Welcome to the teacher training series “Shaping the Way We Teach English, Successful Practices Around the World.”
These introductory materials are designed for English as a Foreign Language educators who share the following two goals:
- Building an academic or “pedagogical” foundation; and,
- Improving classroom practices.
If you have these same goals, then these materials are for you!
Shaping the Way We Teach English contains 14 individual modules. The modules are grouped in the following 4 categories and sub-topics:
Category A, with a focus on Approaches to Language Teaching, Foundations, is made up of…
Module 1 on Contextualizing Language;
Module 2 on Building Language Awareness;
Module 3 on Integrating Skills;
Module 4 on Pair and Group Work; and,
Module 5 on Learner Feedback, with a focus on formative evaluation.
Category B, with a focus on Approaches to Language Teaching, Extensions, is made up of…
Module 6 on Classroom Management for large classes;
Module 7 on Learning Strategies;
Module 8 on Using and Adapting Authentic Materials;
Module 9 on Critical and Creative Thinking; and,
Module 10 on Alternative Assessment, with a focus on performance assessment.
Category C, with a focus on the Learner, is made up of…
Module 11 on Individual Learner Differences; and,
Module 12 on Younger Learners, with an emphasis on ages 5 to 10.
And, Category D, with a focus on Professional Development for Educators, is made up of…
Module 13 on Peer Observation with an emphasis on formative evaluation practices; and,
Module 14 on Reflective Teaching practices.
At the heart of each module is a 10 to 14-minute video segment with examples from classrooms and educators around the world. Each module also has corresponding readings and support materials in the manual. We strongly recommend that you go through the pre-viewing activities and the supporting resources in the manual before you view the video. We also encourage you to stop the video at any point to view it again or discuss what you see. This will help you interact more fully with the video materials and come away with a deeper understanding of each content area.
In the video, you will have an opportunity to observe other teachers’ practices. Some of these examples are from primary level classes, while others are from secondary level and post-secondary level classes. A variety of teaching styles and cultures are reflected in these examples.
Many factors can have an effect on the results that you obtain from using the video and manual resources. Some of these include…
- Your own personal reasons and motivation for using these materials.
- How closely the materials fit with current practices and curriculum in your educational setting.
- And, the degree of flexibility and creativity that you bring to the task of making innovations and changes in your classroom practices. In other words, your willingness to experiment with and seriously try to use different ideas and techniques in your classroom.
As you observe other teachers in action and listen to their reflections on teaching, think as flexibly as possible.
Look for answers to the questions…
- What new ideas does this example offer me?
- How might I adapt this example to my students’ language and age level? My curriculum and my institutional setting? My teaching style, and my culture?
Please think of your interaction with these materials as a personal challenge to “think outside the box.” And, to creatively “shape the way you teach English” as you experiment with ways you can adapt suggestions or techniques from the video to your own educational settings.