Andrew Walkley and Chris Roland at the 13th FL Forum in Athens

 

Two innovative teacher trainers Andrew Walkley and Chris Roland are scheduled to appear at the 13th Foreign Languages Forum on 25 & 26 August at the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens.

 

Both Andrew and Chris are expected to deliver two very interesting plenary sessions that will get us thinking just before the start of the new school year.

 

Andrew Walkley is the co-founder with Hugh Dellar of Lexical Lab, a company to promote teaching lexically and provide excellence in lexical materials and training. He has taught English for over twenty years, mainly in Spain and the UK, and as a teacher trainer has given workshops to teachers in many different countries and teaching contexts. Andrew has produced, along with Hugh, two coursebook series - Innovations and Outcomes with National Geographic Learning.

 

 

His plenary will be held on the 25th of August. Andrew will discuss how we can Teach Grammar through Lexis.

 

Students sometimes say their ‘grammar’ is terrible and teachers often worry about how to teach grammar better. But before a teacher leaps into doing more grammar exercises or introducing fun games, perhaps s/he should take a step back and question exactly what we mean by grammar - and for that matter what we mean by teaching and learning.

 

Different notions of these things will lead to different ways of ‘becoming better’. Andrew will present how we might teach grammar better if we see language as lexically driven and see teaching and learning as an open spiralling process.

 

Andrew will also conduct a workshop on the same day in which he will explore and practice some of the ideas put forward in his plenary session. In particular, he will look at the idea of thinking about and recording what we actually say as a starting point for drawing attention to grammar and vocabulary, rather than starting with the idea of a grammar rule and a lexical set. He will mainly look at practical adjustments to how we approach our day-to-day teaching, rather than individual on-off activities.

 

 

Chris Roland on the other hand will tackle the hows and the whats of Differentiated Instruction.

 

Any class has advanced learners at one end of the spectrum, struggling learners at the other and a number of learners spanning the middle. Each learner will find any given language task more or less difficult, but each learner will also bring their own strengths and skills to it.

 

Differentiation is how we take this range into account and incorporate an increased level of complexity into our instruction so that each learner progresses relative to themselves and all learners progress towards the common learning objective of the lesson.

 

In his plenary he will explore the craft of differentiation, perhaps the most difficult aspect of our jobs, and offer guidelines for teachers looking to plan better differentiated lessons.

 

Chris is based in Seville at ELI language academy. He has also taught in Cádiz, Barcelona, Nottingham, Damascus and Aleppo. He has experience as both an IELTS and Cambridge examiner and has worked with teachers across a range of scenarios including school inspections and as a tutor on the Trinity Certificate and Diploma courses in methodology. He is a regular speaker on the conference circuit in Spain and Portugal and his particular interests lie in the area of exploiting written text, improving classroom management with teens and looking at the finer points of task design. He has written a range of supplementary materials for course books and currently works with Oxford University Press on immersion courses for teachers and on their Schools Improvement Programme.

 

In his workshop on Sunday afternoon Chris will look at some familiar challenges in our teens classes and work ways out of them in a happy, practical and productive way.  Participants will also reconsider the idea of differentiation and the tensions and limitations they might encounter in attempting to cater for a range of abilities - as well as what they might hope to enjoy in terms of progress along the way.

 

The workshop is suitable for new teachers, seasoned veterans and trainers alike.

 

For more information on the programme of the 13th Foreign Languages Forum visit http://www.eltnews.gr/forum/13th-flf-athens

 

 

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