Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Virtual Round Table on Demand

A few months ago I was asked what famous author, teacher or professor I would want to have a learning conversation with in a virtual classroom. Without skipping a beat I said--Vicki Hollett, the author of Business Objectives, Business Opportunities and In at the Deep End as well as the Tech Talk series. The main reason and motivation for me to invite her is that I love her books, but would love to know whether there is more from her coming out. Anyway, yesterday was the learning conversation with Vicki Hollett and it totally exceeded my expectations. We had about six questions from various trainers located mostly here in Europe. The trainers were able to come 'on stage' and have a conversation with Vicki. This was Vicki's first time in this type of environment and she did a very good job. Here are the questions that she was asked:

Jeremy, a teacher in Poland asked:
I'd be very interested in "the Vicki Hollett story", particularly how you came to write BObjs and BOpps (my two all-time favourite Business English course books), and what you have been doing since then.

The best thing about BObjs and BOpps was (sorry to use past tense, but it's been a long time since I used them) the incredibly systematic and innovative grammar syllabus, which to my mind has never been matched in another BE coursebook that I know. But it took me about 2 years to discover it - there was next to nothing in the teacher's book or task rubrics to point out the 'hidden' purpose of most of the exercises. Was the grammar syllabus deliberately buried? Or did I just imagine the grammar syllabus?

Lindsay, an English teacher in Germany asked:
Where do you personally see the future of English teaching? Is the demand for English decreasing/increasing or stagnating? What sort of English will be necessary in 5- 10 years time?

Anne, an English teacher in France asked:
Vicki, do you intend in the future to adapt your material so that it can be used on an interactive whiteboard or in a virtual classroom? At present, I use International Business Objectives in a virtual environment, my student has a copy of your book at the same time, but I have to prepare my own Powerpoint slides or exercises to compliment your book, it would be great if ready-made exercises were available.

Karenne, a blogging expert :)and teacher in Germany asked:
You've recently entered the blogosphere! Would you like to tell us a bit more about the decision to become a blogger and a little about where you see the direction of it going.

Do you enjoy the process - what has been most difficult or most interesting?

Many bloggers are also blogging with their students - although usually with young children and teenagers - have you had any thoughts on how a blogger could incorporate teaching business English and blogging with students?

and finally I asked about any future books that could be coming out...

The entire learning conversation was recorded and will be on You Tube in the next few weeks. I'm personally looking forward to watching it again.

Do you have a person that you want to have a learning conversation with?

Go to the website and make a suggestion...
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