November 2012 seminar
This years end of season seminar/workshops was held on Saturday 10th November at IELS, Mattew Pulis Street, Sliema from 9.15am to 13.15pm.  It was very well attended by around 120 members including many new members.


FIRST SESSION
 
Alan Marsh: Switching on the Light: Catering for Learners’ Alternative Syllabus
Cousebook units and syllabus progression in ELT materials are largely based on data from second language acquisition research regarding the order in which learners acquire grammatical items, although, surprisingly, this is not always the case. However, experienced teachers know that what gets ‘taught’ doesn’t always get ‘learnt’, and that learners don’t move in lockstep. In both the private language school sector and, even more so, in secondary education, this often leads to a wide range of levels within the same class. In this session, Alan demonstrates some practical and stimulating classroom techniques and activities which help learners to notice, and have their awareness raised about, language they may not have acquired and which may otherwise simply pass them by.
 
Jean Theuma: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – the Art of Teaching Vocabulary 
For your students there is a world of difference between knowing what a word means and being able to use that word. In this session, I will look at strategies and practical activities for getting students to remember and actually use the vocabulary that you have taught them.
 
Rebecca Portelli: Using Literature in the Language Classroom
What are some of the reasons EFL teachers use literary texts in a language classroom?  Can authentic texts really be used with lower level language students?    In this session we examine these questions and look at how the language teacher as the “expert” reader in the classroom can model various sub-skills and lower anxiety levels associated with challenging texts. Activities in this session can be used with a range of levels and age levels, and include practical ways to encourage your students to talk about their reading using adapted versions of Literature Circles and ways of using short dramatic texts and poems with your class.
 
SECOND SESSION
 
Alan Marsh: Language Practice for the Heart, Mind and Spirit!
(repeat session from July 2012)
English Language Teaching materials often provide language practice exercises that are tedious and uninspiring. In this session Alan shares some of the practice activities he has used in order to engage learners both cognitively and emotionally with grammatical and lexical areas they are trying to master. The results have sometimes been surprising, and occasionally even inspirational.
 
Daniel Xerri: Jungle Path Teaching? Assessing the Value of Dogme ELT
Dogme ELT revolves around the idea that a successful lesson need not necessarily be materials-driven but can actually be based on the ‘raw materials’ provided by the people in the classroom. This workshop explores how this materials-light and learner-centred teaching approach has the potential to empower the teacher to capitalise on students’ contributions and help them engage with language in a meaningful manner. Dogme allows the teacher to capitalise on students’ own lives and experiences while adopting a focus on form approach to the teaching of language. In this workshop participants will be invited to try out a number of Dogme activities and to consider how such activities could play a role in enhancing students’ learning experience.
 
Jean Theuma: Cartoons, Comics and Film – Communicating via Visuals
With popular films such as The Avengers and The Amazing Spiderman, cartoons and comics are no longer considered just for kids. This genre is adored by children, teens and adults alike and anything that our students love will motivate them to pay more attention in class. In this session, we will look at lesson plans and activities based on this genre that work even if you are not a comic fan yourself.
 
Pia Zammit: Zen and the Art of Voice Maintenance
As teachers, our most valuable asset is our voice. And yet, we tend to take this wonderful instrument for granted and abuse, misuse and misdirect it. This workshop aims to help you keep your voice in tip-top shape, and also to further your vocal skills. Learn how to command respect, make your lessons more dynamic and how to calm down that class of rowdy teenagers who. Just. Won’t. Shut. Up.