teaching mixed ability in the first sense is just teaching, none of us are the same

Differentiation in the ESL class RREALS 2007
Source: Montérégie—Research and Development Project
Workshop leaders: Gwenn Gauthier and Rachel Lalonde

How I might go about it:

Observe classes looking for quiet/loud high/low level sts and see how the T copes with this.


Conduct interviews with Ts asking questions about how they deal with high/low level sts in the same class.

Conduct interviews with sts asking for opinions on the way best and worst teachers deal with it.


Questionnaires asking a wide range of Ts for opinions on how they cope with high/low level sts in the same class.
Questionnaires asking a wide range of sts for opinions on how Ts cope with high/low level sts in the same class.

Do please comment


smcolli said...

Hi how are you going with the transition to the UK, havin lived in NZ for the better part of a decade my wife and I have moved to the UK and are finding it hard to settle, any tips?

We are planning to spend three months in Vietnam towards the end of this year, mostly in Ho Chi Minh and Da Lat, as I want to learn Vietnamese.

Any suggestions regarding where to base our selves in HCM?



ManinVietnam said...

Sorry smcolli for missing your comment

I hope I can answer your questions (but realise you have probably moved on...

Am loving living back in UK. I got a bit bored with the communist government in Viet Nam and it imposing stuff like almost impossible visa rules and blocking facebook for no reason.

The best part of living in the UK has been doing my MA, but the government are doing their best to bugger up our universities, so no one will be able to afford MA courses soon. Keeping busy and gradually meeting people seems the best way. I know the English are not that outgoing and it isn't always easy to make friends here, so get a hobby that gets you out..

You will find it takes more than 3 months to learn Vietnamese, I'm afraid, even full time, unless you are an exceptional language learner. But learning the language is definitely the best way to go if you want to live in VN. Some of the expats, especially those in HCMC care more about how much alcohol they can get down their necks, but the Vietnamese make much better friends if you speak their language. I wish I had learned more...

When you first get to VN I would recommend renting a room in the backpacker area for a few weeks, get to know where you are going and then look on Craigslist for a room with expats or it is possible to stay with a Vietnamese family with no English, which would be a great way to learn, but very tough on you. But first you have to acclimatise, so like I said I would recommend Bui Vien street in District 1 in a small hotel.

Good luck, it is a tough challenge you have set yourself, but a rewarding one.

Hope you look aback at my blog and see this reply


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