English Teachers’ Day, PH Wien, Vienna

Thanks to all who attended the English Teachers’ Day at PH Wien. The slides of my session on Designing Tasks with Literature are available below.

Designing Tasks with Literature
This session will offer practical ideas and classroom activities for teachers interested in using authentic literature in class. Focusing on extracts from twentieth-century classics as well as contemporary literature, we will look at ways to arouse students’ interest in texts, before going on to consider a variety of literary-themed speaking and writing activities that can be adapted to any literary text.

English Teachers’ Day, Luxembourg

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Thanks to all the teachers who attended the English Teachers’ Day in Luxembourg on 13 October. If you would like a pdf copy of the slides of both my talk and workshop, look for the links below.

Talk: Soup or salad? Informed eclecticism in the mixed-ability classroom (plenary talk)
Traditionally, the role of the teacher has been at the heart of language-teaching methodology; in the mixed-ability classroom, however, the needs of the learners are paramount. Finding the right approach to take with a group of students can therefore involve making a difficult choice from a rich menu of methodological possibilities.
This talk will first argue that there is room for traditional methodologies in the modern mixed-ability classroom, and will suggest innovative ways of drawing from a variety of different approaches in an attempt to meet the specific needs, strengths and preferences of individual learners.
Just as disparate ingredients combine to make a good salad, an informed and flexible approach that recognises and celebrates individual diversity and personal preferences can allow us to enhance and enrich the learning experience for all.

Workshop: Engaging all learners in the mixed-ability classroom
This session will begin by considering what we mean by the term ‘mixed ability’ before going on to look at some of the practicalities of working effectively with mixed groups. We’ll look at how materials and language-learning activities can be differentiated to make them more inclusive and accessible. We’ll also discuss principles and techniques for creating a positive classroom environment – one in which all learners can make valid contributions. Finally, we’ll look beyond language in order to consider the benefits of a whole-person approach to teaching in the mixed-ability classroom.

CEN Guayaquil, Ecuador

The slides from my talk of 24 September at CEN, Guayaquil on “Soup or salad – informed eclecticism in the mixed-ability classroom” are available here in pdf format.

Many thanks to all those who attended and made the event – and the three-day OTA course at CEN which preceded it – such a success. Special thanks to Eduardo Icaza and Hilda Flor at CEN, Steve Tomkins and Maria Sol Guzman at Books and Bits, and OUP.

VUS TESOL Conference, Vietnam

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The slides from my plenary talk at the 11th annual VUS TESOL Conference, held in Ho Chi Minh City on 21st July, are available below in pdf format.

Soup or salad VUS TESOL plenary
Traditionally, the role of the teacher has been at the heart of language-teaching methodology; in the mixed-ability classroom, however, the needs of the learners are paramount. Finding the right approach to take with a group of students can therefore involve making a difficult choice from a rich menu of methodological possibilities.
This talk will first argue that there is room for traditional methodologies in the modern mixed-ability classroom, and will suggest innovative ways of drawing from a variety of different approaches in an attempt to meet the specific needs, strengths and preferences of individual learners.
Just as disparate ingredients combine to make a good salad, an informed and flexible approach that recognises and celebrates individual diversity and personal preferences can allow us to enhance and enrich the learning experience for all.

Thanks to VUS TESOL, OUP Vietnam, and everyone who attended the event.

Oxford Days in Vietnam

First of all apologies to the teachers in Can Tho: circumstances beyond my control meant that I couldn’t be there. The slides of the talks given at the Oxford Days events in HCMC and Hanoi are available for download below in pdf format.

Teaching as a daily routine
I get up, I have breakfast, I go to school….In this session we’ll be taking a closer look at our daily teaching routine. Does everything run like clockwork, or is it a daily struggle? What could we change or improve? The session will look at a range of practical ideas and useful tips to help us establish the kind of classroom habits, routines and traditions that can make our teaching more effective – and make learning lots more fun.

Engaging All Learners in the Mixed-Ability Classroom
This session will begin by considering what we mean by the term ‘mixed ability’ before going on to look at some of the practicalities of working effectively with mixed groups. We’ll look at how materials and language-learning activities can be differentiated to make them more inclusive and accessible. We’ll also discuss principles and techniques for creating a positive classroom environment – one in which all learners can make valid contributions. Finally, we’ll look beyond language in order to consider the benefits of a whole-person approach to teaching in the mixed-ability classroom.