LITTLE IDEAS FOR GREAT CHANGES Little ideas from the 2014 International IATEFL Slovenia conference
SLOVENSKO DRUŠTVO UČITELJEV ANGLEŠKEGA JEZIKA IATEFL SLOVENIA June 2014
Teachers? Do we need them at all? We need teachers, if for no other reason, then at least for helping students direct their attention to the language. And this is far from easy to do, as we all know.
Jeremy Harmer advises to research deeper into what the students expect from the teacher and how a teacher can achieve this. + A point to remember is that we do need the teachers, we need them for different reasons: as mentors or as allies. He also says the role of a teacher is in targeting, pointing out..
But, do we still need teachers? Yes, OF COURSE!
What about the old(fashioned) teaching methods?
Drilling is not out of date, BUT! it has to be done meaningfully!
Photo taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/cayusa
We shouldn't dismiss ideas such as drilling, the use of mother tongue, teacher explanations, etc. because they are no longer in fashion (mentioned by Jeremy and Anthony) Some of these ideas were really good, or just need slight adaptation to current needs.
Jeremy Harmer says "Don't use (reading aloud) to provoke failure, use it as a life-enhancing activity!." Routine and creativity should go hand in hand. The first one will make students feel safe, the other one hopefully interested. One type of activity (like magic cards, for instance) can be used as a starting or closing activity for a period of time (one month, for example). Each time it is carried out by a different student. (Silva BratoĹž, Mojca Ĺ˝efran)
Mojca Ĺ˝efran also suggests to get your students' attention with creative introductory chants.
Drilling and repetition are OK if they are done in a meaningful way.
Telling it with a video?
Photo taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics by @sandymillin
Jamie Keddie presented his videotelling technique through the Love Story in Milk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRt4lEXkDJs ) and taight us the following expressions in the process: Left on the shelf, from strength to strength and LPOPs 4
Jamie Keddie's Video-telling technique says: dictate items for a narrative first to help learners visualize the story! FIRST create a story with the class and THEN show them the video! There is more to teaching than just watching a videoâ€Ś (from Jamie keddie's 'Videotelling')
Out of any story we can create a videotelling activity! Smartphones are teacher's next best friend :)
Teaching for life
Before you start using a website with your students (and a very good one to use is British Council's Learnenglishteens) please take the time with your students to go through the registration process. It will bring up a lot of interesting and valuable issues as well as a lot of good value vocabulary. Even selecting a password can be made into a valuable lesson. (from a workshop with Sandra Vida)
The development of art and language went hand in hand in the past - why shouldn't we include more art in our language teaching? (says Stefania Ballotto)
»How do I teach them what is appropriate content?«
"Is it safe for your gradmother?"
Photo taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics by @Raquel_EFl
When searching the internet or talking to you (or one another) or when giving ideas which film to see ... a teacher asks if it's safe for their grandmother. That means that it is appropriate for them to watch/say/do. (Edmund Dudley)
Points to remember….
Teenagers are distracted every 14 minutes and it takes 25 minutes to get them back on track.
Don't give your students writing tasks just for homework as if they were a waste of time. Practise writing in school too. (Edmund Dudley)
Exchange a few words with the student who lags behind the others and leaves the classroom last. He's seeking your attention. (Edmund Dudley)
(as heard from Jermey Harmer)
Practice does not make perfect. Deliberate practice makes perfect!
Don't be stuck in the ancient techniques of teaching English!
"Sustained silent reading (SSR) produces the most beautiful silences on Earth!" (Atsuko Takase)
Teachers should promote encouragement & enthusiasm in class. IF a teacher is not positive, he/she can't expect students to be like that!
"Some people talk while sleep. Some teachers talk whille teenagers feel like they want to fall asleep." (E. Dudley's talk)
ďƒ˜ Sometimes it is good to be reminded that students learn in different ways and what the different ways to present a topic to cover all learning styles are.
ďƒ˜ Please rememeber that 'Utterances repeated are also resignified' Jeremy Harmer said.
ďƒ˜ Teenagers find it more difficult to read facial expressions.
'Insanity = Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.' (unknown) - but said by Edmund Dudley.
Discipline? What is that!?!
Call a disruptive student to stay behind after class, but DON'T tell them off. Chat with them casually for 2 minutes instead. Repeat 10 times and they will becone less disruptive. Success guaranteed. It is called the 2x10 strategy (one student, 2 minutes, 10 consecutive lessons). By chatting with the same kid the teacher gives the "difficult" child more attention, which is essentially what they need and want. (advice by Edmund Dudley) This was supported by Jeremy Harmers quote of Sheryl Crow: " ...whatever you give your attention to (is) what thrives".
Photo taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics by Roseli Serra
He loves you, he'll marry you, he won't, he would if he could but he can't. (Beatrix Price)
Always be critical first towards yourself and try to see the bigger picture. Learning is often improvisation. That is why you have to learn to improvise. (Mojca Belak)
And above all: Never think that you have learned everything. When you do that, you will stop perfecting yourself. When you stop perfecting yourself, you will lose the will to teach. When you lose the will to teach, you will produce generations of passionless people.
Time for a bit of poetry Sit up Lean forward Ask questions Nod Track the speaker (by Edmund Dudley)
And some info…
I need to share this with you: we were doing the `oracle` activity at Mojca Belak`s workshop and Barbara Dvornik asked us if she`d finally visit England this summer. Our answer was: all-you-have-to-do-is-to-come-to-the-raffleparty-this-evening-and-your-name-will-be-drown! Guess what happened: she was the double lucky winner and got a 5 day trip to London + a Pilgrim`s course! Miracles do happen if you believe ;) Mojca: »wow, this gives a completely new dimension to my activity!«
But The most inspiration brought the poetry evening performed by Steve Bingham & Jeremy Harmer! :) Such an emotional and fulfilling night, thank you all!! :)
And according to 2 first-time attendees… (and what the rest of us knew all along…)
I attended the conference for the first time and I made a personal resolution: I'll come every year.
Topolšica is the place to be 2015, 2016, 2017 ...
Thank you to all who have contributed their notes fort his booklet: Silva Bratož Bernarda Kejžar Katja Marenk Marjorie Rosenberg Vesna Gros Sandra Vida Dragica Banjac Estera Deželak Luka Lavrin Danny Singh Mojca Saje Kušar Gita Šmid Suzana Klara Levstek Anja Marša Sanja Čonjagić Dubravka Lapčić Nina Jerončič and many more whi did not share their names when submitting their notes.