EDITORIAL Right after attending this yearâ€™s enlightening SPELT conference, I had to travel to the United States and was welcomed by the hurricane Sandy here in New York. While sitting amidst all the devastation left behind by the storm, without power or gas, I compiled this collection of thoughts and memories from the conference, thinking about the good times that we had. It was an experience that Iâ€™m sure everyone who attended will cherish throughout their lives. I am very lucky to have been a part of it all and here I proudly share with you some of the things that I and my fellow participants of the Bahria TechKnow have experienced during the conference. I hope you will get an idea about what the conference was all about. Annusha Salman
A teacher had a dream in which she saw one of her students 50 years from today. The student was angry and asked—”Why did I learn so much detail about the past and the administration of my country and so little about the world? Why was I not warned, why was I not better educated, why did my teachers not tell me about the problems and help me understand that I was a member of an interdependent human race?” With even greater anger the student shouted - You helped me extend my hands with incredible machines, my eyes with telescopes and microscopes, my ears with telephones, radios and sonars, my brain with computers but you did not help me extend my heart, love and concern for the human family. Teacher, you gave me half a loaf!
PROF. ZAKIA SARWAR Zakia Sarwar is well-known in Pakistan and internationally as one of the founders, and the leading light of SPELT, The Society of Pakistani English Language Teachers, and devotes much of her time to this association. As a teacher educator and researcher, her main field of interest has been developing innovative methodology and materials for large classes, which constitute a widespread challenge in Pakistani education.
PERSISTENCE By Calvin Coolidge “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
ABOUT SPELT THE SOCIETY OF PAKISTAN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS AND THE ANNUAL CONFERENCES The Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT) is a professional body committed to the training of teachers, to teach English effectively. Its mission is to provide a professional forum for members and practitioners teaching English as a Foreign or Second language, to facilitate effective communication and to improve the teaching standards of English in Pakistan. The members achieve their goals by conducting monthly academic sessions, publishing quarterly journals, facilitating teacher training workshops and organizing annual international conferences on vital themes in the English language niche. SPELT has existed as a professional forum for language educators since 1984. SPELT organizes professional development programmes, encourages teacher-research, collaborates with government agencies to develop textbooks, networks with sister organizations worldwide and actively promotes environmental, peace and human rights issues. One unique feature of the association is its â€˜travelling conferenceâ€™, which begins in Karachi and takes international speakers to Lahore and Islamabad by way of Multan and Abbottabad. This enables greater participation from teachers who would be unable to travel away from home for economic or cultural reasons.
REFLECTIONS ON THE RAINBOWS OF ELT Abbas Hussain, one of the founding members of SPELT, has the audience going mad for him. An enthusiastic and lively person, the people who attended his session loved his charismatic personality. While talking to him, he told us that it was not an easy task to nourish and take care of the SPELT baby when it was born. Bringing it to the 28th International SPELT conference is a huge thing. He liked the way people are getting awareness about SPELT and the followers are increasing every year. He wants youngsters to come forward to be in the SPELT team and to think out of the box for the future of ELT.. he finds much potential in the audience then in the previous years and has a firm belief that SPELT would be growing much bigger.
While talking to us about the 28th SPELT conference, the very energetic and enthusiastic member of the SPELT Family ,Ms Zakia Sarwar, told us that she is very delighted to have things going good this year. And the response this year has made her happy. According to her it was a great joy to see the teachers and students participating in ELT programs. But along with that she mentioned that they have done much, now it is the turn of the younger generation to come over and take charge of SPELT and things associated with it. Every year people do show interest in these activities, and they do come and participate but no one takes interest in making these things happen. Now she is looking forward to the growth of SPELT family and bringing on a bigger Platform in Karachi where ELT could be exercised.
Lubna Panjwani, the SPELT conference coordinator told us about how things started up at SPELT.. obviously its not an easy task to arrange a 3 day long international ELT conference .. so the challenges were there too this year. But the overwhelming response from the participants and the speakers have appreciated them enough to keep the good work going. She focused on youngsters to come forward and take charge of things as the time is changing and so do the things. She said she would love to have more and more people joining them on the platform of SPELT; People here in Karachi are very talented and they have potential and they are doing well.. Lubna Panjwani also acknowledged the good work done by Tech-know Team from Bahria college NORE-1, a great spirit of team work was portrayed and the way they covered the SPELT Karachi chapter, it was an incredible job.
