Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes
The DIESOL podcast

Brent Warner
digital integration in English and the second or other language,

Ixchell Reyes
Episode 25 interview with Weina Li Chen.

Brent Warner
Welcome to DIESOL. This is episode number 25. And we are your hosts. I am Brent Warner.

Ixchell Reyes
And I’m Ixchell Reyes and I’m super excited about today, Brent.

Brent Warner
Oh, yeah. Why?

Ixchell Reyes
How are you? I’m in California today.

Brent Warner
You’re excited because you’re in California. Congrats.

Ixchell Reyes
Well, that’s number one. I am in California. So we’re on the same timezone. And it’s good to be back

Brent Warner
Been a while. Yeah. Are we planning to do a distance coffee at some point?

Ixchell Reyes
I hope so.

Brent Warner
I mean, I’m on pretty good lockdown. But I do see a few friends. But I don’t know. I don’t know how

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, you know, people are actually really good about social distancing here with the masks compared to back home. As far as I’ve, I’ve seen Yeah, but no, I’m actually happy to see that because, you know, the news always shows Orange County. So.

Brent Warner
So we’ll try and meet up for coffee before you leave in person. But why else are you excited? What else?

Ixchell Reyes
I’m excited because today we are interviewing Miss Weina Li Chen. And Weina, Can you say hello?

Weina Li Chen
Hi, everyone.

Ixchell Reyes
So yeah, so Weina, it’s really cool for me to have her on the show for us to have her on the show. Because when I was working at USC when I was teaching at USC, my first semester there, oh my gosh, this was in 2004 1313 12. Yo started in 12. You started in 2012. But I started in 2013 in January. So my first in my in my grammar class back then, she was a student in my class, and she was one of those people that you never forget. And you’re always cheering on because they’re just trying everything and not afraid to feel silly when the teacher makes you do seemingly silly,

Brent Warner
What kind of silly things did you make her do?

Ixchell Reyes
I think Well, I would say a lot of people had no cell phone policy at that time. And I’d be like, you know, those teachers that tell you to put away your cell phone I’m the opposite. I’m gonna say take out your cell phone right now.

Brent Warner
Wait a second. So we have we have a moment here. wayna do you can tell us what kind of teacher you shall is?

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, yeah, here we go. Story, time.

Weina Li Chen
That was not (unclear) at all. You know, all our students love our teacher you show at that time, like, yes, mobile phones. I really, you know, looking at our own apps or anything, we were really engaged in learning so thank you. You’re the teacher in spared us. I always remember you. Oh, that is so much for inviting me today.

Ixchell Reyes
Thank you. Those are kind of words. But you see, Brent, it’s just like, it’s a great thing to see one of your students go full circle. And I had no idea that way. No, was studying to be a teacher. No idea. And so when she was I think she ended up being a volunteer for CATESOL at USC. And it just like, you know, my heart just kind of like exploded. Like, this is awesome. So here she is. She’s now teaching at Pepperdine. So, I guess I should do a proper

Brent Warner
introduction.

Ixchell Reyes
So we know Li Chen is actually a third generation Korean descendant who was born and raised in China. She is now a visiting instructor of ma t Sol over at Pepperdine. She teaches the MIT seal candidates. She does courses in the MA ms in Educational Leadership Program and learning digital design and innovation. I believe it’s Educational Leadership suite. She has extensive experience and passion for multilingualism educational technology, hybrid and online learning and so

Brent Warner
Perfect fit. Love it.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. Okay.

Weina Li Chen
That’s why I’m here today.

Brent Warner
Awesome. So there’s a ton that ton of things going on here. And I think we can just kind of have an open conversation, right? Because there’s a lot to see. You know, wayna, you’re obviously kind of covering all the fields of the things that we like to talk about, which is great. And also you’ve come up as a, you know, as a language learner through Michelle’s class and through other classes like that, too. So you get an awesome perspective on all sides of it very, like well rounded. So I think we should jump into it. Let’s Let’s start. Let’s do it. Okay.

Weina Li Chen
Yeah, as you mentioned, you know, I am an English language learner, still a language language, English language learner, right? You’re nervous? I’m trying to, you know? So definitely You’re right, Brent, from an English language learners perspective, I’m always trying to see how this teaching approach will fit student’s needs, right? If I’m teaching a student who are not proficient in that language, what are they feeling right now? Are they anxious? Right? Do they need extra help? So in my teacher education field, I tried to teach all my teacher candidates, the same thing like try to see from students perspective, and see how you can create a space that is relaxing, and risk free for the students who try and just use their language more often, instead of teacher centered and test oriented.

