Ground-breaking and Other (Still) Creative Methodologies in the Foreign Language Classroom

Monday 13 May | Tuesday 14 May | Wednesday 15 May | Thursday 16 May | Friday 17 May

Tuesday 14 May

Ground-breaking and Other (Still) Creative Methodologies in the Foreign Language Classroom,
Ms. Elisabete Silva, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Place: Room F307

Time: 15.00 – 16.30
Description: Bearing in mind all the technological devices that permeate our society and unavoidably our schools, the teachers and the students’ traditional roles in class must somehow adjust to this new reality. However, technological tools can be extremely useful and supportive, on the one hand, but, on the other, they can reveal rather distracting as they deviate students from the lesson focus. One also needs to take into account the different learning styles and try to adjust the teaching methodologies to all students. This workshop intends to prove that not only activities supported by technological tools are effective but also creative and humorous activities, which do not need much material, are also adequate. However, when set in a context, the humorous activities grounded by a task-based learning method and also the Total Physical Response (TPR) approach end up having effective results not only in the teaching/learning process but also in the emotional and cultural domain. It also accounts for the creation of a very positive and relaxing atmosphere when dealing with classroom management. I also intend to prove that the suggested activities can be used as specific meaningful tasks in any level of learning in any foreign language, as long as they are given a context and are well planned and introduced in the lesson. Therefore, it is the workshop’s aim to experiment creative, humorous, task-based activities, already tested in classes of all levels of English, and compare results and reactions in the course of final discussion. This hands-on workshop will be framed on 6 activities, which shall be briefly demonstrated with the audience in about an hour and a half. The activities shown are representative of different lesson parts, and they all intend to practise not only linguistic as well as affective skills. That is why diverse activities will be featured. The first two activities – Pair us up and tongue twisters – are two examples of warmers. Activity 2 – fill in a foot – underlies the topic “People and places” and intends to break the ice among the participants so that get to know each other better. Within the same topic, activity 3 – clerihews – is a rather humorous activity which stimulates students’ creativity and writing skills. Participants are asked to discuss the relevance of these activities. Regarding activities 4 and 5, within the topic of technology and science – podcast-interview and writing a daft letter – participants will create podcasts using their own mobile phones and write a daft letter. If time is running short, these will be briefly demonstrated. Finally, activity 6 – irregular plurals in movement – is a perfect stirrer and an example of a TPR activity. It is an excellent way to practise irregular plurals or any other grammar or lexical topic, as I intend to prove. Final discussion follows.