THE FOREIGN PRESENTERS While talking to us, Judie Hudson revealed that she was worried about coming to Karachi, as back at home in Australia, everyone tried to stop her from travelling to Pakistan by telling her about the terrorist attacks . With a vague idea about where she had exactly landed , stepping out of the Plane , she was kind of scared. But a very warm welcome from the locals relaxed her. Discussing About SPELT, she said it was a great experience to be a part of it all. The feedback she got was terrific. Moreover she looks forward to conducting more sessions in Karachi as she finds much more potential in here and she forecasts a great future for ELT in Pakistan.
Nick Bilbrough, who had conducted a mind blowing session on the 3rd morning at SPELT Karachi Chapter, had a lot to say about his experience. He said it was overwhelming to have such an enthusiastic audience with everyone so keen to participate and the way they questioned about how to practically use the methodologies was evidence enough that Pakistani teachers know where they are going with this. This was the second time he had visited Pakistan but the first to Karachi and he appreciated the response the Karachiites showed. He is looking forward to a great future for ELT here and linguistics being taken serious on these kinds of platforms. With the 28th SPELT experience of his, he says that this SPELT family would take over things in the near future .
Thoughts on the Power of Moving Forward - Dr. Judy Findlay How did this international – cross-generational collaboration happen? I think it began as part of a conversation---a social interaction with a former student, now a teacher, Farzana Salman. I am her former professor; we are colleagues and we are also Facebook friends. We chat often, discussing our shared interest in teaching and learning. Who spoke first of SPELT? I’m not sure--but suddenly we were planning a joint presentation that would involve three generations of learners and teachers. Ever the Professor, I said we would include the pedagogical theory that underlies the new 21st Century skills---where do the ideas of active learning---participatory learning—experiential learning comes from? Where do tradition and the future come together and how do we guide students to embrace both continuity and change? Farzana is the practical one---she teaches teen-age boys and knows they already live in the future---but do they understand at a conscious level how they learn? Have they learned how to learn? Can they direct their own learning? The young men are Class 10 students, part of a generation that has grown up with technology, but have had few classroom ex-
periences using technology to learn content. In the beginning the students were frustrated, and I wrote to provide a context for their struggle: “I know this is hard work to create the e-magazine—and, I can tell when you become frustrated. But, stick with it!!!! One thing about learning that is hard to understand is this: We learn best when faced with difficult learning situations. When the material or task is complex—or confusing—or requires us to try and try again to discover a new way of doing or thinking—That is when true learning takes place. And, it helps to have a guide—And a mentor—you are so fortunate to have professor Farzana.” But, the hard work was worth the effort: Each person on the team made a contribution---Farzana with direct teaching of the English content, and the strategies for deep learning necessary to facilitate the multiple drafts of the e-magazine pages. She provided opportunities for hands- on practice of the concepts and application of the English curriculum. Finally, she encouraged creativity and innovation. The students used the knowledge gained in the classroom to experience new ways of learning and working. They created an emagazine, but they did much more as they made connections, created coalitions, communicated with each other and with me on the other side of the world. Produce something new with your students. If you take the risk to immerse yourself and your students in experiences both virtual and immediate, you will be rewarded with new knowledge and new points of view.
'CO-OPERATIVE LEARNING IN A LANGUAGE CLASSROOM' - MISS ZAINAB SHABBIR
Co-operative learning is a successful
which small groups, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. It is an approach to organize classroom activities for academic and social learning experiences. It has been described as â€˜structuring positive interdependenceâ€™. Students must work in groups to complete tasks collectively towards academic goals. Everyone succeeds when the group succeeds. Furthermore, the teacher's role changes from giving information to facilitating students' learning.
My workshop in the 28th International SPELT conference was an interesting sessions. Firstly, the topic has prominent importance in the current teaching methodologies and classrooms. Secondly, the presentation was given in a different way as no multimedia was used, indeed it was completely the manifestation of the technique itself then and there, group work activity integrating all language and cognitive skills in one class. The participants were extremely interactive and actively involved in the activities. I was glad to receive their highly positive feedback. I am heartily thankful to my (Mom) Mrs. Fizza Bano and my friends Mrs. Farzana Salman and Beenish Chaudhry for their endless support to make my workshop a success!
A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE FAHAD GHOURI SPELT is one of the best moments of my life. It was a great example of teamwork, collaboration and empowerment of the teachers in Pakistan. I loved the attendees who were eager to learn and to make education more influential. Moreover, presenting at the conference was a multi-dimensional task and it was a way to test your self potential and confidence. And the appreciation from the listeners truly made our day. In short SPELT was undoubtedly a unique experience.