Brent Warner
Can you talk a little bit about this risk free idea? Because that, to me, is a pretty big deal for for learning and being comfortable, but how do you help? How do you help students feel that what they’re doing is risk free as they’re, as they’re in classes. And as they know, they’re also in other ways getting grades and things like that?

Weina Li Chen
Mm hmm. Definitely. So I am very strong in gamification and game based learning. Because I believe when people are playing game, they are not thinking about to finish assignment or project in class. Rather than that, they are thinking how I can get a higher score, or how I can beat my student or my cohorts, or by teacher even. So definitely have a relaxing mindset, and then focusing on the task itself, rather than worrying about the results.

Brent Warner
So what kind of games are you playing there?

Weina Li Chen
Oh, there are so many games. So again, I was inspired by a shell because she used games a lot in her class when I was her students. So when we were in face to face, I use a lot of games already. And definitely right now, I try to see if those games can be played online, or if there’s any alternatives, right. So I can give some examples. For example, Quizlet, I tend to use Quizlet, for any language teaching, for example, I was teaching Chinese before. And they use Quizlet to give students as their homework to do. But for them, it’s a fun homework. So I’ve heard from a parent of a second grader, that he spent hours and hours try to get a higher score, because I told, you know, there’s a matching game for Quizlet. Right? So I told the students, let’s see, by the end of next week, if you can beat my score, so the student were very determined, and they want to try again, again, to to get a score. And but at the same time, they were not realizing they were reviewing the vocabularies again and again. So I love that idea. And I saw student were not struggling in the concept of learning but enjoying their time. This technology, so example. Yeah,

Ixchell Reyes
an important question, has any student ever beat your score or matched your score? Totally.

Weina Li Chen
So, as a teacher, we should intentionally don’t have our best to set. So I

Brent Warner
give them a chance somewhere in there.

Weina Li Chen
Yeah, I give them a very achievable score first, and then they kind of like refresh that score right away. And then they see other classmates, refresh their score, you know, they they beat their score. So there is a very good competition going on, when you are having this game mindset set up.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, and I like that you’re saying you’re giving them achievable goals. So you’re not giving them something impossible to beat, right? So that way, they’re able to, you know, in a scaffolded manner, they’re able to achieve more each time,

Brent Warner
I very much appreciate that, because I know if I like just my own personality and just doing it, I would straight up go for like the best score, I could get the first whatever you guys got to get like, I’m gonna get a 99% you’re gonna get have to get 100% or whatever. So But no, like, now, when you say that, it makes a lot of sense, though, because you’re like, Okay, hey, I’m gonna play this and I’m gonna play it like maybe I’ll answer my question a little bit more slowly. Or maybe I’ll like kind of pick an answer that seems kind of close to Ray and let them see that and then they can build up to that. But then so when you’re so this is with with Quizlet, right? And so then when can you go back, because I use quizzes now most of the time not Quizlet. But like, so I know that this, this beat the teacher thing is part of Quizlet which I should look at, but but with going up, then can you go back and readjust your score? Like play it again and try and beat your students so that then they they have to beat you again. Is that a possibility inside of there?

Weina Li Chen
Definitely. Yeah, you so you can always participate as a student, you can always participate as a teacher. And then when, when students see your name, right, ranked number one, and then they are ranked number two because of you. They were like, wait a minute. Okay, so now it’s my time to play again. And Mom, can you give me your phone again? Can I have for another hour? I need to

Brent Warner
look for another hour.

Okay, and then then one more thing, just kind of wondering here. So with that, they can also see the other classmates who are on there as well. Right. So they’re there. So this is also fascinating to me, because now they’re also less encouraged to cheat, so to speak, right to tell their their classmates the answers to the questions, because they want to be the highest on the board. Right? And so, so they wouldn’t be like, Hey, here’s the answers. Here’s the answers. They would be like, No, I’m not gonna tell you the answers. Because I want to be number one. I don’t want you to be number one, too, right?

Weina Li Chen
Yes, yeah. Oh, actually, I was using the matching game. I don’t know if you haven’t played before, on Quizlet. So each time the word will be shuffled. So not every student will get the same game? No, every time because you cannot really play the same game every time because you have a huge vocabulary database. And then probably there will be like, 10 words generated each time on the screen. So you match the English words, and maybe Chinese words or if you’re learning a different language, Spanish words and English words. Right? And they match the two words, that means the same together. Yeah. Avoid? Yeah. cheating. Yeah.

