Our Roving Reporters, Penny Masoura and Valia Gkotsi interview Evita Alexopoulos, one of the speakers of the 37th TESOL Greece International Annual Conference.
1) Who is Evita Alexopoulos? What was a high and a low point you identified in you? How has this helped you evolve personally?
Evita Alexopoulos is a teacher of 23 years who, when graduating from university, dreaded becoming an English teacher, but who now cannot imagine her professional life outside the classroom.
2) What is the core message of your presentation?
For learning to take place, the learner must be able to make sense of the content as well as the process. We believe that focusing on metacognitive skills can enhance comprehension on the learner’s part, and, ultimately, lead to an autonomous learner, which we believe to be the profile of the 21st century student.
3) What motivated you to submit a proposal to the Tesol Greece Convention?
Our desire to share our hands-on experience, but also, exchange views on how to deal with 21st century learners. Furthermore, Vassiliki's (my colleague’s and co-presenter’s) experience in presenting at similar conferences motivated both of us to conduct a mini case study in our classrooms in order to better understand our everyday practice.
4) How is your presentation connected to the Convention’s theme “Join the Education R-Evolution”?
We believe that introducing metacognition in the English classroom can revolutionise students' learning process as it can help them learn how to learn.
5) Why is it so important to evolve as educators?
Because it is our firm belief that survival in teaching presupposes constant R-evolution!
6) In which ways have you evolved or revolutionized your teaching over the last years?
By incorporating 'old tricks' into the digital classroom.
7) To what extent has the reality of the EFL classroom changed recently?
The reality of the EFL classroom has changed as it must now find space to teach 'Englishes' as opposed to the Standard English that language schools focused on up until fairly recently. Furthermore, learners have changed in terms of what they are interested in and how they learn.
8) Briefly describe a situation in which your teaching/actions in the classroom had an effect on a student/students. How did this person/these people evolve because of that?
It is usually hard to identify the effect there and then; it is comments made by graduate students of mine who come back to visit the school that makes me realize my teaching has inspired them. They, in turn, inspire me and I keep teaching!
9) Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Teaching and learning at ACG.
10) What should the motto of an “Education R-Evolution” be?
Hey Teachers! Help Those Kids Learn Alone!