TESOL Greece Big SIG Day Event 2016 was held at the premises of IST College on Sunday, November 13.
In addition to Agapi Dendaki’s plenary talk, our members could pick and choose among eight presentations
and workshops addressing each of the four TESOL Greece SIGs: Adult Learners, Drama & Literature, Learning Technologies and Young Learners.
The attendees also had the opportunity to participate in the SIG Coordinators' elections. Hence, we are happy to announce that the new Coordinators are:
Adult Learners: Marousa Pavli
Drama & Literature: Gianna Gkioni and Eirini Natsiou
Learning Technologies: Anna Petala and Eftichis Kantarakis
Young Learners: Mandy Pistikou
In her plenary presentation entitled “Learning Difficulties in ELT: A Welcome Challenge”, Agapi Dendaki discussed
some typical characteristics, and reasons why students with Specific Learning Difficulties often struggle with, while they are learning a foreign language.
She then offered practical tips regarding strategies and materials that work best for such students.
Adult Learners SIG by Marina Pantazi
Presenting on “Raising Teachers' Awareness about English as a Lingua Franca” for the Adult Learners SIG,
Vasiliki Lismani explained why teachers of adult learners should familiarize their students with English as a Lingua Franca (ELF).
She argued that given the way it is principled, ELF can give a boost to this particular age group, whose first and foremost goal is communication rather than accuracy.
The second speaker for the Adult Learners SIG was Stavroula Charitou, whose presentation “Achieving Results with Adult Learners”,
focused on reading, listening, speaking, and writing objectives. Stavroula suggested a number of techniques that help adult learners improve their skills.
She also gave practical tips on grammar and vocabulary instruction as well as homework assignment.
Drama & Literature SIG by Zafi Mandali
Gianna Gkioni kicked off her workshop with a very brief reference to why drama lends itself to educational stimulus.
She used the invaluable source of sparknotes.com to show us a video summary of “To kill a Mocking bird”, a novel by Harper Lee. Based on the story,
which became clear even to those who had not read the book, she displayed the drama technique of “role on the wall” and got the participants to analyze Atticus,
the lawyer who defended, against all odds, Tom, the man who had been accused of rape attack. Mrs. Gkioni then used volunteers to Illustrate
how the “Thought Tracking” technique works. She also got three volunteers to role play the psychologists and to “Hot Seat” ‘Mayella’
and bring her to confess that she had wrongly accused Tom. This very practical workshop also illustrated the “Conscience Alley”
and the “Writing in Role” techniques and gave us most worthy take- away ideas for our language classes.
Ioanna Georgakopoulou started off her drama workshop through a story. Participants formed themselves in groups of four
and were given lines which placed them in 4 different situational worlds of the story. They soon found out that they represented
different characters and situations from Midsummer’s night dream and were guided to create different scenes and situations through different stimulus
given by the presenter. Each group dramatized, within their situational role, human rules and conventions. We were shown how to create “Freeze Frames”,
how to do “Soundscaping”, how to sculpt Puck, the character who liked to play nasty practical jokes and we were even led to sonnet writing.
Ms. Georgakopoulou illustrated that drama is a basic means of communication very much like language. She got the participants to move about
and to cooperate, in order to display that drama offers ample experiential learning opportunities through activities and role playing, which the teacher can design.
Learning Technologies SIG by Suzanne Antonaros
Chryssanthe Sotiriou and George Drivas, "Introducing QR Codes in the ELT Classroom”, generously shared a great number of lesson activities,
requiring the use of a Quick Response Code Reader application on learners' tablets or smartphones.
They showed how their ideas stimulated learners' collaborative group work for creating stories and critical thinking.
Angelos Bollas "Don't Feedback! Feed...Forward" presented tips for giving effective feedback on their written work
to teach feedback language, negotiate the prioritizing of making criteria, use descriptive language and comment on the work (not the learner).
Some of the tech tools mentioned were: Kahoot, Google docs, VoiceThread, Screencast-O-matic, Vocaroo and PBworks.
Young Learners SIG by Matina Katseli
The first presenter of this SIG group was Dr Christine Calfoglou. Through her workshop Dr Calfoglou illustrated the multiple uses of Mind Maps
and how these constitute the ideational frameworks to enhance skills development and assist the acquisition of grammar in the young learner language class.
The second presenter was Dora Koutoukis. Her presentation satisfied the attendants’ frequently expressed need for hands-on, practical tips
on how to organize and execute lessons to teach the demanding age group of 6 and 7 year olds.
The varied collection of LEGO bricks used to teach the alphabet, numbers etc. and the colourful
as well as joyful footage from her own classes excited everyone attending the workshop.