Ixchell Reyes
You know, when we were in face to face, we used to do the matching game. And you know, the the fastest, the fastest gorbel will or the faster you type in the answers, the higher chance you have to get that millisecond or whatever it is that that the timer has. And my students would want to do the whole class against me. But then they’re all paying attention, because we did it on a smart board. So Wayne, I wanted to shift over to maybe the way that you use technology to within the student population that you teach, especially since you’re teaching teacher candidates, how do you how do you What’s your approach, and helping them to see the importance of technology, and I know that you do a lot with building learning communities. And so I kind of wanted to ask you about that.

Weina Li Chen
Um, your, I guess, two questions here. Yeah. First of all, using technology, I will say I want the teachers to see the powerful a tool was powerful to the technology is right. But at the same time, I don’t want them to think power technology is everything. Because I don’t know if you heard tepeyac model technology called pedagogical content knowledge. So as a good teacher, especially in right now, the online TV field, we need to have all three elements technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge. So think about how can I use this technology as a affordance, you know, as a tool to support my pedagogy to support my teaching strategy, then then just think, Okay, this is a cool tool, I’m going to use it for my class, right, that would never work. So I always inspire them to look into the idea of using the simplest technology to support your learning. So I did actually give them a lot of technologies, you know, even like small ones like website, like random name picker, you know, those things, but I want to expose them as much as possible. And I told them, now, figure out a way that that it fits your passion, like fits your specialty, and think how can you turn these technology in your own teaching way? So I think that’s something that I’m focused into

Brent Warner
right now. I like that idea of what’s the simplest technology that you can do because again, speaking of my own kind of failures in certain areas is like I find something that’s cool, but it’s super complicated, and it’s like, okay, you you have to spend 30 or 45 minutes, just figuring out the basic Six of this. So, finale. So how do you kind of, you know, when you’re talking to pre service teachers or starting to try and talk to teachers and say, Hey, by the way, like, technology can really help, I’m assuming that you’re using these simple tools to like kind of baby, step them into starting with like some, you know, moving towards things that can that have bigger uses, but that might be too complicated. Where do you start when you’re talking about the, the truly basic,

Weina Li Chen
definitely, oh, I first, always model demonstrate how to use a tool. If possible, you know, if it’s two is enough, simple enough. And also a scaffold, for example, if I asked my students to use flipgrid, for the first time, I wouldn’t let them to jump into a presentation by using flipgrid. I will say, you know, in the next 60 seconds or 90 seconds, introduce yourself. So there. How did they, so they’re having a lower anxiety level in creating that video, but instead of that, they focus on how to use that tool first. And then when they master that first step, okay, you know, I can just click this red button, record my video. Okay, now what? So next, next assignment, you can give them actual guidance, like, for example, talk about this book review, and then wash two of your other classmates videos and respond to them. Right. So you’re increasing the tasks, but also give them a time to discover different features of the technology tools

Ixchell Reyes
that are so important, right? In order for students to feel comfortable, or, you know, people who are using teachers to feel comfortable with, with the technology that they’re going to be using. Is there a tool that you particularly found useful in introducing teachers to just different technology tools? Is there one that you

Weina Li Chen
you know, right now, my students are teaching online. I mean, my students who are great who are graduated last year, right now, they’re all teaching online. If they have a job, it’s so hard for them right now to find a full time job. But some of them came back to me, said, Professor Chen, I really appreciate a class because I’m using other tools you introduced in my zoom classes right now. So one thing they’re using, I know, it’s the we’ll decide calm, that’s a website that you can create a carnival view, you know, and then you can use that as a random name picker for your classroom. So you can type in all your students names, and then know, stir, steer the wheel. And then students have the visual stimulation, and they’re looking forward to have their name picked. And you can you also use it as a topic or a review. machine, I guess. You can, yeah, you can input all the vocabularies there, or grandma’s. And then while you’re steering the wheel, you choose a, you know, randomly chose a word. And then students will be able to like, for example, word of the day, choose that word to create a sentence right away. Right? So I haven’t had experienced teaching English language learners learners directly. But what I do is to ask my teacher candidates, after I demonstrate each view, each tool to brainstorm different strategies that they want to use in their own classrooms. So always give them time to reflect and brainstorm. And I think that’s the critical piece for us as educators to have the creativity and to look into each tooth and think, how can I use this differently? How can I use this creative? Yeah,

Brent Warner
yeah, I love that. That’s, that is great scaffolding, right? Because like them, just seeing that their name gets picked, right at the beginning, is they’re not involved with that, right? And then they just say, whatever it is, and then they start to see little things like the vocabulary coming up. And it’s like, oh, I have to use this vocabulary. I’m not I don’t know what it’s going to be ahead of time. It’s just going to be on the moment. And then that turns into things like questions and different opportunity, you know, like, and it shows the kind of the, the wide variety of places that you might go with a simple name picker, right? It’s because the name picker is not complicated.

