In November 2015, MATEFL had to postpone its November event due to CHOGM parking restrictions. The Seminar/Workshops was held on Saturday, 23 January 2016 at ACE English, Bay Street Complex, Paceville. It was a bumper turnout with almost 180 teachers attending. Our seminars normally attract around 120 teachers so with 60 more teachers than usual the workshops in the second sessions filled up quickly. Luckily, Alan Marsh had anticipated the probablity of this happening and was able to step in and give an extra workshop in the second session.
The workshops were as follow: First session - 9.30 - 11.00
Alan Marsh: Flying over my head or landing safely? Noticing, remembering and recalling lexis In this session we'll look at and explore some techniques for helping learners to 'notice' useful and important language items (particularly lexis), which they may otherwise completely miss. The techniques will also provide engaging ways and means of helping learners to remember and retrieve these items when they need them. Some techniques are innovative, others tried and tested: all will engage, challenge and motivate your learners.
Jean Theuma: Working with exams IELTS, FCE, CAE, BEC…A whole alphabet of acronyms to us, but to our students they are the gateways to the future. These exams mean better universities to go to, better jobs to find, and better opportunities for students to further themselves. This session gives practical information about the skills that exam students will need and how we can help them to achieve the best grades they possibly can.
Sigo Gatt: To IWB or not to IWB? We will analyse the possibility of enhancing some great old activities and other classroom ideas with the help of Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) and Other Technology Wizardry (IWBW & OTW). These activities include: Reading and Voting on each other’s Advert, Dictionary Skills Acquisition, Utilising Vocabulary Cards, Sentence Auction Activity and Class Correction Techniques. BYOD. Preferably participants have already touched an IWB.
Kevin Spiteri: Enjoying it ... but learning enough? Perception and reality for English language learners in Malta Regularly received feedback from students is that they are enjoying their classes and genuinely like their teachers, but they feel that they are not learning enough in terms of quantity or speed. The session will focus on both the theory and practical examples on how to address the issues listed above through up-scaling current lessons, reflection and gamification.
Second session - 11.30 - 13.15
Brian Hallas:Learning should Enable Greater Originality This hands-on workshop explores the anti-creativity of growing old with something we think we know so well, LEGO, and creates a poignant parallel with several aspects of the English teaching field. Why should either conformity or creativity have to each look the same and potentially instil fear upon an individual? The answers and our ingenuity lie within.
Jean Theuma: Song sung blue… From grammar examples to functional language to vocabulary to interesting topics – songs have them all! In this session, I will look at a large number of practical activities for using songs in the classroom. I will also look at online resources for lyrics, lesson plans, songs and more. So come to the session ready to hum along!
Joseph Mallia: A practical introduction to teaching via ‘Explicit Instruction’: creating the right balance between teachers and our non-Western learners ‘Explicit Instruction’ is an increasingly-popular teaching strategy around the world. It refers to teacher-led instruction where students are told what they will be learning and how, and what they have to do to show that they have succeeded in learning specified lesson objectives. We’ll see why it works, how to do it, and the learner-types who mostly benefit from it. Natasha Fabri: My top 10 “tech” tools Helping your students learn faster, increase their confidence and have fun while doing it! In this practical session, we will explore a variety of freely available online tools and discuss how to make the most of them both in class and out. These will include useful mobile apps as well as tools/resources to be used on IWBs.
Pam Borg: Game on, game on! Games are no longer seen as classroom 'filler' activities, but as important teaching tools which encourage enthusiasm for the essentially difficult and often frustrating task of learning English. We will look at some practical EFL Games and Quizzes: from how to revamp some golden oldies to where to find useful online games and what’s what in the latest EFL apps.
Alan Marsh: Plan B - some things to do when you have to teach and have no photocopies or technology - just a board. This was an extra unadvertised session that Alan had in his pocket in case the number of teachers attending was too high for the planned sessions to accommodate.