In 2008 we once again joined forces with Macmillan Publishers and Audio Visual Ltd to bring over a 'foreign' speaker: Jon Hird. The seminar was held on Saturday 6th December 2008 at IELS Sliema. Around 90 members attended the workshops which were definitely food for thought and aired some interesting ways of approaching grammar and using texts in class. Jon Hird has been a teacher and teacher trainer for over twelve years and during this time he has taught in France, India and Vietnam. He is particularly involved with Inside Out, having contributed to the Student Books, co-authored the Intermediate and Advanced Teacher Books and also written for the Resource Packs. Jon is a co-author of Move Upper-Intermediate and Advanced and has also co-authored resource books for ELT in Spanish secondary schools. He is currently involved in several other ELT writing projects.
Here is a summary of the two workshops
Part 1 - Words have grammar “As the most frequent 200 words make up approximately 50% of the English language, these words must also therefore make up approximately 50% of all grammar.” This practical session looks at how we can explore and teach the grammar of words. We will also consider how some words and grammar forms operate in the real world compared with how they are traditionally presented in many ELT materials.
Part 2 - Colours, cronies and cohesion – making it meaningful in the classroom “The truth of the matter is that 99% of teaching is making the student feel interested in the material. The other 1% has to do with your methods.” “In the absence of interesting texts, very little is possible.” “Students learn more effectively … when their feelings, opinions, experiences and knowledge are valued and crucial to the success of the activities.” This practical session explores these ideas, among others, and looks at text exploitation and classroom activities grounded in this thinking.