Jigsaw tasks

I’ve discovered an inspiring website stuffed full of resources, called Cult of Pedagogy. It’s aimed at school teachers, but certain articles apply to us language teachers as well. This page is about jigsaw tasks. There’s also a well done video about them here.
Do you use jigsaw tasks in your courses?
On Thursday 27th April, we’ll discuss information gap activities like the jigsaw, and other kinds of effective task based learning activities.
We’ll be at The Fitting Room, Welle 7, from 8:00 to around 10:00 pm.
Come be a part of it!

Observations and Feedback

If you work as a teacher, you’ve probably had your boss or advisor observe one of your lessons. If you did a CELTA, you were observed by your instructor. What did you take away from it? Have you ever sat in on a colleague’s lesson? Was it a useful experience?

At the next Springboard get-together we’re going to talk about what’s effective in these encounters and how we can use them in our professional development.

We’ll also set out a framework so that you’ll have the opportunity to benefit from this experience with others.

Come meet, greet, and put a spring into your work on Thursday 27th October, at 8:00 pm.

We’re meeting at The Fitting Room in Welle 7. Hope to see you there!

Discussion: Testing and Assessment

This Friday Springboard will be bringing teachers together to chat and discuss testing and assessment. I’ve read an article by Dave Allan, which got me thinking about some questions that might be good discussion starters. What do you think? Post your comment below, and we’ll bring them to the discussion!

 

Discussion Questions: Testing and Assessment in Language Training

What’s the difference between testing and assessment?

Which is a better evaluation of a learner’s English capabilities: an objective test or a teacher’s assessment?  Why?

Do learners want to be tested? Why? Why not?

For assessment that involves various processes which go on over time, and measure more abstract traits such as discourse skills, fluency, flexibility and range, how can we give learners clear, formalised reporting on their language competence?

What are some best practices for teachers to integrate testing into a task based, communicative learning environment?

New Authentic Listening Resource

Within EarshotAt the get together in September, I asked the question, “Are you and your students tired of contrived, scripted dialogues in dry textbooks meant to improve spontaneous interactions in English?” Everyone knew what I was talking about. Well, I was too. That’s why I decided to compile an engaging, colorful, clean and authentic resource with audio and visual material that both teachers and students could appreciate. The concept of this resource is based on my experiences teaching English to all age groups from a variety of cultures. Young students, especially, want to know more about American culture and how they can understand native speakers with more confidence. The pages include colorful photos to elicit vocabulary and discussion along side white spaces to encourage students to take notes directly next to those associations. Each interview was conducted spontaneously. Each exercise was created post-interview to describe and frame the language used naturally by the interviewees. Teacher tips, study tools, answer key and transcript are all included in one coursebook. Each chapter consists of two short stories, six interviews with exercises, a page of further suggested projects and a chapter test. More information about this resource, Within Earshot, can be found on the website (www.withinearshot.com). You can also try any of the six interviews and exercises on the website. There is one to try from each theme.