Weina Li Chen
I know. Yeah. Have you heard the menti meter? I’ve seen,

Ixchell Reyes
too, and I don’t I don’t believe I’ve used it, but I’ve heard of it.

Weina Li Chen
Yeah, because that’s a new tool. I have been just trying Recently, and I love it. Yeah, it’s very similar to pull everywhere.

Ixchell Reyes
Ah,

Weina Li Chen
I use this as a warm up activity for my very first class this term. So I was very simple question. How are you feeling today? Right? And then, and they have three bars last night. I’m feeling good and feeling fantastic. Or I don’t know. Instead of just the worst, you can also include a gift gift. gif or GIF. gif, GIF.

Ixchell Reyes
gif? Yeah, you can’t go wrong with

Unknown Speaker
show me well.

Unknown Speaker
You tell us.

Weina Li Chen
Yeah. So you can include a GIF image in each column in our in each far. So in though I’m very fantastic. There was a kid like fencing with a birthday hat over there. So it just add another layer, you know, and more. The community building like you feel like students are having fun. And they’re not just responding to a simple like boring har you question. Same way, you’re introducing us. You’re introduced these teacher candidates and different tool.

Ixchell Reyes
And you know that that I really liked that too, because and nowadays that we’re not teaching face to face, it is so important to be checking in with our students. Right. And one of the questions that we were asked by our colleagues often and I’m sure it’s happened to you is, how do you build that community that you can’t, that you had, perhaps in a face to face classroom? How do you build that community of belonging? How do you do that? And I know you touched on that. And so tell us what you’ve learned or what you know, what you’ve applied.

Weina Li Chen
Community of belonging is super important. You know, actually, our university president Jim cash, he was talking about it just a few days ago. He wants to create this community of belonging for Pepperdine in general. And that inspired me of how can I build this community belonging for my students, especially in this time, to my online students. So what I encourage my students to do all the time, is to use social media, or any type of instant messaging tool to create their back channel. No. So even though when you’re not even meeting, during our zoom sessions, they still can talk to each other in their WeChat, or Facebook, or Google Chat. Now, it’s Google room, probably. Yeah. So this term, I found it especially challenging because they didn’t even the cream and meat in their orientation. So I started a group for them, because I have other emails. These are adult students, right? So I said, Okay, so this is where you go from, you can go from your Google meeting room. Now you can see everyone’s emails. And now you decide which two is more convenient for you, right? Because you give students more autonomy in deciding what they want to do with that. So as a student myself, you know, I’m in my fourth year of doctoral study, we use back channel since day one, I actually was the one who created that group. We were using the group to to just casual chats. You know, we asked for deadlines, we asked for clarification of the zoom meetings, we asked for zoom link, trust me all the time. Only for today, or 7pm is all the doctoral students do. So I definitely believe the back channel helps the community to continue learning, you know, formally formally and informally, in their own space.

Brent Warner
You know, what’s funny about that is, I was talking to my son the other day, and he’s a he’s a, you know, undergrad at Cal State Fullerton. And he was basically saying that in his classes, and this is all separate classes, but it’s pretty interesting. He said, Every class that he goes into someone pops in right on the first day and says, Hey, I’m making our there. It seems like everybody’s using discord, which is the gaming one, but like all the kids on there, they’re just like, Hey, here’s a discord chat for our class. Let’s, you know, come and come and join if you want to talk. And then he said, like, not all the students are doing it, but like, I was super impressed. One because everyone at the school is using the same platform. So I guess they’ve kind of, like, semi automatically built in a little culture of doing this and people start to recognize that’s what people use. And so they’re you, you know, at that school at Fullerton, that’s what they seem to be using. And I was like, Oh, that’s really interesting. And then also I love the way that you’re saying, hey, you built it for them, because they didn’t know about this thing. But now it’s also getting to the point where, you know, in some places students do no, and they do it by themselves. And there’s a part of that, to me, that’s also important because, at least in my case, you know, like, they might not want the teacher in on that conversation. And

Weina Li Chen
I forgot to tell you that I left after I feel that. That’s the most critical piece, I have to go!

