dijous, de gener 19, 2006

English alive 1

Tim Herdon Sagunt, Tuesday 17th January 2006

If you like communication, practising English and education this is the perfect course for you. I felt so happy before, during and after going to the Cefire that afternoon because it’s as if we were abroad in a summer course learning and having good time.
In order to introduce ourselves Tim proposed some short, funny activities:
- Say a few sentences about our lives.
- Stand in a line following the alphabetic order of our names: Antoni, Àngels, Anna, Isabel, Nydia, Marta A, Marta G, Pilar, Rosa and Tim.
- We have to stand considering whether we live near or far from the centre of Valencia.
- The same activity but following the order of our birthday’s month.

After that warm up Tim started a short but interesting reflection about language learning and he asked us if we consider that that involves learning knowledge or learning skills or the two of them and we all chose the last option.

Good communication involves:
-Using linguistic systems: phonology, grammar, vocabulary.
- Showing awareness of function.
- Showing awareness of social and cultural rules.
- Using communication strategies.

And we checked all that with a practical example, asking for a beer in an English pub. Tim explained that teaching in a communicative way is like learning cycling. So we all jumped into the pool without any planning and we started doing the role play with different situations Tim proposed working in pairs. We realize that we get humour, fun, confidence, the use of all the skills doing that and they allow the students to show their own personality or try to be another different one if they want.
A good communication activity needs some conflict. Otherwise there is calm, peace, like Japanese people that are not so talkative as we are. So Tim has made us work in two teams and choose a representative who sits down in a chair facing the other and behind the representative the rest of the group giving ideas. This situation was as if we’re in a clothes shop and a customer wants to return a jumper because it has one sleeve longer than the other and the seller can’t do that because the manager is out at that moment. We change three times each representative and find lots of fun and use different resources.
The last activity was very interesting too. We worked together in threes, we had a letter to Holmes asking for help in a strange case. We were in three teams and each one worked on a different letter and then we changed groups and mixed them. The new group knows the contents of the three letters and it is like a jigsaw, so we find the solution to the case.
To finish the first session we wrote a letter to Tim setting out our expectations for this course and we exchanged our e-mail addresses.

By Pilar Puerto

1 comentari:

Anònim ha dit...

Fast work Pilar and Toni - I'm impressed. The photo
is great - these festivals of fire look really
interesting. I'm afraid that in my country something
like this would be impossible due to our excessively
enthusiastic Health and Safety laws. And as for
Fallas ...

I enjoyed our first session of English Alive - you are
a wonderful group to work with. And your English
definitely came Alive. Look forward to Pilar's
feedback and to next Tuesday's session when we'll be
looking at more motivating speaking activities,
including a hilarious group roleplay that takes place
in a train... Be there or be square! And as Toni
said, if you find other people who are interested in
joining the course, next Tuesday is their last