The pre-season seminar/workshop was held on Saturday 24th June at Ace English and was attended by 140 members who thoroughly enjoyed the morning event and went away with some useful ideas.
The workshops were as follows:
First Session – 9.30 – 11.00
Alan Marsh: Tricks withTexts: In this practical session, Alan will share some ideas for exploiting reading texts in ways that are interesting, creative and even fun! Some are old, some are new, many are borrowed but nothing is blue.
Jean Theuma: Digital age teaching What does ‘using technology’ actually mean? What apps can help a teacher be more productive? What web sites can make classes more memorable and motivating? In this age of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), this session is aimed at teachers who do not want their students to put their phones or laptops away for the class. By the way, please BYOD for this session.
Kevin Spiteri: Lost in Translation: A Lighter Look into Language and Cultural Differences The workshop will focus on examples of conflict with regard to different customs and languages throughout the world. The presentation will address 4 areas: customs, body language, written and spoken translation. The main aim is to create awareness of the differences that are found from one culture to another so as to communicate more effectively, efficiently and appropriately and also to be more tolerant and understanding towards other cultures.
Theo Navarro:Product vs. Process Approaches: Should we focus on the destination or the journey? Writing is something that a lot of teachers just simply do not like doing in class. Between perceptions that students do not like it, the time spent correcting, and the fact that it can just be plain boring, it is hard to convince yourself to include it into your weekly plan. There is, however, more than one way to skin a cat. This session will explore different ways in which we can tackle writing in class that make it easier for both the teacher and the learners.
Matt Done: Backwards Planning: Putting Communication First Course books are a great resource, but an occasional drawback is that some of the communicative tasks may seem a little contrived. A possible solution is to plan our own lessons, first by choosing a genuine communicative task for the end of the lesson and then working backwards from there. In this session, we will explore this idea more deeply and see how it can help our students achieve real communicative goals.
Second Session – 11.30 – 13.15
Alan Marsh: Telling Tales Stories and jokes provide a springboard for topic-based lessons, language skills practice and language input in engaging and challenging ways. We’ll be looking at some techniques that you can use with your own classes in this practical workshop- and we might have a laugh or two as well!
Justyna Rogers:Writing and Achieving Lesson Aims The workshop was designed with inexperienced teachers in mind. While doing Lesson Observations, some of them struggle to write/formulate lesson aims correctly. Very often, the aims they write are too wide or too vague, which makes them impossible to achieve. In this workshop, I would like to explain that ‘SMART’ lesson aims can improve the quality of lessons and will help students benefit from the lessons more.
Ian Scerri and Theo Navarro: Off the Beaten Track: Innovating in Conversation Classes Conversation-classes are a lot of fun to teach… for a while. Many teachers find themselves running out of new topics and ideas when they have the same class for more than six or seven weeks. This session aims to equip teachers with some new and innovative tricks to keep things interesting and fresh during such lessons.
Pam Borg: Introducing Augmented Reality into the EFL Classroom Science fiction no more! Together we will be answering the - What? Where? Who? Which? When? and How? of Augmented Reality in the EFL classroom. Mobile devices help teachers and learners access educational resources when needed. To increase the reality of virtual learning environments on mobile devices, Augmented Reality (AR) technology has been adopted with the help of high-speed cellular networks and high performance graphical and micro processing capabilities of the latest smartphones. You may BYOD.
Rebecca Portelli: Exploring the Reading Process using Literature This session examines the sub-skills of reading in a workshop-style presentation with two aims: to examine Literature and its place in the language classroom and to explore Reading as a process. Literature is a flexible tool for any language teacher, and this session emphasizes the usefulness of various text types within the EFL/ESL Classroom in terms of being brief, appropriate, contemporary and relevant.