Unplugged teacher training

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I enjoyed an interview of Anthony Gaughan by Andi White at this year’s IATEFL (online), a real conversation about whether dogme is ‘enough’. Andi mentions “principled ecclectivism“, essentially fitting the method to the learner. Anthony responds that a good teacher should be able to operate in a wide range of ways. Though I like the focus on getting students talking and collecting the emergent language, I’d say novice teachers need to learn the full range, essentially: how do I teach the various skills (not “just” conversation), what do I do with scripts and materials once I have them, how do I vary drills, etc. I read Scott Thornbury’s How to Teach Speaking over Easter. It makes teaching without a lot of materials far more concrete and accessible, as it breaks things down into

  1. raising awareness to make students notice language
  2. controlled practice to let them appropriate it
  3. moving them towards autonomy

Next up:  reading Teaching Unplugged properly, rather than just dipping into it, in light of thinking about methodology this week in our course. Anyway, here’s the interview.

Andi was referring to Anthony and Izzy Orde’s session given at IATEFL 2010 – so last year – on unplugged CELTA teacher training, which I just got around to watching today:

Anthony and Izzy have a blog: http://teachertrainingunplugged.wordpress.com/

PS: read Anthony’s feedback on Chris Miner’s nice reflective blog: http://wnts2teach.posterous.com/47306919#comment


2 Responses

  1. Thank you for taking the time to follow our work and for writing about it here, Anne!

    I also agree that “doing conversation” isn’t enough. But to provide learners with a balanced diet of learning nutrients that they need, you don’t have to start with a coursebook (not that you are suggesting that, I realise!) Live listening, authentic texts, texts written for or by the students specially – these are more “organic” and (for me and usually for the learners I work with) more engaging and filling 🙂

  2. Hi, we met at the Embassy of Love, and I forgot to introduce myself properly. I really enjoyed this post in particular, and look forward to looking at some things on translation. Being very new to the field, invaluable insights here!

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