Fun-filled February

February saw a busy start to the month for professional development. The first weekend, five Active Language teachers spoke at TEFL del Sur’s second event of the year.

The Active Language team: Carmen, Dani, Claire, Teresa and Ceri

Here’s a quick run-down of their talks:

Dani Jones (Tutor and Course Director for Cert and DipTESOL courses) gave participants some ideas for integrating phonology into their lessons. Phonology is a key component of Trinity’s teacher training courses and a requirement for Diploma-level lessons is for it to be integrated into every lesson.

Dani in action

Carmen Plaza (Active Language’s Professional Development Coordinator) looked at ways we can revisit, reuse and recycle tried and tested ideas. We often say, “There’s nothing new in TEFL” and the fact is, there doesn’t necessarily need to be, as we have so many great resources in our banks and up our sleeves. It’s just a question of taking the time to remember them every now and again to refresh our repertoire.

Ceri Jones (Unknown Language Tutor on the CertTESOL and DipTESOL Tutor) shared some practical ideas for slaying grammar dragons. Each group of participants looked at a particularly fearsome grammar dragon and found ways to attack and weaken it, using easy-to-adapt ideas for the classroom.

Teresa Bestwick (Cert and DipTESOL Tutor and TESOL Administrator) shared three quick ideas for teens to use their mobile phones in class to personalise lexis and speaking activities.

Some ideas from Claire’s session

Claire Thompson (CertTESOL Tutor) looked at how we can give students more agency and responsibility in the classroom. Learner autonomy is a hot topic at the moment and it’s important to recognise how it can be used effectively to support our learners in their progress.

Michelle Worgan (TEFL del Sur’s President) shared a story for YLs using yoga positions. It’s a great way to settle students whilst at the same time involving some movement in the lesson. And she had some willing volunteers to help her present each story!

Meet Lucy, who lives in Italy

Then, the following weekend, Teresa also spoke at the ACEIA-Málaga event, again sharing ideas to get teens talking. Here’s a picture of Lucy, a character created by the participants. At Active Language, we love using character builds: it’s learner-created content and can be used for any number of topics.

Now, at the end of the month, we’re looking forward to Carnaval and this year that means a six-day weekend! Another perk of living in Cádiz!

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