Brent Warner
Goodbye my baby, now I have to set you free. But yeah, that’s kind of that same, that same point, which is, you know, now you want them to have their, their own place, right? The students can have their place where they feel safe, and they feel comfortable. And, you know, he said, like, they like their teachers, but sometimes they make little jokes and things like that, that they wouldn’t want to do. Whenever so. So yeah, it’s, it’s a really cool way, once students recognize that that’s a possibility, or that. And I think for me, a lot of times, language learners don’t really recognize or think about that as a possibility, you know, so they’re like, Oh, you know, like, everybody knows, like, all of my Chinese students, for example, they all have WeChat, right? And so you get, like, they’re all on WeChat, kind of together, and like talking to each other. But then I’ve got my, you know, my Persian students who don’t know that, or, you know, they might have Facebook or something, right. But then once you kind of say, hey, all of us get together, all of us, like, let’s get on one platform to share and to talk to each other, that can be really powerful for them and, and open up their thinking like, you know, extra culturally, too. So I really like where that can go.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, so that, yeah, I was gonna mention that you, you said that you like to give them a choice, you’d like to introduce them to something, and then you tell them, you guys figure out what’s best for you. And I see that often happening with my students, where, again, like Brent said, My Chinese students will be on WeChat. And they’re used to that, you know, forming their groups. But then you’ll have a few Arab speakers who have never heard of WeChat. And perhaps they’re, they’re using WhatsApp even more. And so they’ll they’ll kind of you know, we’ll start a group, they’ll talk to each other, and then together, they’ll, they’ll come to an agreement on what platform they’re going to use. And I’ve seen students who flip back and forth, and they said, Oh, I never heard about WeChat before. And I didn’t know it could do this or the opposite. I just realized that all my friends are on WhatsApp. And I didn’t know that. And so again, you’re expanding their their choices of tools that they can later you never know what what they’re going to need later, for whatever purpose I really like that you’re giving them that option to learn and introducing them to different tools.

Unknown Speaker
Yes, you’re exactly right. So my students were learning all different social media tools, right? And then they end up in a group of students end up created their own WeChat English classes, for their, you know, their first students. Of course, there are their families and their family friends in China. They were super proud. They were like, yeah, we can totally use social media in teaching, right? Because they learned about that, too. And they had a more creative mindset, like, how can I utilize and use the feature of the tool to teach?

Brent Warner
Yeah, so this is something we had talked about a little bit to, like, this creativity of using social media for the class, even if they won’t use it, right? Even if they’re saying, Hey, I’m not actually going I, you know, hey, if I’m teaching in whatever country, maybe I don’t have that tool available. So for example, in America, starting in a couple of days, possibly Chinese students will not have WeChat, right? We’ve seen this on the news. And so it’s like, now we need to think about like, some creativity and shifting around or how are we going to deal with this? I mean, it’s it’s its own set of problems. But I love what you we mentioned briefly in the pre show that you were talking about, even if you’re not going to use that thing. The creativity that goes into it can help you become a better, a more thoughtful teacher. Right? Can you share a little bit about what you what you mean by

Unknown Speaker
Yes, ah, it’s a habit fostering, I heal, right. So we are using tools that is available. Maybe they’re not attractive to the students at that moment. But we are using these tools to be a approach to foster the habit of being creative. And then for example, the Talk about how to use Facebook or Instagram to teach actually one of my students was presenting in teasle conference about how to use Instagram ESL, teaching, and was awesome. And during, in class time, they were brainstorming different ways. They were also like talking about how to use Pinterest in teaching English. So there are many ways. And then when they finished brainstorming, we had a, like, small presentation and still learn from each other. They were like, wow, you know, this is amazing. Like, I didn’t know, we can utilize Facebook, with their pooling function, this the video function, you know, and we can use WeChat, for example, for interview function. So, after the here, all the possibilities, they start to think if there’s something that I can do with a new tool that I will interact in the future. And I think as educators, it is critical for us to not just learn new tools, but have the the skill set of how to utilize that to eat our own way to special develop our specialty.

Brent Warner
Yeah, I think about that sometimes, too, because like,

I give you a hard time about about TikTok, but

Ixchell Reyes
I knew that was coming.

