Well, I told you about the wonderful experience we had with Berni and told that the whole thing was part of a professional development course. We started with advanced grammar and continued with getting students to write, use technology tools (blogs, wikis etc developing ideas), or the traditional way.
The following day was about improving listening skills, broadening vocabulary, using authentic materials and in the afternoon we discussed Bronte novels, compared them and talked about the place of the women in society.
Wednesday was the day of the Bronte visit and walk to the moors.
On Thursday we continued with humour in the classroom, games and game like activities. We found out riddles, jokes, quizzes, puzzles will be great as a warmer or to finish the lesson. You can find a great collection on Gapfillers.We finished the course with error analysis. We talked about all the traditional methods and Berni suggested language audit which was new for me and will give it a try.
We talked about how we can integrate technology to traditional efl teaching. Alex was full with wonderful links. I’d like to share some of the ideas and the links with you.
A warm up or a filler: Choose a category or a topic and set a time limit and then tell students to write without stopping until you stop them. Works well when you brainstorm too. You can do the same with Write or Die which is a site allowing you to write whatever you want. You choose a word goal and a time goal and then start typing.
It all started with a tweet. It was an ordinary evening with twitter when I saw Berni Wall’s tweet offering a week of teachers’ workshops in Yorkshire. First, I couldn’t believe my eyes. When I DMed her, I understood how serious she was. It was a wonderful offer so I told her that I would love to come. Not until the last week had I known that I would also meet my friend, Alexandra Francisco with whom we started our celebration wiki project. It would also give me a chance to meet my twitter friends in real life.
Last week was fabulous. These workshops gave us a chance to update ourselves, we exchanged ideas and now I’m full with ideas for next year. Even with Alex, we decided which celebrations we are going to do with our classes and the details for our colleagues will soon appear on the wiki.
It is always easy to attend a workshop or a seminar in London or a bigger city in the UK. However, it will always be difficult to do such things far from the big cities. The opportunity was great as it was offering a week far from the madding crowd, away from the hustle busle of the big city, a great chance for me to experience the countryside which had been my dream for many years.
The workshops covered the areas that are vital in EFL but I must admit I loved the literature bit more. Berni had told us that we would talk about Bronte sisters as we would have a chance to visit Haworth and from Monday to Saturday every evening after the dinner, we sat and watched the DVDs of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Tennant of Wildfell Hall. On Wednesday we visited the Bronte Parsonage and then we set off for our Bronte pilgrimage (as we all called it) in the moors. I wish we all had had the chance of these walks while studying at university.
There are so many things that I can still add here but words will not be enough to describe what we had experienced together in the room 5 teachers (Berni, Alex, Blanca, Culya and me)of English who came from different parts of the worlds.
A big Thank You to Berniwho made this possible for all of us. I know that she wants to continue this as she was already trying to plan the next one when we were about to leave.
Well, all these were only a dream for me last year these times and now the people who I met via twitter are my colleagues from my borderless staffroom.
I’m happy that I met Berni, Alex and Blanca.
Still thinking about joining twitter?
You can read more about our adventure of expanding our knowledge, sitting around a table chatting about similar problems.
You will find Alex’s story here, Berni’s here and Culya’s here