Today was a rather exhausting but amazing day, filled with a lot of academic input and numerous impressions of the city. Already walking along the river Clyde towards the congress center was a new experience, as it was the first time for us to see Glasgow by day.
In the plenary session by Gabriel Diaz Maggioli “Empowering teachers through continued professional development (CPD): frameworks, practices and promises” we learned how important it is for teachers to continuously develop their professional skills. An important factor in order to achive CPD would be implying time for teachers to talk to each others. Mirror coaching, which means inviting a colleague to watch your lessons to take notes of what you do, and co-teaching were mentioned. I consider them as extremely useful strategies, as these require constant modeling and constant cognitive alignment between teachers.
In Jeremy Harmer’s and Jane Revel’s session “Telling and retelling: the magic of stories in ELT” we were given tips of how to approach story telling tasks. What they advised us was to not always give the students the answers, but to let them find out.
Anna Young shared her experience in “Writing: is little and often the best approach?” with us, saying that students often overcome their reluctance to writing with the help of 10 minute writing tasks at the beginning of every lesson. She added that the improvements of her students, using this method, were outstanding.
In “Motivational Marking and Magic Eggs” Michael Mooney’s advice was to let students select structures from the Magic Eggs (pictures below) for all of their writing tasks.
I really enjoyed Filip Dedeurwaerder-Haas’ interactive workshop “Activating games – in-betweens or teaching essentials?” He showed us how to use games in an appropriate context and not as gap fillers. We did a bingo, a memory and a sentence structure game.
Last but not least, I had the pleasure of taking part in Penny Ur’s workshop “Homework: some practical issues”. As I already have her book “Penny Ur’s 100 Teaching Tips” at home, I was already familiar with a lot of what she pointed out to us. Therefore, it was extremely nice to also listen to the other delegates’ experiences concerning homework.
All in all we were encouraged to become acquainted with new teaching methods and ideas and to take new practical material with us. In addition, all the sessions that I attended were held in an extremely lively way. I’m really looking forward to the following conference sessions and to further sightseeing tours in the city.