Brent Warner
But there’s but there’s something actually valuable to it, right? Because I like the idea that like, I want to go in, even if I’m not going to use this tool, I still kind of want to know a little bit about it, just so that I can think about like, how are people seeing the world a little bit right? or How are people understanding interaction through this process. And that, to me is valuable, even though I personally am not going to get a tick tock account. But But I shall keep saying that I have one because there’s a DIESOL account. But but the the idea behind it is interesting to me, like how are people communicating? And then you know, like, as just like, kind of passionate educators, we do the same thing. It’s like, Oh, I wonder how people could use that in the classroom. I wonder how people could use that in order to communicate ideas. So I was, I was watching a, you know, tick tock that was moved over to Twitter, which was this one recently about a firefighter was responding to this girl who had basically said, like, it’s all conspiracy. He’s all all the fires in California are conspiracy theories. And then he, he was in there watching her video, and then he’s responding as she’s taught as she’s her videos going, right. And I’m like, that’s a really cool way for people to show critical thinking on issues that they disagree with. Right. And so, and that’s something that’s built right into Tick Tock that’s not built into any other platforms that I’m aware of. And I’m like, I kind of get why that would be cool. So, so that was really interesting to me,

Weina Li Chen
you know, off social media, you know, including Tick tock, because they have authentic audience, you know, if it goes beyond the classroom, so when we give a our students a task, that they can post something or look for something on their social media, they feel it’s part of their society, it’s part of their life is not just inside the classroom doing for my assignment only. So you, for example, I ask students to write blogs on Google site. So instead of posting their blogs under assignment tab, in the course site, they do their blog, and make it available to the world. Yeah, and for them that’s more meaningful, and they definitely put more effort. They have photos, videos, you know, their vlogs, also on their website, so it definitely gives students different purpose in, in contributing.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, you know, it’s interesting. Go ahead. I was gonna mention that, because again, with teaching students and and having them published to an authentic audience can be quite a scary thing. Especially if you’re a Shire learner, or you’re just not you don’t want to put a lot of information out there. But I’ve observed students at the graduate level, who were very, very reticent to do it. But as soon as you say, well, you don’t have to put your picture of your face on there, you can put a picture of a drawing that you made, you can put a picture of a beautiful landscape from your country. And suddenly that boundary that they had set for themselves was removed, and now they’re being super creative on what they’re posting.

Weina Li Chen
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I have to go back to flipgrid because that’s what I, my expectation to this was, I told them, if you feel comfortable, you can videotape your face. If you’re not comfortable. You can do a PowerPoint show talk over the PowerPoint, or you can even use a stuffed animal. You know, I can do a voiceover. So different gives students, many flexibilities to be considerate of different student population. So yeah, that’s great. Great. Michelle.

Ixchell Reyes
So actually, Brent and I’m thinking, backtracking a little bit about Tick Tock. You mentioned, you guys are both mentioning having an audience and critical thinking. And I think one of the I’m not, I’m a tick tock consumer. Same as with Instagram, I don’t post a lot. I definitely don’t really post on tik tok. But I watch and I’m seeing different generations talking the kinds of conversations short conversations that they’re having, just like you’re saying, Brent, there’s a different response that goes on with critical thinking. It’s a way of showing your story. And you know, it is digital storytelling, it is telling part of your truth and and you’re doing it real time. And then you’re getting multiple responses, not just from one location, but all over the world. And I think that’s what’s fascinating to me. That you can, one of my colleagues recently told me she had a tic toc. And she’s she’s sort of like, she would be like, maybe my mom my mom’s age. And I was so surprised. But it again, it’s another way of communicating and having the those pieces there are important and understanding the audiences and the way that they’re communicating. And I think that warranted, tick tock episode one day.

Brent Warner
Yes, well, we can have a TikTok episode one day. If we have access in America to TikTok I mean, we have another big issue that just came up in the news would TikTok and WeChat are in trouble right now. Maybe, Maybe will not be available after this weekend. So

Ixchell Reyes
It’ll be available if you’ve downloaded. Download it now. You just won’t get the updates, but download it now. Brent, do have access?

Brent Warner
Uh, so let’s come back a little bit to the games, because I know that you said gamification and game based learning is something that you want to deal with with your students. And so how do you approach that? How do you choose games? How do you how do you get students going on? Getting started with everything?

Weina Li Chen
Mm hmm. Yeah. So first of all, as we talked about before, a needs to be simple, right? student will have an easier time to navigate through the platform, maybe a QR code or a simple link, they can send in the chat box, so student can get it right away. And I prefer the games that doesn’t need registration. So you can play and share, you know, simultaneously on your platform, you know, the other thing is, I consider how useful this game is to my course content. So for example, everyone right now use class dojo, a no cluster, everyone, right now use Kahoot. Right? become too overwhelming. And sometimes we need to think about what is the level of learning the game is testing. So for example, to me, if you know Bloom’s Taxonomy Kahoot is testing the lower level of learning, which is understanding, you’re translating the word you choose the correct word, right? Choose the correct answer, it’s multiple choice. And how can you choose a game or maybe a learning activity doesn’t have to be a game, you know, higher levels learning, for example, ask them to create to evaluate to analyze something, right. So when student create something or start to teach others about the knowledge, their knowledge retention is much stronger, they increased than just keep repeating the vocabulary or the meaning of the vocabularies.

