Vicky Saumell: The role of methodologies and approaches in organic lessons

Over the years, I have found that due to my own beliefs about the teaching and learning processes, I tend to favour certain strategies over others. However, I can say that my lessons usually include an eclectic mix. The question is “How does this mix come about?”

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David Petrie: Space for spontaneity

It was the Polish academic Alfred Korzybski who famously said “The map is not the territory”, in the context of the developing field of general semantics. His phrase has since been widely used, even to promote holidays and to sell cars, but at its core it represents the fundamental difference between our perception of a thing and the reality of the thing itself.

The education version of Korzybski’s dictum might be: “The plan is not the lesson”.

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The 'Real' Test

A 'real world' assessment is an assessment adjusted to your students' everyday/professional experience. It is supposed to indicate the odds to succeed in their current or desired environment. Therefore, it should not be separate from the learning process, but rather an integral part of it. This is the reason to consider using portfolio instead of standardized tests.
So what is the assessment process like?

It is very much like a ping-pong game between the students and the teacher. To illustrate my point I would like to list the steps of such process and a case description.

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Self assessments with students

If one is able to identify and see one’s own movement , it builds up a lot of confidence which in return has a domino effect on his or her motivation for learning. In addition to informing instruction and developing learners with the ability to guide their own instruction it helps in sharing and understanding of learning intentions in relation to successful learning.

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Using authentic texts in the IELTS reading classroom

This is a suggestion on ways to use authentic reading texts in the IELTS classroom.  I discuss briefly a problem with focusing solely on IELTS reading in the IELTS classroom and then set out 3 connected ways of using authentic texts. In each case the focus is as much on general reading skills as "test skills" - not least because the texts don't questions attached to them!

Problems with focusing solely on "IELTS reading" 

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