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  • Writer's pictureTanya Cowie

Self-studies - Summary of topics in 2020

Since 2019 we have been running the Self-Studies Partnership with SIETAR BC and BCTEAL

SIETAR BC and BC TEAL “Self-Studies in Language Instruction and Pedagogy series through an Intercultural and Racially Aware Lens”. In these monthly sessions, instructors and administrators are invited to join conversations in teaching and learning. These conversations will involve a shared reading and discussion on teaching practices in EAL education. The facilitation of these sessions is peer led and has a different monthly focus in keeping with the mission and vision of SIETAR BC and BC TEAL.

Overview of events in 2020:

Like every other organization, we had to pivot from face-to-face to online events, but we were able to offer some awesome workshops and webinars this year.

On Sept 25, Camille McMillan Rambharat presented on “Bullying Hurts: Fighting Back”. She shared a story about the silent pain inflicted by bullies and the steps required to defend one’s dignity. She reminded us that this not a schoolyard issue. It is a lethal attack on the body and mind and, left alone, it can destroy a person. It is possible to fight back, without lifting a fist. She shared resources on how to do so.

On October 30 we took a moment to breathe at the “Mindfulness and Intercultural Communication” interactive workshop. We learned the basics of mindfulness, how it applies to intercultural communication, and co-created practical strategies. We also practiced a modified intercultural skill cycle adapted from John Kabat Zinn's Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program to acknowledge, understand and work with challenging intercultural situations. The session was hosted by Dr. Amea Wilbur, Ed.D, MBSR Certified, and Taslim Damji MA, ICP, RYT, MBSR Trainer, and Past President of SIETAR BC.

On November 27 , Anu Pala presented an interactive workshop on "Seeing Beyond Vision Loss: Setting Students and Teachers Up for Success.” She talked about the evolution of media and technology and how it has transformed the way we communicate, teach, learn, play, and connect to community. As a result, teachers have to work hard to develop creative content to keep their students engaged. Ensuring classrooms are inclusive to all students of varying abilities is paramount. Anu prompted reflection on the question: While the digital door is open, is it truly accessible to all students? Participants discussed • the myths and stereotypes linked to people living with vision loss • the challenges that students face in the physical and virtual classroom • some of the mobile apps that can help students • questions related to supporting students with vision loss

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