Brent Warner
Right, right. So with Kahoot, I agree with you there too, because what happens is, there’s like, students at this point they’ve gotten every teacher knows Kahoot now and they’re like, Oh, it’s so easy to set up. And I do it right. And like, even if they’re not a techie teacher, they’ve got cool stuff going on. And then the students I saw, you know, within the last year or so, like students to start going, Okay, it’s another good time.

Ixchell Reyes
There is such a thing.

Brent Warner
Yeah. But so then I like this idea of what you’re saying is then that the next step could be okay, you’re bored of maybe playing a Kahoot. But what about if you create a Kahoot? Right, in keeping even in that same toolset, right? And then you could flip that into the next level, which is okay, not only that, are you creating a Kahoot but you now have to flipgrid me a video explaining why you made the alternative choices on your four choices for your Kahoot right. And so how Why are these choices uses ones that would be meaningful to someone who’s going to play the game in the future, right. And then they’re really thinking and explaining, because oh, because this is the word form, but it’s got the same base. But the but the, the suffix is different, and therefore it changes to the next thing, right? And so there’s a lot of different ways that you could go with that and keep building even with, even with something that might be first for a lot of students kind of like over done in this case. But what’s the next step?

Weina Li Chen
I feel like we are the same person because I asked students to create their own Kahoot as well. Actually more powerful that way, because when they are deciding for answers, right, when is the right answer? Three of them are the wrong answers. And they need to think the similar answers, right? So they’re thinking they’re reflecting, and they want to have hard questions for their cohorts, how it for their classmates, if you are using coupled to let them play, like team against teams, right, though, is definitely add another layer of learning if you ask them to do by themselves. Yeah. And teachers, we, you know, we will save some time, as well.

Ixchell Reyes
So wayna, I wanted to wrap up with a little bit about how much you involve your students in the social media environment. And by that I actually I mean, Twitter, and if there’s other stuff that you use, please mention it. I know that I’ll notice on Twitter, I’ll think like, Oh, we know, students are tweeting, that must mean, they just started a brand new course. And so I’m so excited, because, you know, you’re introducing them to this tool, this really powerful tool. So can you talk a little bit about that?

Weina Li Chen
Yes, of course. So, this might be different for English language, teaching. Because, you know, most to talk teachers when they teach kids English, they don’t necessarily use Twitter, for me to introduce Twitter to teacher candidates, is to help them to develop a natural work of English language teachers know, just like us, I always see showing brands Twitch, and I learned things from you. And I’m pretty sure other educators who are following you are feel the same way. So I do want them to know that teachers are should be lifelong learners, and they need to connect with each other in online space. And so you’re on track with the trend, you know, especially for people who are like us, we’re passionate about technology is changing everyday. And we definitely want to keep it up. And Twitter or Facebook, or Instagram. I’m not sure I’m having used Instagram before. I feel social media is a great place to start with. Yep.

Ixchell Reyes
That’s excellent. Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely agree. So I guess we’ll be seeing you on Twitter. And your students.

Brent Warner
Yeah, so we’re looking forward to seeing more from your students. I think we’re gonna wrap up. But before we do that, we’re gonna jump over to our fun fives.

Ixchell Reyes
It is time for our fun finds. And what? Oh, I thought you were interesting.

Brent Warner
All right, good. Yay, yay.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, by fun find this time is not makeup. It is a book because I am on vacation, actually. So I actually found the time to read for pleasure. And this is a serious book. It’s, it’s called White rage. And it’s by Carol Anderson. I think many of you may have heard it, especially with the reason

Brent Warner
Oh, yeah. But that’s not fun at all. It’s a great book. I didn’t have fun reading it, though.

