I’m not alone

May 10, 2011

The word ‘dissertation’ has been on my mind for most of this year, however I never really comprehended the stresses that it would entail.  Initially I wanted to focus on exploring the  potential for using video in the esl classroom as a strong pedagogic tool used to foster critical literacy skills.  I was really excited and decided to contact the practitioners who have continued to inspire me throughout my teaching career.  Both Jamie Keddie and Kieran Donaghy continually provide me with creative ideas for using video in the classroom and stimulate me to become more innovative with my activities.  I contacted them both by e.mail and they replied with very helpful advice and were more than willing to correspond and assist me throughout the dissertation process.  Although they were both due to present at the marvellous IATEFL conference they still found the time to respond to my mail and it made me more enthusiastic to pursue the topic further.  Kieran provided me with some excellent resources and some encouraging advice.  He kindly said that the

“idea of doing your dissertation is a great one. There’s loads of scope, and it’s relatively undeveloped theme. In my opinion, visual literacy and cineliteracy will grow enormously in importance in the next few years, and it’s a very interesting area to be involved in.”

I continued to search for more literature and found some presentation notes to Jane Sherman s IATEFL 2010 lecture titled, ‘Where is video now‘.  They were exactly what I had been searching for and  after a google search I found out that Jane had also written a book titled  “Using authentic video in the language classroom.’  I was ecstatic and attempted to contact Jane to ask her for some advice.  She was quick to reply with a very kind e.mail and gave me an article which she had written, including a reference list which would be the perfect start for my literature review.  Jane was extremely kind and stated that it was:

“So nice to hear from someone who’s into video – it’s really due for a comeback.  It’s amazing that everyone approves of it but it’s really underused – at least that’s my experience”

After such overwhelming kindness you would think I would be crazy to not pursue my initial topic.  After such a warming response I decided to send an e.mail to all the language schools in Edinburgh asking for permission to carry out research however there were no reply’s.  Furthermore, I was still undecided as to whether I should concentrate on the teachers views or the students and how I would actually collect data.   I decided that my topic was not focused enough and I was discouraged by the lack of response from the language schools.  I suppose I should have been more pushy but my topic started to change due to another passion which I will talk about in my next post.  I will never forget how kind Jamie, Keiran and Jane were and I hope that maybe I can pursue this topic further another day.

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