My teenage students always loved it when I included poetry in our English lessons. (I am using the past tense because now I work as a teacher trainer ).
In my view, there are two essential factors that we should take into account if we want poetry to be both enjoyable and enriching for our language purposes.
I should start by saying that I work as a teacher trainer for the Department of Education of the Basque Government. I would like to tell you about a really motivating session that took place last year and which was very different both for me and for the teachers who collaborated with me.
All of you will have read about the benefits of working with another teacher inside the same classroom and I do not aim at describing the theoretical approach to this topic. I just want to share what happened at this Secondary school where I work as a link advisor.
Nowadays, teachers are faced with the challenge of equipping students with a long list of skills: creative and critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, collaborative skills, leadership, communicative skills and digital literacies. How can we provide answers to this challenge? I would like to suggest a couple of simple activities that will provide learners with the opportunity to develop their creativity and critical abilities by making new connections to the acquired knowledge after a virtual visit to a museum.
ACTIVITY 1: we become artists
As a teacher trainer I have often been asked about the use of L1 by students in their English lessons.
As a matter of fact, it was not so long ago that a great number of teachers admitted feeling guilty about using students’ L1 in the English classrooms.
I would like to start this post by saying that when I hear some people say that mobile phones are dangerous devices for humankind, I cannot help smiling while recalling that I had to hear something similar about the dangers of TV not so many years ago. In fact, TV was called “the idiot box” and you had to be very careful because spending some hours watching it could kill your creativity forever. Fortunately, it seems that did not happen to many of us who learnt how to benefit from watching TV.
21st century skills include collaboration, cooperation, critical thinking and creativity. There is wide agreement that a focus on these skills is needed to prepare students for the future. However, our planning is so tight that maybe we do not include explicit activities that develop these skills or if we do maybe we do not assess them.
Giving Learners Feedback On Their Writing
I was working as a teacher of English for seventeen years in different High Schools in the Basque Country and I think I must start by saying that most teachers I met during those years agreed that they found their writing feedback highly time-consuming and not really effective because students would make the same mistakes once and again.