Friday, February 24, 2006

Good seminars - No, I'm not kidding

There are times when I hear the word "seminar" and my heart sinks. You know the kind of thing, you are forced to listen to a person drone on for an hour or so, stating the obvious. The kind of person who made you want never to set foot again in school when you were student.

Luckily, for us at school the seminar I went to yesterday was none of that. It is a real pleasure when someody presents a well-thought out and engaging one. It helps you think about how you teach and you leave the room thinking,

"I'll try that idea in my class."

As opposed to the usual response which is ,

"I NEED a drink."


'"I can't believe that I just wasted an hour of my life listening to that crap."

The seminar was about using readers in our teaching to encourage extensive reading. The one thing that surprised me was how little vocabulary students acquire at the higher levels. For example at C1 (CAE) level the average student knows 2200 words! Which is pretty low number considering they've been studying for six or seven years.

Anyway, the stuff on readers was good and more important useful. I'll be doing some of the exercises with my private students and audio books (I'll post the ideas some other time as this post is already getting too long).

The other thing we learnt about the ELP (European Language Passport/Portfolio) which is about to change the way we teach here in Greece (and not only). I'll talk more about that when I've completed my own and feel more sure that I understand it.

So Thanks to Paul Shaw at Hyphen for a great seminar. Sorry no pics, as I forgot to take my camera.

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