TAIMUR TAHIR the spelt conference for me as a student was pretty helpful as it focused on character building and alot of other stuff like it induced the spirit of participation in me , it enhanced my presentation skills, communication skills and a whole lot of other skills too and being a part of this conference was a wonderful experience as it helped me in numerous ways :)
MUHAMMAD ZAIN AWAN 28th SPELT conference.... a great experience we all are cherishing now.. before being the part of this conference I was not sure would it be a happening experience or would be the same we get on every other conference & seminars going on within the city . But was wrong... It was a great experience when our team came up.. Tech know team.. where the teachers & students were teamed up to bring a new revolution and we brought it... we introduced technology in education spectrum and the response was overwhelming.. it was true collaboration & communication in educating forward and thats what the Tech-know team was doing.. teachers & students collaborated.. and they communicated different aspects of technology as how it can be used in classrooms .. so over all the experience was mind blowing..
- THE TECH-KNOW TEAM FAHAD TARIQ Being part of something so big was a great experience. It helped me learn a lot of new things and boosted my self confidence as I was able to present something unique and made entirely by me. And the effort paid off when everyone appreciated our work. Over all the whole experience was a unique one and I would surely like to be a part of such an activity again.
ANNUSHA SALMAN Being able to present at a SPELT annual conference is something that does not happen to a student. And this year me and a group of students got the chance to do it. “Teaching” teachers who are usually thought to teach young people like us, it was something unusual for everyone. Because teachers are people who are “supposed” to know more than the students. But in the 21st century, the trends have changed due to the ever growing world of technology. The response we got was overwhelming and gave us the confidence of a higher level.
SALIS SALMAN Being the youngest on the team, it was a unique opportunity to work with people who had more experience and to be treated like everyone else . It felt very good to be sharing my knowledge with others and getting acknowledged and recognized for my abilities.
AN ENRICHING EXPERIENCE: 28th SPELT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
28th SPELT International Conference was an enriching experience for me in many ways. Starting with Professor Judy's idea to collaborate and use technology as a teaching-learning resource, to having students on board with us and actually presenting with students in a teachers' conference, was all so exciting and overwhelming. Keeping aside all the frustrating moments of planning, arguing, explaining and convincing each other that it can be done, the final performance of our Tech-Know Team was amazing. They took the centre stage with confidence and style. Tayyab Ahmed demonstrated power point and the techniques involved in making a presentation, and Fahad Ghouri's awesome presentation on Prezi created great interest among the teachers to learn more about a zoom-in presentation. Annusha Salman compiled an E magazine and included her original art work. She amazed us all when we saw the pages of the magazine actually flipping on screen. Abdur Rehman and Salis Salman removed teachersâ€™ fears about knowing how to use the computer as a learning resource: Salis gave tutorials to teachers throughout the two mornings of the conference, answered questions, and raised the confidence levels of teachers and students; and Abdur Rehman created an entire website with teachers---a hugh task to accomplish. He emphasized the importance of connecting with their students, and how technology and a class website is both a social and learning resource. Fahad Tariq became a star among the teachers when he taught them how to start and run a blog on the internet.
During this long Journey Zain Awan, a multidimensional mentor for the Tech Know team was always there for them. Zain, a student of MBA, a blogger, a radio broadcaster, an event planner, and a motivational speaker, happened to be my former student.. Thank you Zain for your support !! The success story will remain incomplete if I do not mention Captain Sajid Mahmood TI(M) Principal Bahria College NORE 1 for his all out support and guidance. His kind and gracious gesture to host Professor Judy right after she landed in Karachi till her departure needs a special mention. And Finally, "Our Chief Project Officer" Dr. Judith Findlay, President One Sky International, an organization working in various parts of the world to empower teachers with skills of tomorrow. Professor Judy--- a force to reckon with--- is a beacon of inspiration which lit not only our lives but enlightened everyone during the conference. I consider myself very lucky that I got selected for a Fulbright Scholarship to George Washington University, USA. There I met Judy (that is how we call her), first she was my teacher and later on, we worked together as colleagues and friends. Now my youngest son calls her "Judy Daadi"! What a wonderful journey and yes we are a happy family of SATTP (South Asian Teachers Training Programme) In the end I would like to thank Zakia Aapa and Lubna Panjwani for their kind support and Asima Ali (editor SPELT Journal) for her gracious hospitality which made our association with SPELT more memorable. The E-mag of the conference is an independent effort of the students of Tech Know team of Bahria. They conceived it, they planned it and They presented it! I would like to extend my special commendation to my dear student Taimur Tahir for showing his excellence through extraordinary camera work. Way to go Bahria!! - FARZANA SALMAN ASST. PROF. BAHRIA NORE-1
COLLABORATION AND MOVING
A journal compiled by "The Tech-Know Team" of Bahria College NORE- 1 about the 28th Annual SPELT International Conference held in Karachi.