Do you have any ideas for a workshop for teachers?

Help, tips and advice in teaching English

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Do you have any ideas for a workshop for teachers?

Unread postby ngoclinh » 12 Nov 2006, 17:53

Hi Lucy,
it's quite a long time since I asked you about teacher training. The bad news is I am not offered a job at that teaching center, not because I am not qualified for the job but because the center stopped operating just before I had the chance to exercise what you advised me. Anyway, I got a lot of useful advice from you and thank you so much for that. Today I'm writing in again to ask you st about giving workshops. I'm giving a workshop at the British Council Vietnam this December. Since I'm a newbie in giving workshops I'm a bit worried and nervous. I'd be very grateful if you could give me some counseling and advice on stuff like what a workshop includes, how to make it successful, and what activities are typical of workshops. my workshop is all about how to motivate,and develop students' autonomy and creativity.
Wish you all the best,

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Do you have any ideas for a workshop for teachers?

Unread postby Lucy » 16 Nov 2006, 11:25

Dear Phuong,

It is good to hear from you again. I’m glad you have this opportunity to train teachers. Congratulations!

A good starting point when you are training teachers is to find out what the trainees know. By doing this, you will be able to give them input adapted to the level they are at. Try to find out as much information as possible from the British Council; for example:

how long have the trainees been teaching?
What qualifications do they have?
What would they like to learn about motivation, autonomous learning and creativity in the classroom?

If you can’t get this information beforehand, ask the trainees at the beginning of the session. This approach will require more preparation on your part because you will need to be ready for any eventuality (novices and experienced teachers).

I suggest you read as much as possible about the topics; this will help you respond to trainees’ queries. You could also prepare a few quotes and a suggested reading list. For ideas about autonomous learning, you can look at Learning to Learn by Ellis and Sinclair; you can look at books by Mario Rinvolucri for ideas about introducing creativity.

You could start your session with a warmer or ice-breaker and then have a discussion about what motivates the trainees (and what demotivates them!); their answers to these questions will guide them when motivating others.

Remember that one thing that motivates people is the feeling that they are learning or progressing. You should try to incorporate this (and other motivation techniques you read about) into your training session. I suggest you start the session by asking what people want to know about motivation; you can list these on a whiteboard or on a large sheet of paper. At the end of the session you can refer back to the list and ask if the trainees think their expectations have been met. Then spend some time covering any outstanding issues.

You should also build your session around autonomous learning and creativity. Include discovery activities where trainees learn about the topics themselves rather than you taking a lecturing stance. Ideas include: listening to a cassette of teachers talking about the topics, reading and explaining to others. To introduce an element of creativity you could ask trainees to prepare a poster or a sketch outlining what they have learnt; this can then be presented to classmates.

If you would like any more ideas before December, please write in again.

Good luck with your session.


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