"Classroom-based Assessment in Greece: Insights from the TALE Project"
"A Task-based Approach to English for Academic Purposes"
"Flip your Classroom with Voice Apps"
Could you tell us a few things about your presentation and how it relates to this year’s Convention theme?
My workshop demonstrates some handy mobile apps that help teachers reach out to their learners and vice versa through audio, video, text and/or images combined together. They’re simply user-friendly, time-saving and interactive. In a nutshell, they help teachers keep it practical.
Briefly tell us a few things about yourself as a professional.
I'm an Egyptian ELT practitioner and teacher trainer. My training interests include instructional technology, pedagogy and assessment.
Is “keeping it practical” an important part of present day EFL classrooms? Why, do you think, this is?
As an ELT practitioner for the past twenty years, I believe I’ve had enough theory. Surely, it’s important to base our practices on sound theoretical background. However, it’s what actually works in action that really matters. I’ve never taught the very same thing twice. My classroom experiences are always different. Practicality means I’m able to adapt my practices to different student types in various contexts. Even if it doesn’t always work for me, I learn by trial and error.
Are there problems when new practices are applied in the classrooms?
Resistance to anything out of the ordinary; it takes some time to adapt and accept a new tool/technique other than what’s already known. Dragging teachers and learners out of their familiar comfort zones is always a challenge. Technical issues can also get in the way and be inhibiting. Many could easily give up a new way at the first stumbling block. It takes diligence and patience to go on scavenger hunts exploring new methods and seeing their worth.
Has it become easier or more complicated to teach English these past decades?
It’s a lot easier in many ways. With the advent of the internet, learning resources are accessible for free. It’s no longer a challenge to get audio, video and other material for classroom use. On the other hand, it’s become real challenging to capture the good stuff out of loads of unworthy materials. Training teachers and students to critically evaluate what’s out there is a big deal nowadays.
What is one piece of advice that has been a beacon for your teaching over the years?
Never be afraid to try out something new. Be daring and trust your instincts. Teach your students to take risks with you. This is what real learning is all about.
How important is CPD (Continuous Professional Development) in the teaching of languages?
It’s indispensable. Without CPD, I experience periods of burnout. Every once in a while, I grab a learning opportunity out there to break the monotony. Otherwise my professional life becomes unbearable.
What do you find demotivating as far as teaching is concerned?
Monotony, students’ lack of motivation, lack of support to teachers from authority figures and/or parents.
What is one of the things you will not forget from past TG Conventions?
I haven’t been fortunate enough to attend TG before; this is my first time. But any conference experience is value added. It’s always an exciting learning opportunity.
IF you could give one piece of advice to new Educators in the field of ELT what would it be?
Enjoy what you do in and out of class. If you can’t get yourself to like it, better change careers. It’s needless to torture yourself and your students over something you’re not passionate about.
"The Cultured Daughter of a a Plain Grocer"
"Music, Movement, Storytelling. Learning English is fun!"