Ixchell Reyes
No, the thing is like, the more I read, the more I become excited about the things that I again, I don’t want to excuse this, but I’m a language learner. So I was pulled out of the history classes to do a language learning during those courses. So sometimes I feel like I’m missing a chunk of things. And I’ve learned these as an adult later. So for me, this is like, Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I didn’t know this. This is so cool. Cool in the sense that it’s expanding my knowledge. And so I would recommend it whether or not you this history classes. But I just think

Brent Warner
I’ll point out as a white boy that was raised in a fairly white boy school. We were not taught all the stuff that was going on in that book. Like there were a lot of key things that were very much skipped over in our our education in the in the 80s and 90s. So So, I mean, yes, you’re right there. You know, we talk about some of these issues, but like the way that she digs into it in that book is like,

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, and it’s and if you’re looking for a book I know a lot of people are asking, I would like a book by a person of color. This is a place where you could start I’m, I’m, I’m just, you know, recommending it because I find it useful, and others might find it useful as well. But it is my fun find pleasure for my own personal growth.

Brent Warner
Yeah, no, absolutely. It’s, it’s outstanding. So now I feel a little guilty because my change is not. It’s totally different. Mine is a board game called gate fall, which I got on Kickstarter. It’s guided by this guy named jack Dyer. And he’s done like, a bunch of games that you’re probably familiar, like, super fight and some of these card games and things. But this is like a full on board game that it takes strategy and planning and you know, you’re you’re getting points and coins and things like that. It was like fairly complicated. But anyways, I played it last night out in the park. And for the I got a couple weeks ago, but I finally was able to play it last night with a friend. And it was like, two hours of just not talking about anything else. But just being focused in on the game, which I haven’t done for a long time, right? Like, it’s just just like being separated from the pandemic and being separated from, you know, school and screen and all of those things. And it’s just like, I was just playing this game for a few hours. And it was, it was fun. It was interesting. And it’s definitely a unique and interesting game that is, you know, put your brain to work a little bit. So gate fall, it’s worth checking out. If you are interested in a different kind of game

Ixchell Reyes
strategy games. It’s an excellent way to escape and also practice strategy. Absolutely.

Brent Warner
Cool. All right, wait, no, what do you got?

Weina Li Chen
I feel like a nerd in developed developing my skills in zoom. So I actually had so much fun, just found out the new feature in zoom, you know, you probably already know the zoom, you can share your PowerPoint and place yourself inside of the PowerPoint. Yeah,

Brent Warner
new feature. It’s great.

Weina Li Chen
I love it. So. So you know, one slide. I have like bullet points, right. So I was showing students Okay, agenda for the day, and I was moving my little hash. When I was talking each bullet points. I was moving my head on top of that. I thought around, it was very fun. And students were laughing about it. So sometimes teachers need to be a little silly. Yeah. And I have been investigating about those bitmoji classroom templates. So I embed that feature with the zoom background sharing. It was so much fun. I put myself in a window. off your bookshelf. You know, I can I can literally use my finger to point to the whiteboard in the bitmoji classroom.

Brent Warner
That’s right. Yeah. So So with this feature, you can you can move yourself around and you can you can pointed things. That’s it. That’s a very cool idea. Yeah, absolutely.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. I haven’t had a chance to do that. But I can’t wait.

Weina Li Chen
Yeah, if you haven’t tried it before. Definitely. You know, that’s so fun. And it’s very engaging for students to follow you along. Yeah,

Brent Warner
yeah. That’s in the in the share screen. And then the advanced.

Ixchell Reyes
Advanced tab. Yeah. Awesome.

Brent Warner
So thank you so much for listening to the show. You can win a one of a kind DIESOL pin by leaving us a review on Apple podcasts. Yeah. anywhere you like, I guess if we find it if we if we go out there and find it somewhere else. It doesn’t have to be on Apple, it can be anywhere, right?

Ixchell Reyes
Just tag us so that we know it’s there. Mm hmm.

Brent Warner
And for the show notes and other episodes, check out DIESOL.org or you can also listen at voice ed.ca. And of course you can find us on Twitter. Speaking of Twitter, you can find the show at @DIESOLpod and you can find me at @BrentGWarner.

Ixchell Reyes
You can find me, Ixchell, at @Ixy_Pixy that’s I x y underscore p i x y.And you can find Weina,

Weina Li Chen
Weina Li Chen w e i na l i ch e n. In Korean Thank You is Kamsa Hamnida, so Kamsa Hamnida for tuning into the DIESOL podcast

Weina Li Chen is a third-generation Korean descendent who was born and raised in China. She is a Visiting Instructor of the MA in TESOL program at Pepperdine University and teaches MA TESOL candidates, MS in Educational Leadership, and Learning Design and Innovation. She has extensive experience and passion for multilingualism, educational technology, hybrid, and online learning. Join our conversation on the importance of creating a risk-free environment for language learners and on the importance of supporting teacher candidates in creating habits to foster creativity and life-long learning.

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