Session Reports by Nahla Schowahne

Literature Counselor, Ministry of Education, Israel/ High School English Teacher /Lecturer.

My name is Nahla and I am a High School English teacher and Lecturer in Israel. I work as a Literature Counselor for High School English teachers and I teach a Literature course which is a professional development course. I finished my M.A. degree in English Literature and B.A. degree in English and Hebrew Literature in Haifa University, Israel. I am quite interested in the use of technology in the classroom and have participated in the first Google Academy for Teachers in Israel.

I decided to participate in the British Council TeachingEnglish Blogathon 2012 and I am happy to say that I won the Gold Award- a trip to the 46th Annual IATEFL Conference in Glasgow and I will be blogging from the conference. I am looking forward to the IATEFL conference and believe it will be a great experience.

Mark Osborne and Graham Shipman presented their project which is called WordReady. The program is intended to enhance vocabulary usage through practice in the program. Te program informs the users of their progress from words that they are learning to what they will be learning in the future.

    The users can copy any text, paste it into the program and starts the vocabulary learning process. When clicking on a single words, questions begins to appear starting from the part of speech, definition in the context, multiple choice, and fill in the gaps questions.

Leo Selivan began the workshop with a great activity of matching. The workshop deals with lexis which refers to collocations, lexical chunks, and formulaic language. The workshop consists of three cycles which are great for teaching students how to use and understand collocations.

Cycle 1:
a- Match two pairs of collocations: give the students a change to walk around the classroom to match two pairs of collocations.

I have been dreaming of attending one of the sessions by Jeremy Harmer and it actually happened today. In his session, Jeremy Harmer discussed six important and thought provoking topics which teachers must deal with.

Are you trying to motivate your students to read books? Ian Rogers, in his session, explains some methods he uses to do that.

a) Reading circles: the students read a story and are each designated a specific task. They meet once a week through the term to talk about their tasks. The student roles rotate each week and include:
- Discussion coordinator
- real life connector
-vocabulary finder
- language structure master
-blog critic
-media reviewer
-passage presenter.

Twelve presenters races through their presentations while trying to give an image of what their topic is all about. This was no ordinary session since the audience had a role in this too. When the presenters finished, the audience was invited to walk around the gallery and ask them questions.

A wiki is a website which anyone can log into and edit to add or change information. The British Council, Madrid, used a wiki to write about the 2010 September Conference. They added directions, presentations, handouts, conference downloadable timetables, webcasts and chat options using social networks. 

In her session about supporting the teacher as innovative learning designer, Laurillard begings by stating that the reason we look for teachnology is for learning through discussion, practice and collaboration. She states that in order for a learning process to take place, the teacher begins with presenting and the students internalizing, but in order for the learner to learn, something must be demanded from them.

Do you use movies in your class? Do you add worksheets and activities? Khulood Al Balooshi can give an answer to these questions. She started a movie bank to help her students learn English. She began by searching for suitable movies and designing tasks for each.
The following are samples from her work:
A-show the students the final scene of the Titanic, give a text written by one of the survivors and ask them to connect both. (An article can be found in "Titanic Voices".
B-watch a movie without the audio and ask the students to write down the stages of preparing something like a cake.

Przemyslaw Stencel discusses the difference between a F2F course and an online course. He states that you can motivate learners to take an online course by using the idea from the website "Open Course in Education Futures". The idea is that the course is mandatory for students, but anyone can join and comment on the course and the content.

Charles Goodger begins his session with a song accompanied by actions. He speaks about presenting music through language which makes the learning process easier and helps the students memorize language. He speaks of what he calls PMA: Permanent Memory Acquisition which accelerates language learning. 

Mandana begins her session by presenting different research results regarding the role of parents in the educational system. She divides parents into different types:

a- those who do not know an FL and are middle class members of society

b- parents who do not know an FL and are financially well

c- parents who speak and FL and can help

d- parents who do not give much attention

 

Dear All

 

Dear All,

 

Carol Nicoll began her session with a great activity. She sand a song along with gestures and dancing activities in order to make the point that students are able to sing along with all songs because the words are transported to the brain  (long temr memory- auditory cortex) and that is where they stay. Therefore, when one listens to a song, one retains the pronunciation, intonation, and chunks of grammar are used intiuitivly.