INTERVIEW WITH JEREMY HARMER
Ideas about Languague Learning and Literature
New technologies have changed teaching : Harmer talks about the many editions of his famous book for English language teachers. The new edition has just been released but much has changed since he published his first edition thirty-two years ago. Virtual Learning and Mobile Learning and also teachers have changed and now they are expected to have a different profile and be equipped with more skills and competences.
Most of teachers who have studied to become English Language teachers used his famous book : The Practice of Language Teaching. The book was a must for almost anyone who started teaching English,
I remember using it when I first did a teacher training course in Kent in 1994, at that time I was a young teacher in Italy and I was trying to become more qualified. The training course was based on a lot of peer observation and lesson planning but the Bible for developing most of the activities was this book.
Now let's go back to the interview and what I liked
A short interview with a mind, a great mind and someone who has been working in TEFL for many years and has seen so many changes.
Literature? What ideas about Teaching Poems?
"Poems shouldn't be too long," " they should talk to the heart."
Yes, I agree, we can teach poems, but it is up to us to choose the right text: we do need to find something that is involving but not too difficult and also easy to find.
So to sum up he suggests
- looking for accessible texts
- thinking about activities which can be engaging - Jeremy Harmer talks about poems students can dive into- this is a great metaphor to talk about learners's engagement!
- getting students write poems
INTERVIEW WITH ALAN MALEY
LITERATURE IN THE AGE OF DISTRACTION
It was a pleasure to watch this interview because it focussed on some issues like Technologies ,Learning and Literature in the XXI century.
In a world that is overwhelmed with technology and our students are working with almost any device at school and at home, it seems to be difficult to talk about literature and reading. But Maley feels that Language Teachers should do this and also do some Literature. He says " people are losing their mind" but he suggests teaching reading skills and literature.
Some simple ideas for Language Teachers are using extensive reading and creative writing.
His words are great for me because I teach a Language, a foreign Language but I would like to have my students who are more interested in the world around them, who can reflect and think because reading and writing are not easy skills to master but they can improve and also a good text by Dickens or a modern novel or a text by Orwell can help us develop critical thinking skills. They will not become writers but they will have thought about what they have read .
INTERVIEW WITH ADRIAN UNDERHILL
After planning and in spite of it " a good teacher needs to improvise " when dealing with classes and students : here are his tips:
How do you respond to what happens?
If the students respond to your offer, use it
There seems to be a shift because what is presented here is an approach that cares for those who are Learning, after planning and checking what went wrong we can now say that we can also try to use the learners' input while we are talking with them.
Once more we have something new or fresh : students can be more engaged and teachers do not follow the lesson plan but this is done for having a better Learning process because students must be more active and the teacher remains the controller but takes advantage of what the students are doing. The relationship between Teachers and Students can change if Teachers can listen to them and to their needs.
We should all think more and once we realize that not everything is working self-reflection and changes cannot but help our teaching.