It’s been a busy weekend, but quite interesting. The most interesting thing has been the Cambridge Experience in Seville, where all language teachers of the area gather tho share our experiences and to brand new ideas about language learning.
The event started with Herbert Puchta telling us about creativity, and I must say it was a great speech. No matter how much I defend creativity and not just repeating whatever activities we get in order to spend some time in the class, we, teachers, always end up repeating ourselves from time to time.
Class room reality can differ a lot from what expected in an ideal world. Therefore I think it’s a great idea to be reminded to continue challenging ourselves and been pushed forward to a more creative approach in the class.
Thinking Languages is a methodology that defends imagination above everything else, as only by our imagination we can build up a message in a natural way and not just repeating. Repetition is very good when we need to work on the mechanical aspects of language, but that’s it.
This speech really gave me ideas to use and I’m willing to use Puchta’s ideas in the class, and I will start right today!
This is something I always tell myself, we have to play more in the class, I have to make it happen! Games are tremendously good for children, and they work pretty well in several circumstances so using them is mandatory for every teacher.
However; games in the class room are more difficult to be controlled, especially with younger children, so I sometimes feel reluctant about playing. But Ceri Jones convinced me and gave me some new ideas.
She went through several games to use in the class and gave us tools for managing them properly in a real classroom environment. The speech was very funny and she made us play, we old boring teachers 🙂
I will highlight the gambling games she presented to us as my favourite. It was during the conference that I very good idea came up to me, and it wasn’t for the children’s class, but for the grown-ups! I never play in an adult class, even though I often bring some funny materials and we laugh. But using the gambling for one of my classes will be a great idea. As I think that if you want to do something, you better do it as soon as possible, I will try it this same evening with them.
Guy Brook-Hart was a known speaker to me, as I had already been to one of his conferences last year, which I enjoyed as much as Saturday’s one. It is great to have the chance of listening to the person behind those books we use in the classroom.
One of my duties as a teacher is to prepare students for the Cambridge Exams. I especially prepare PET and FCE, due to my students’ preferences. These exams are a great worry for them, especially the speaking test, so getting ideas to train them better is always great.
I sometimes struggle a bit when I face one of those students who, let’s say, find it a bit more difficult than usual when it comes to speaking. I have some students who are actually very good, and they show a very good knowledge of English when it comes to writing or using complex grammar terms. But speaking is something different!
Other students seem to get it soon and speak fluently from the beginning. Some people find it much more easy, and even though they might welcome some help, they don’t seem to need much. For those students it is right just to keep an eye on them and let them try themselves.
Guy Brook-Hart presented new ideas and tips for teachers to make the students feel more confident, so to obtain better results. I will use his ideas and see how they work with those of my students who find speaking specially difficult, as I need to adapt the new knowledge to the specifications of my own students, but it will hopefully help those ones who struggle!