Bringing out the inner voice

19 05 2014

Saturday May 1th 2014 saw me presenting a spanking new talk at MAC2014 – the annual Macmillan conference in Montevideo, hosted by the Anglo institute.  It’s the third time I’ve talked at the Macmillan Montevideo conference and it was great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

#2014mac

#2014mac

The talk has been a long time in the making since it was inspired by Jeremy Harmer’s talk at the 2010 International House DoS Conference – ‘Speak the speech, I pray thee’, which discussed improving students’ fluency by helping them to think and prepare inside their heads first.  It was an inspiring talk, but a little short on practical ways to get the students actually doing this in the classroom.  So I set about trying to motivate and inspire my students to think much more in the class, alongside their development of the other four skills. It’s taken me a few years to put what I’ve done into a talk, since it’s very much a case of small steps and slowly, slowly catchy thinking student.  As the Macmillan conference was focused on developing Life Skills, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to make myself write the talk and bring together my ideas on the topic.

#2014MAC Life Skills tree

#2014MAC Life Skills tree

The results are here, in the form of the slides for the talk in PDF:

Bringing Out The Inner Voice

and a video of them too:

as well as the video I used at the end as a way of having the students reflect on the ideas we discussed during the talk and think about how they could create more thinking space, structure and sensitivity into a lesson using this video.  Unfortunately during the talk the sound was dodgy, so the great lyrics couldn’t be heard beyond the front row (and apologies to the audience that I had to resort to singing some of them myself!

I also hope to put a lesson together myself using this text as a launching ad, so look out for that here too!

Next up is the example text-based guided discovery lesson I used.  You can read more about Guided Discovery and this lesson here if you’re interested.

global-int-unreal-past

And then here are some lesson ideas to use at the beginning of your efforts to inspire your students to think in English:

Thinking in English

A reading based on a text about why to try and think in English when learning the language, with a worksheet that has built in space and structure for thinking.

The Week in English

Encourage your students to do some thinking for homework and then discuss what they’ve done in class – the flipped classroom turns your students flipping (if they talk to themselves :) ).

Anecdote feedback sheet An example of how the students can reflect on each others’ work and tech each other a little more about anecdoting.

Image

In full flow at #2014MAC





Long in Montevideo

30 11 2011

Long in Montevideo by mcneilmahon at Garmin Connect – Details.

Another late entry and unfortunately it’s going to stop here as far as running roads is concerned for a couple of weeks.  It was a hot, hot afternoon as I plodded up and down the lovely promenade of Montevideo after my morning exertions for Macmillan (Feedback Fiesta and Correction Celebration at IH Montevideo). 

Little did I know that there was a 10km race planned for 5pm so I was surprised to see few if anyone out sharing my run with me and then the police closed the coast road for me to run on.  Having laughed at all the people running last Sunday in Puerto Madero after the Nike 10km (why didn’t they join the rest of us in the race?) I found myself unwittingly in the same boat.  I wanted to be wearing a t-shirt that said ‘I’m flying out of here in an hour otherwise I’d be running with the rest of you’.  

And unfortunately I felt a twinge in my right calf in the last of the 8km which I forgot about as soon as I stopped running but remembered as soon as I tried to go out again the following Tuesday – after a single KM I had to stop for the tightness.  Hopefully I stopped quickly enough and I won’t be resting for long, but I won’t try again until I get back from Sao Paulo to ensure I have a good rest of it before I go again.  Got to keep fit for the summer and make the most of the time I’m going to have to run as well as trying to keep the Christmas kilos at bay.  





Feedback Fiesta

16 10 2011

Ways of Varying Feedback Handout that goes with the session

One of my favourite subjects and favourite workshops, I have recently revamped and improved this session for talks I have recently done for Macmillan Argentina, at the APIZALS conference in Bariloche, Rio Negro on Friday 30/9/11 and at KEL in Martinez, Buenos Aires on Saturday 15/10/11.

I intend to explore different aspects of this talk in more detail when time permits, adding posts on why feedback is so important and others giving more details and activities for personalising, etxending, revising and motivating – stay tuned!

Reworking

I presented the latest version of this workshop at the inaugural IHWO Teachers Online Conference (IH TOC) on November 15th 2011.  And will be repeating it on February 10th and 13th as a Live Online Workshop (IH LOW) for International House teachers around the world.  After these workshops I will add the latest edition of the slides and hopefully a video of the session.








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